Shutters in a sitting room

Should You Install New Windows or Plantation Shutters to Winterize Your Home in Honolulu?

October 30, 2017

With winter weather around the corner in Honolulu, several homeowners are already planning their home winterizing projects. Other than putting those awkward storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, some of the best solutions to better insulate your home are to install fancy new windows, or to install insulating interior shutters.

Honolulu foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But which one is right for your home, replacing your windows or installing better window treatments – particularly when you want to winterize? Let’s find out.

Comparing the Price of Window Replacements vs. Installing Shutters

Before consulting a window contractor in Honolulu, a lot of homeowners severely underestimate the cost of new glass doors and windows. For a standard Hawaii home, installing new glass (around 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost more than $30,000 to start. That’s just about the down payment for a brand-new house! Naturally, new windows will increase the resale value of your house, but it comes with a steep cost.

Conversely, choosing plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a fraction of the price – 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 are more pronounced than semi-new windows when potential buyers walk through.

Which is the Better Insulator: New Windows or Interior Shutters?

Your windows need to be good insulators, especially when the weather turns nasty. But how do even the heaviest windows stack up against window coverings made to be effective insulators? 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 impressive for windows, that insulation has nothing on the temperature control of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which independent tests have shown to reach an r-value of close to 6.0 in a standard pane window.

How Long It Takes To Get Window Replacements vs. Indoor Shutters

Remember that the days are dwindling to plan your winterization projects before winter arrives in Honolulu. The lead time for putting in replacement doors and windows can sometimes be around 10 weeks or so. By that point, you might as well go the season with your furnace on at all times and deal with the energy bills. Shutters, conversely, are much quicker to get installed, with a lead time that almost never goes over 4 weeks, and can be even shorter.

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 new windows require the contractors to do any work to your ceiling or certain walls, the job could also require approval from your local zoning office as well.

Honolulu shutter installation 

On that note, removing windows and installing new ones can cause a big mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’re sure to get layers of dust and debris in your space. A shutter install job by comparison leaves no dust or debris, and will be done in a fraction of the time.

New Window Warranties vs. Shutter Warranties

Almost every reputable and insured remodeler or contractor will offer a warranty, which on average will be around 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you consider what that warranty covers and doesn’t cover, 20 years is actually pretty short. Conversely, Polywood faux wood shutters come with a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, installation, and color of the shutters.

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

Product New Windows Installing Shutters
Cost Over $30,000 for the entire home.  Usually under $5,000 for most Honolulu homes. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Installation Several hours, sometimes multiple days to put in several windows, can result in heavy dust or debris. Majority of jobs are done within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape homeowners association approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. N/A
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to more expensive windows to get the same amount 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 make the call on how you want to prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Honolulu today at 808-797-2004 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.
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