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Florida window installation

Impact Resistant Windows vs. Hurricane Shutters or Panels

impact windows vs hurricane shutters

Why Impact Windows Give Homeowners the Advantage

Now that the hurricane season is nearing a close, it might be a good time to consider how you will improve your home’s hurricane protection features if you live in Florida. Two of the most popular options for storm protection are impact-resistant windows and hurricane shutters or panels. Having to decide between impact windows vs hurricane shutters or panels to protect your home can be a challenging decision. There are many factors to consider, such as aesthetic preference, convenience, and budget. 

Which ones are right for your home? The choices can be overwhelming. Before you decide between impact-resistant windows vs. hurricane shutters, it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of both options to make an informed decision. Today, we will break down the differences to help you make the right choice for your home. 

Hurricane Panels

Hurricane panels are one option for protecting your home, but tend to fall short in many aspects.

Difficult to Install

Hurricane panels require setup before the hurricane happens and are heavy to move. Installing shutters over your existing windows means you will still have old windows that will eventually need to be replaced. 

Not Ideal for Older Homes

Many older homes have windows that no longer latch, close, or work properly, which can be a headache and dangerous during bad weather – even with shutters installed. Even new hurricane shutters can create many problems with water insulation and damage to the structure of your home if they are installed over old windows.

Time Consuming & Poorly Built

Installing hurricane shutters on your home can be distracting and time-consuming, especially if you need to leave to do other preparations, like gathering supplies. These types of shutters are not hermetically sealed and can erode very quickly. They are prone to moving with the intense forces and may require expensive repairs after years of wear and tear.

Expensive and Bulky 

If your home requires custom-shaped shutters for specific windows, hurricane shutters may prove to be very costly to order. Tearing them down after a storm is equally as laborious and time-consuming as setup. You will also need to have a place to store them in the off-season, which can be frustrating for homeowners who do not have much space. 

Heavy & Hard to Install

Hurricane panels are made of steel and quite heavy. Especially if sized for a larger window or sliding glass door. They also have razor sharp edges and require special leather gloves to handle them. Many are not physically strong enough to install them and most people would find it almost impossible to safely carry them up a ladder to a second floor window.

Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are made to be left up year-round. This affords some additional convenience in that when you need them they are already there because they are always there.

Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane Shutters

Permanent Eyesore

Most consider hurricane shutters to be an eyesore because they are permanently installed around every window. Plus, because they are made of aluminum, when the paint fades on them, or starts chipping off as the aluminum eventually pits and corrodes, there is not much that can be done.

Require Maintenance

Also when comparing impact windows vs hurricane shutters, it is important to remember that impact windows are maintenance free, whereas hurricane shutters are supposed to have continual maintenance. Leaves and dirt will collect in the tracks. They require cleaning and lubrication to function properly. Otherwise, as a storm approaches, you may try to close them and find they are stuck.

Impact Resistant Windows

Impact-resistant windows are a far more superior choice than hurricane shutters for many reasons. They eliminate the need for hurricane shutters, which means hurricane preparation becomes much more manageable. The Florida Building code also mandates that new homes have windows that meet a specific design pressure in certain areas. 

Easy to Use

Unlike shutters, impact-resistant windows are permanently installed in your home, eliminating the need to set up and teardown – all you have to do is simply lock your windows and doors whenever a hurricane is coming. Your windows will remain functional for opening and closing when necessary -no extra storage required. 

Durable & Versatile 

Shutters that are not correctly installed or are rusty and old pose a risk of becoming debris during a storm. Impact-resistant windows are designed to fit into the shape of your window frame and are often made from durable aluminum and stainless steel components. They also allow for visibility during storms rather than complete darkness. If you lose power, you’ll be able to allow extra natural light in during the daytime. 

Cost Savings

Your insurance premiums may be reduced by having impact-resistant windows, as they can also protect your home against break-ins. They are better insulated for year-round comfort and have the potential to reduce your air conditioning energy consumption and utility costs. Repair costs can also be scaled depending on the size of the window. 

Finally, impact-resistant windows can improve your home valuation in places like Florida that experience frequent, intense hurricanes. When the time comes to put your home on the market, having such windows can help you get more value from selling your home. 

Get Impact Resistant Windows in Florida Today

Hurricane shutters are bulky, clunky, and unappealing, making impact-resistant windows a much better option for protecting your home. Impact-resistant windows are not only much easier to install and offer better protection, but they can also increase the resale value of your home and may even pay for themselves between cheaper insurance premiums and better insulation. 

Impact-resistant windows are your best choice when it comes to protecting your home from hurricanes. Contact Paradise Exteriors today if you are looking for more information on residential and commercial impact-resistant window installation.

See also: Hurricane Window Protection Options: The Ultimate Comparison

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