Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Buy New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Minneapolis?

October 30, 2017

With winter weather coming soon to Minneapolis, lots of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic wrap to your windows, two of the most popular ways to control your home temperature are to install new windows, or to get insulating indoor shutters.

Minneapolis foyer with glass doors and indoor shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or installing insulating window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s take a look.

The Cost of Window Replacements vs. Installing Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window contractor in Minneapolis, a lot of homeowners understate the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a typical Minnesota home, getting new glass (in the neighborhood of 2 doors and 8 windows), might cost as much as $30,000 to start. That’s just about the down payment for a brand-new home! Obviously, brand-new windows can increase the resell value of your house, but it’s still a hefty price tag.

On the other hand, installing interior shutters on windows and patio doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around a quarter of the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is a priority, high-quality plantation shutters are more pronounced than semi-new windows during a tour or open house.

Which is the Better Insulator: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows need to offer effective insulation, particularly when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window treatments made to be effective insulators? Even if you pay extra for three-pane windows, the most energy efficiency most new windows can offer is an r-value between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent tests have shown to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a double pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of Window Replacements vs. Plantation Shutters

Keep in mind that time is limited to finalize your winterization projects before it starts to get cold in Minneapolis. The lead time for installing new windows and glass doors can sometimes be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By then, you may as well go the rest of the winter with your furnace cranked up and eat the cost. Shutters, conversely, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for putting in brand-new doors or windows can be even longer if you need approval by your homeowners’ association. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, the job could also require permits from your local zoning office as well.

Minneapolis shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can result in a big mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, you’re sure to get a lot of dust and debris in those rooms. A shutter install job on the other hand is a no mess job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every reliable remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you examine what that warranty does and does not cover, two decades is actually pretty short. On the other hand, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and color of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with interior shutters are pretty stark:

Product New Windows Interior Shutters
Price Over $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually less than $5,000 for most Minneapolis homes. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes a few days to replace several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are completed within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get the same amount of energy efficiency. Usual r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half of all heat loss & gain through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to winterize your space, call Sunburst Shutters Minneapolis today at 952-856-8130 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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