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Impact Windows vs. Standard Windows: The Differences

October 31, 2018

Two men doing an impact window installation

Your windows are the only thing between your home and the harsh elements. For that reason, you deserve the best windows that you can get. And that means installing hurricane impact windows. Here is everything that you should know about impact windows vs. standard windows.

Impact Windows vs. Standard Windows: the Smarter Choice?

If you live in Florida, then a hurricane is more than just a threat to your home. It could become a reality. Most building codes in the state require that you have windows that protect you during high winds Unfortunately, standard windows don’t provide that protection. You need to either install hurricane shutters or impact windows to comply with the building codes. Impact windows comply with the codes and keep your home safe. However, there are several other reasons that make impact windows a smart choice.

Impact Windows vs. Standard Windows: Better Design

A hurricane window uses shatter-resistant glass to prevent damage. Usually, the glass remains inside a strong aluminum frame. If high winds send an object into your window, the frame and the glass is strong enough to withstand it. A second layer of glass on the windows allows the outer layer to break without sending glass shards into your home. Instead, the shards stick to a membrane between the two layers of glass.

On the other hand, standard windows only have one layer of glass. If that glass breaks, then water and wind can get into your home. You can experience severe damage in a storm when you only have standard windows.

Impact Windows vs. Standard Windows: Less Preparation

If a hurricane is headed towards you, then you have a lot to think about. Between making evacuation plans and stocking up on food and water, you have your hands full. Worrying about your windows only adds to your list of things to do. If you have standard windows, then it could take hours to prepare them to weather the storm.

Hurricane windows give you one less thing about which you need to worry. Instead of securing your windows, you can focus on what really matters – the safety of you and your family.

Impact Windows vs. Standard Windows: Better Appearance

If you have standard windows, then you need shutters or another layer of protection. That protection takes up space. It requires storage, and sometimes that storage is in plain sight. When you have standard windows, your hurricane protection can affect the appearance of your home. Impact windows don’t require any added protection. Therefore, they leave your home’s appearance unaffected.

In fact, impact windows can add to the appearance of your home. There are many different styles and types of hurricane windows from which to choose. When you shop for windows, you can find a style that works for your home.

Impact Windows vs. Standard Windows: More Light

When a hurricane hits, you could find yourself without power. During this time, your impact windows could come in handy. They allow more light into your home than shutters. Instead of sitting at home in the dark, you could take some comfort in having natural light in your home. Additionally, you also don’t need to rush to take down any shutters after a storm. With so much to worry about in the aftermath of a hurricane, you shouldn’t have to rush to remove your shutters.

What About Standard Windows?

While standard windows provide a small layer of protection from the elements, they don’t completely protect your home. Without hurricane shutters, standard windows can break during high winds. This can cause water and wind damage in your home. If you want protection during high winds, then you need to install hurricane shutters. However, the shutters do require some preparation. When high winds come without warning, then your home could be at risk.

Standard windows also leave your home vulnerable to intruders. No matter what type of standard windows you have, they are not as secure as impact windows. Because of the way they are made, impact windows don’t shatter. An intruder cannot easily break into a home with impact windows. However, standard windows can shatter. This creates an entry point for unwelcome visitors.

Some homeowners who choose standard windows over hurricane impact windows make the decision based on cost. While it is true that standard windows usually cost less than impact windows, that isn’t true in the long-term. Often, the cost of installing hurricane shutters makes standard windows the same price as impact ones. If you fail to get shutters, then the expense of storm damage could make your decision quite costly.

Making the Decision

If you think that your home needs hurricane windows, then you should speak to a specialist. He can explain everything that you should know about window installation. If you have any questions, then he can answer them.

Here at Wright’s Impact Window and Door, we can help you find the right windows for your home. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.



Jason Southard
VP Sales & Marketing at Wrights Impact Window & Door LLC | Website | + posts

Jason joined Wrights in 2018, and leverages decades of experience as a business leader in both B2C and B2B markets, with a wealth of experience in marketing, management, and technology. Before joining Wrights, Jason had significant Client, Consulting, and Agency experience from blue chips to start-ups – working across national and global roles. Originally from the UK, Jason has executive education from the London School of Economics and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

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