Home Winterizing in Cincinnati: Replace Windows Or Insulate Using Plantation Shutters?

Lisa Renee Nieberding

With cold weather coming soon to Cincinnati, a lot of homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Beyond putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, some of the most popular solutions to better insulate your home are to put in new windows, or to get insulating plantation shutters.

Cincinnati foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

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

Comparing the Price of Window Replacements vs. Installing Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window installer in Cincinnati, most homeowners undervalue the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a standard OH home, installing new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), may cost as much as $30,000 off the bat. That’s almost the down payment for a whole new home! Naturally, new windows can add to the value of your home, but it comes with a steep cost.

Conversely, getting interior shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a lot less – usually around a quarter of the cost of installing new windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, high-quality indoor shutters are more pronounced than semi-new windows during a tour or open house.

Are New Windows or Indoor Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should offer effective temperature control, especially when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the heaviest windows stack up against window coverings built specifically for insulation? 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 decent, that insulation has nothing on the temperature control of Polywood® plantation shutters, which third party tests have shown to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a double pane window.

How Long It Takes To Get New Windows vs. Indoor Shutters

Bear in mind that you don’t have the luxury of time to finish your winterization projects before winter arrives in Cincinnati. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors could be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By that point, you might as well go the season with your furnace on at all times and live with the cost. Shutters, on the other hand, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and is usually even less.

The lead time for putting in brand-new doors or windows could drag on even further if you need approval from your HOA. If your contractors have to do any work to your walls or ceiling, you might also need approval from your county or city.

Cincinnati shutter installation 

Speaking of the installation, removing windows and putting in new ones can cause a fairly large mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up tons of dust and debris in your space. A shutter install job on the other hand is a no mess job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Just about any reputable and insured remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you examine what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years might seem a little short. On the other hand, Polywood interior shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, install, and color of the product.

To sum it all up, the differences between winterizing your home with replacement windows or with indoor shutters are pretty stark:

Product Window Replacements Insulating Shutters
Price More than $30,000 for the whole house.  Usually less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes several days to put in several windows, can create heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are done within just a couple of hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Normal r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half of all heat loss & gain from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
 
If you’re ready to make the decision on how you want to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Cincinnati today at 513-216-9740 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.