Should You Install New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Boise?

Spencer Madsen

With colder weather around the corner in Boise, lots of homeowners are already getting ready to winterize. Other than putting those old storm windows back in or tacking on cheap plastic wrap to your windows, some of the most effective ways to better insulate your home are to put in brand-new windows, or to install insulating interior shutters.

Boise foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

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

Comparing the Price of New Windows vs. Getting Shutters

Prior to consulting a window installer in Boise, many homeowners understate how much it costs to replace windows and glass doors. For a standard Idaho house, installing new glass (approximately 2 doors and 8 windows), might cost more than $30,000 off the bat. That’s basically the down payment for a whole new house! Obviously, new windows will add to the value of your house, but it comes with a hefty cost.

On the other hand, installing indoor shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – usually around 25% of the price you’d pay to put in replacement windows. And if increasing your home’s resale value is a priority, high-quality indoor shutters stand out a lot more than semi-new windows during a walkthrough or open house.

What Insulates Better: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows need to offer effective insulation, particularly when the weather gets cold. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window treatments built specifically for insulation? Even if you upgrade to 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, that insulation has nothing on the temperature blocking powers of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which third party tests have shown to reach an r-value of nearly 6.0 in a standard pane window.

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

Remember that there isn’t a whole lot of time to plan your winterizing projects before winter arrives in Boise. The lead time for installing new windows and glass doors can sometimes be in the neighborhood of 10 weeks. By then, you may as well not bother and just set your furnace to full blast. Shutters, conversely, can be installed much sooner, with a lead time that caps out at about 4 weeks, and is usually even shorter.

The lead time for replacing doors or windows can sometimes be extended by even a few more weeks 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 permits from your local government.

Boise shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can make a big mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’ll end up tons of dust and debris all over your house. A shutter install job on the other hand is a precise, clean job, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every certified remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. At first glance it looks good, but when you think about what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years might seem a little short. On the other hand, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, install, and finish of the product.

In summary, the differences between winterizing your home with a new set of windows or with shutters are pretty blatant:

Product New Windows Indoor Shutters
Price Over $30,000 for the entire home.  Usually under $5,000 for most Boise homes. 
 Warranty On average 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes a few days to put in several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are completed within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Temperature Control  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get the same amount of energy efficiency. Typical 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 & Window Fashions today at 208-609-9129 and we’ll give you a free in-home window design consultation.