Should You Get New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Salt Lake City?

Matt Thelander

With cold weather coming soon to Salt Lake City, several homeowners are already getting ready to winterize. Other than putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, some of the best solutions to control your home temperature are to install fancy new windows, or to install insulating interior shutters.

Salt Lake City foyer with glass doors and plantation shutters

But what’s better, getting new windows or installing better window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s break it down.

The Cost of New Windows vs. Putting in Shutters

Before talking to a window installer in Salt Lake City, many homeowners undervalue the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a standard Utah home, putting in new glass (in the neighborhood of 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost more than 30 grand off the bat. That’s just about the down payment for a whole new house! Of course, new windows can add to the value of your house, but it comes with a steep price tag.

On the other hand, choosing plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 75% less than the cost of installing new windows. And if increasing your home’s market value is important to you, permanent interior shutters catch the eye a lot easier than new-ish windows during a tour or open house.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows should be good insulators, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows compare with window coverings made to be effective insulators? Even if you shell out for three-pane windows, the most energy efficiency most new windows can offer is an r-value between 2.0 and 3.0. While significant, those numbers have nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party tests have concluded to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Indoor Shutters

Bear in mind that there isn’t a whole lot of time to plan your winterization projects before it starts to get cold in Salt Lake City. The lead time for installing new windows and glass doors may even be be as much as 10 weeks. By that point, you might as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that caps out at about 4 weeks, and is usually even less.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows could drag on even further if you need approval from your HOA. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need approval from your county or city.

Salt Lake City shutter installation 

Moreover, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can make a huge mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’ll end up tons of dust and debris on all your furniture. A shutter install job by comparison is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Just about any established remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you consider what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years can seem extremely short. On the other hand, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, installation, and finish of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with a new set of windows or with indoor shutters are fairly stark:

Product Window Replacements Installing Shutters
Cost Exceeding $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically less than $5,000 for most Salt Lake City homes. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to install several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are finished within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape May require HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half of all energy loss from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
 
If you’re ready to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Salt Lake City today at 801-515-3598 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.