Hurricane Windows vs Hurricane Shutters
Deciding between hurricane Windows vs. shutters or panels? When you live in a high-risk hurricane zone, nothing is more important than making sure your home and loved ones are protected from high winds and flying debris.
Homeowners in South Florida suffered an estimated $15 billion in insured losses from Hurricane Irma alone, most of which was wind damage. Hurricane shutters and South Florida hurricane windows, also called impact windows, both offer protection against hurricane-strength winds, but each option comes with its own advantages and drawbacks.
Confused about the difference between your options? Not sure which is right for your home? Here’s the difference between hurricane windows and shutters and what each has to offer.
What Are Hurricane Shutters?
Hurricane shutters are designed to protect your windows from being broken by flying debris in a severe storm. When hurricane-strength winds are forced into your home through a broken window, the pressure has nowhere to go. This is how roofs are usually blown off and how a home may collapse. Hurricane shutters come in different styles, including: automatic roll-down shutters, Bahama shutters, accordion shutters and panel shutters.
Many dislike accordion shutters because they get permanently installed, are up year-round and are an ugly eyesore.
Pros and Cons of Hurricane Windows Vs Shutters
Many appreciate hurricane shutters for their affordability and reliability. These shutters must be fastened properly to the building. You can even remove hurricane panels when they aren’t needed to avoid changing the look of your home. Just remember that they can be hard to handle. Hanging hurricane shutters requires at least two people and they have sharp edges.
Depending on the type of shutters, they may cost as little as $18 per square foot, but more decorative and high-end styles like Colonial shutters and roll-down shutters may cost $60 or more per square foot. Like impact windows, hurricane shutters can be retrofitted to a home and are installed over existing windows. They also come in different styles to fit your budget and needs.
When choosing hurricane shutters, you will need to consider how long it takes to prepare your home for a storm. Roll-down shutters can be cranked or put in place with the push of a button, but some hurricane shutters require a minimum of 1 whole day to prepare the entire home.
Lifting heavy panels up a ladder to second floor windows can be very difficult and dangerous. Even accordion shutters still require you to go up on a ladder if you have picture windows or cathedral ceilings. This can be a major drawback to shutters and panels. Hurricane windows do not require any active preparation on your part.
Unfortunately, some hurricane shutters don’t offer the best protection against debris and high winds. Shutters rely on the strength of the aluminum they are made from, which pits and corrodes over time. As well as the screws they were installed with, which may also rust or corrode. If you have older ones you may not have real storm protection.
Many still rely on old clamshell shutters, which have no hurricane rating at all.
What Are Impact Windows?
Research has shown that keeping the exterior envelope of a home intact during a severe storm increases the chances of keeping the roof while reducing damage from wind. Hurricane windows are designed to offer year-round protection from high winds and other perils. Much like auto safety glass, these windows are made with laminated glass that doesn’t break into shards due to impact. To create these windows, two panels of glass are bonded with a clear, ultra-strong interlayer.
Pros and Cons of Hurricane Windows vs Shutters
Hurricane windows offer the greatest protection against storm damage. Impact windows also offer other benefits, including noise reduction and better resistance against intruders. With hurricane windows, your home’s envelope will remain intact, even if a window is hit with a flying piece of wood. Otherwise, an impact can cause the air pressure in your home to expand and allow a wall, roof, or other windows to give way. Impact resistant windows can withstand even Category 5 wind conditions and debris.
>> Related Content: How To Choose Hurricane Windows
The biggest drawback to impact windows? Their cost. Hurricane windows don’t fit over your existing windows like hurricane shutters; they’re designed to replace your existing windows with stronger window frames and glass that can withstand projectiles and wind.
Yet, new hurricane windows will greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency. Energy and insurance savings can offset the cost and may essentially pay for your new windows.
Also, hurricane windows are a stand-alone solution that can protect your home. Hurricane shutters, on the other hand, also rely on the strength of the windows to protect your home.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in storm protection, you can’t beat hurricane windows. We install only the best impact windows to protect against strong winds, flying debris, and more.
Upgrade to Paradise Platinum Series Today: South Florida’s Best Impact Windows
Paradise Exteriors is the proud exclusive installer of South Florida’s best impact windows, Paradise Platinum. Our windows have received numerous Energy Star Awards for their cost-saving energy efficiency as well as the only windows of their kind to also hold an endorsement from the National Crime Prevention Council for their home security value.
We are fully committed to equipping South Florida homes with the best impact windows possible. With offices on both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, we are able to deliver a timely installation to homeowners across all South Florida counties, including the Keys.
Here are some of the ways that we can assist you in improving your home’s hurricane protection:
The Best Impact Windows Have Custom Window Sizes and Styles
All of our hurricane window installations are custom-sized and styled to match your home’s original openings. This means that there will be no new construction or demolitions performed on your property. Instead, we strive to keep your home’s original beauty intact by offering a wide range of styles, colors, and finishes so that you can enjoy your living space to its fullest.
Assistance with HOA Approval and Municipal Permitting
Depending on where your home is located, home improvement projects may require prior approval from your homeowners association as well as appropriate municipal permits. Our team will work with you to prepare all paperwork to ensure that your new impact windows remain compliant.
Because of the near-limitless customizability that Paradise Platinum windows offer, our windows are a popular choice among many who live within HOA-governed communities. Other less-effective solutions like shutters, panels, or window screens may not satisfy HOA guidelines and cause obstacles to better protecting your home against hurricane activity.
Additionally, impact-resistant glass can be formed into nonstandard or unique shapes for any decorative or accent windows in your home. This capability helps to ensure that no opening in your is left vulnerable to high winds, water, or debris during a hurricane or other intense storm.
We will also be present during any and all inspections before, during, and after the installation has been completed. Our technicians will gladly answer any questions from municipal building code authorities and HOA governance.
Financing and Warranty Options
Want to upgrade your windows but are concerned about the upfront costs to do so? Financing can help remove monetary obstacles so that you can enjoy greater home protection without having to pay a large sum out of pocket.
We work with the largest and most trusted financial institutions in the home improvement industry to offer the most customer-friendly terms available. You could even defer payments by up to one year after the date of installation!
Our generous range of warranties also protects your home in the event of a window being damaged. Your warranty ensures that you can easily have them replaced and maintain a continuous defense against hurricanes and other threats to your home’s interior.
Doors and Roofs, Too!
Though protecting your windows is a critical component of a complete hurricane defense, it does not end there. We also offer a wide selection of hurricane-rated door and roof options to outfit every vulnerable part of your home.
We are a GAF Roofing Systems Master Elite Contractor. This distinction is given to only 2% of all roofing companies and ensures that our practices and methods meet the industry’s strictest quality standards.
To learn more about how you can upgrade your home with the best hurricane-rated impact windows, doors, and roofing systems in South Florida, contact us today for a free quote: 844-749-2121