Should You Get New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Winterize Your Home in Miami?

David White

With colder weather on the horizon in Miami, lots of homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Other than putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on flimsy plastic wrap to your windows, two of the most popular ways to control your home temperature are to put in brand-new windows, or to install insulating interior shutters.

Miami foyer with glass doors and plantation 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 find out.

Comparing the Price of Window Replacements vs. Putting in Shutters

Before speaking with a window installer in Miami, a lot of homeowners undervalue the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a standard Florida home, getting new glass (approximately 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost more than $30,000 to start. That’s just about the down payment for a whole new home! Obviously, new windows can add to the resell value of your home, but it’s still a steep price tag.

Conversely, putting in interior shutters on windows and glass doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in new windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, permanent plantation shutters are more pronounced than new-ish windows when you’re ready to sell and show it off.

Are New Windows or Interior Shutters Better At Insulating?

Your windows should offer good temperature control, particularly when the weather gets cold. But how do even the heaviest windows compare with window treatments built specifically for insulation? Even if you pay extra for triple-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® faux wood shutters, which independent studies have shown to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Plantation Shutters

Bear in mind that time is limited to finish your winterizing projects before we start feeling the colder weather creeping into Miami. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors could 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 can be even less.

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 contractors have to do any work to your walls or ceiling, you might also need approval from your local zoning office as well.

Miami shutter installation 

On the subject of 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’ll end up layers of dust and debris on all your furniture. Shutter installation on the other hand is an almost entirely spotless job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

Window Replacement Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every established remodeler will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you consider what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years might seem a little short. Conversely, Polywood indoor shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, install, and color of the shutters.

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

Product New Windows Installing Shutters
Price More than $30,000 for the entire home.  Usually less than $5,000 for most Miami homes. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
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 few 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 an equal level of energy efficiency. Standard r-value of 2.0-3.0. Can block up to half of all energy loss through your windows. Polywood offers r-value of 6.0. 
If you’re ready to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Miami today at 305-520-7515 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.