Winterizing A Hartford Home: Replace Windows Or Insulate With Shutters?

Holly Perron

With cold weather around the corner in Hartford, a lot of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Beyond putting some hefty storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic film to your windows, some of the most popular solutions to control your home temperature are to install new windows, or to put in insulating interior shutters.

Hartford foyer with glass doors and indoor shutters

But what’s better, replacing your windows or putting in better window treatments – especially when you need to winterize? Let’s take a look.

The Cost of Window Replacements vs. Getting Shutters

Prior to speaking with a window contractor in Hartford, most homeowners undervalue the price tag of glass doors and windows. For a normal Connecticut home, getting new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), could cost as much as 30 grand to start. That’s basically a down payment for a whole new home! Of course, newer windows can add to the resale value of your home, but it’s still a hefty cost.

Conversely, choosing plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around three quarters less than the price you’d pay to put in brand-new windows. And if you’re concerned about increasing your home value, high-quality interior shutters are more noticeable than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

Are New Windows or Interior Shutters Better Insulators?

Your windows need to offer effective insulation, particularly when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window coverings built specifically for insulation? Even if you shell out for three-pane windows, the highest r-value new windows can offer is between 2.0 and 3.0. While impressive for windows, that insulation has nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® plantation shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a double pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Plantation Shutters

Remember that time is limited to plan your winterization projects before the temperature starts falling in Hartford. The lead time for putting in replacement doors and windows could be around 10 weeks or so. By then, you might as well not bother and just set your furnace to full blast. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even less.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows can be even longer if you have to get approval by your homeowners’ association. If your contractors have to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, you might also need permits from your local zoning office as well.

Hartford shutter installation 

Moreover, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a big mess. If work needs to be done on your window frame, expect a lot of dust and debris on all your furniture. Installing shutters by comparison is a precise, clean job, and will be done in less than half the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Just about any certified window installer will offer a warranty, usually in the neighborhood of 10-20 years. That sounds great, but when you consider what that warranty does and does not cover, two decades might seem a little short. Conversely, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, guaranteeing the material, install, and color of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with new windows or with indoor shutters are fairly blatant:

Product Window Replacements Interior Shutters
Price Exceeding $30,000 for the entire home.  Usually less than $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Length of installation Several hours, sometimes several days to replace several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are completed within just a few hours, and produce no dust or debris.
Red tape HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. Nothing.
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get an equal level of energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to 50% of all heat loss & gain from your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to make the call on how you want to get your home ready for winter, call Sunburst Shutters Hartford today at 860-266-5459 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.