Winterizing A Las Vegas Home: Buy New Windows Or Reinforce Using Shutters?

Darik Neilson

With cold weather on the horizon in Las Vegas, a lot of homeowners are already thinking about winterizing their homes. Other than putting some old storm windows back in or tacking on temporary plastic wrap to your windows, a few of the most effective solutions to better insulate your home are to install new windows, or to install insulating indoor shutters.

Las Vegas foyer with glass doors and interior shutters

But what’s better, getting new windows or installing insulating window treatments – especially when you want to winterize? Let’s find out.

Comparing the Price of Window Replacements vs. Getting Shutters

Before talking to a window installer in Las Vegas, many homeowners lowball the cost of new windows and glass doors. For a standard NV house, getting new glass (around 8 windows and 2 doors), might cost as much as 30 grand off the bat. That’s almost a down payment for a brand-new home! Of course, newer windows can increase the resale value of your house, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

Conversely, getting plantation shutters on windows and sliding doors will cost a lot less – usually around a quarter of the cost of installing new windows. And if you’re worried about increasing your home value, permanent plantation shutters are more noticeable than semi-new windows when potential buyers walk through.

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

Your windows need to be good insulators, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. But how do even the thickest windows stack up against window treatments made to be effective insulators? Even if you upgrade to three-pane windows, the most energy efficiency most new windows can offer is an r-value between 2.0 and 3.0. While significant, that insulation has nothing on the insulating features of Polywood® faux wood shutters, which independent tests have shown to reach an r-value of over 6.0 in a standard pane window.

Lead Time & Installation of New Windows vs. Interior Shutters

Keep in mind that there isn’t a whole lot of time to finalize your winterization projects before winter arrives in Las Vegas. The lead time for replacing multiple windows and glass doors may even 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 almost never goes over 4 weeks, and is usually even less.

The lead time for putting in brand-new doors or windows can be even longer if you need approval from your HOA. If your new windows require the contractors to do any work to your walls or ceiling, you might also need permits from your local zoning office as well.

Las Vegas shutter installation 

On that note, taking out old windows and putting in new ones can result in a fairly large mess. If framework needs to be redone, you’re sure to get layers of dust and debris all over your house. Installing shutters on the other hand 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 contractor will offer a warranty, typically around 10-20 years. That may sound fantastic, but when you consider what that warranty does and does not cover, 20 years can seem extremely short. Conversely, Polywood interior shutters are backed by a Lifetime Warranty, protecting the material, install, and finish of the product.

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

Product New Windows Plantation Shutters
Price Over $30,000 for the whole house.  Typically under $5,000 for the average home. 
 Warranty Usually 20 years. Lifetime warranty
Lead time 10 weeks 4 weeks
Install Time Several hours, sometimes several days to install several windows, can cause heavy dust or debris. Almost all jobs are finished within just a couple of hours, without any debris or dust.
Red tape HOA approvals approvals, municipal remodeling approvals. None!
 Energy Efficiency  You may need to upgrade to higher-end windows to get equivalent energy efficiency. Usual r-value of 2.0-3.0. Blocks up to half 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 prep your home for the colder months, call Sunburst Shutters Las Vegas today at 702-850-6619 and we’ll schedule you for a free in-home window design consultation.