Fort Myers Home Winterization: Install New Windows Or Reinforce With Shutters?

Charlie Cole and Brady Parker

With cold weather coming soon to Fort Myers, many homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting those 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 install new windows, or to install insulating indoor shutters.

Fort Myers foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, getting new windows or putting in more effective window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s break it down.

Comparing the Price of Window Replacements vs. Putting in Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window installer in Fort Myers, most homeowners understate the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a standard Florida house, putting in new glass (around 2 doors and 8 windows), might cost as much as 30 grand off the bat. That’s just about a down payment for a whole new house! Of course, brand-new windows can add to the resale value of your house, but it’s still a steep cost.

Conversely, choosing plantation shutters on windows and patio doors will cost a lot less – usually around three quarters less than the cost of installing new windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, high-quality interior shutters stand out a lot more than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

Are New Windows or Interior Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows should be good insulators, especially when the weather gets cold. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window treatments built specifically for insulation? Even if you shell out for three-pane windows, the the best r-value you’ll get out of new windows will be between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, those numbers have nothing on the energy efficiency of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party 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. Indoor Shutters

Remember that there isn’t a whole lot of time to plan your winterization projects before winter arrives in Fort Myers. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors could be be as much as 10 weeks. By then, you might as well not bother and just crank the thermostat. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time generally never exceeding 4 weeks, and can be even shorter.

The lead time for replacing 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 walls or ceiling, you might also need approval from your county or city.

Fort Myers shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and installing new ones can result in a fairly large mess. If any drywall work needs done, you’ll end up layers of dust and debris on all your furniture. Shutter installation by comparison is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Warranties: New Windows vs. Shutters

Almost every reliable window installer will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you think about what that warranty does and does not cover, two decades is actually pretty short. On the other hand, Polywood faux wood shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, protecting 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 fairly blatant:

Product Window Replacements Indoor Shutters
Price More than $30,000 for the entire home.  Typically less than $5,000 for an average size home. 
 Warranty Typically around 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to replace 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 homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to 50% of all energy loss through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Fort Myers today at 239-208-6577 and we’ll set you up with a free in-home window design consultation.