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Hurricane Shutters vs. Hurricane Impact Windows

Posted by Jimmy Hawley on Jul 24, 2022 1:20:00 PM

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If you live anywhere in Southwest Florida— from Naples to Port Charlotte— you know how important it is to protect your home from a hurricane. In fact, the current Florida Building Codes state that every home built after 2001 is required to have hurricane shutters or storm windows (impact-resistant windows).

Prior to choosing the best way to protect your home, here are the pros and cons to consider when deciding between installing hurricane shutters and hurricane impact windows.

Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are a form of storm protection for your windows that can be either temporarily or permanently fixed to the outside of a building. They protect your windows during tropical storms and hurricanes from flying debris, falling tree branches, and fierce winds. This is a stable (and attractive!) alternative to plywood.

Pros and Cons of Hurricane Shutters for Florida Residents

When you live in Florida, you know that curb appeal and the ability to withstand even the fiercest storms both matter.

Pros:

Strong storm protection- Although it depends on the type of hurricane shutters installed, most can protect your home against up to 200 mph winds. This is well above the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale 156 mph maximum wind speed for a Category 4 hurricane.

Affordable and easy to install- Hurricane shutters are relatively inexpensive and can be installed with ease. Buyers can opt for metal or PVC materials and with typical prices ranging below $50 per square foot, this investment doesn’t break the bank.

Has the most hurricane window protection style options- Examples of hurricane shutters options include automatic roll-down shutters, accordion shutters, Bahama shutters, awning shutters and storm panel shutters. Many of these come in a variety of colors and can add value to your home by providing curbside appeal with little hassle.

Cons:

Requires hurricane preparation ahead of time- When a stronger storm is on the way, you’ll have to inspect your hurricane shutters and close them correctly while it’s still safe to do so. 

Potentially blocks your view- Depending on the type of hurricane shutters installed, you may have limited visibility.

Lower Return on Investment (ROI)- Homeowners can generally expect to receive about a 50% return on their hurricane shutters cost.

Hurricane Impact Windows

Impact glass is glass that is specifically designed to withstand — you guessed it — impact without shattering. If you choose hurricane impact windows, make sure that they are impact resistant by checking the mark and looking for other telltale signs. 

Pros and Cons of Hurricane Windows for Florida Residents

In some cases, hurricane shutters may not work with your Florida home. Impact windows are a great alternative.

Pros:

Strong storm protection- Since impact glass can protect your home against up to 200 mph, it is on par with the best hurricane shutter options available.

Improved energy efficiency, noise reduction, and UV protection- Hurricane windows offer value through reflecting heat and indoor temperature regulation. They also filter outside noise and block 99% of harmful UV rays.

High Return on Investment (ROI)- Homeowners can expect to see between 80% and 86% of the original price of installing impact windows reflected in their selling price when they list their home. Additionally, there may be homeowner insurance discount opportunities available.

Cons:

Higher cost- In most cases, you can expect to pay more for hurricane impact windows and installation than you would for hurricane shutters. These can be trickier to install right, so hiring professionals is key.

Can be expensive to replace- Impact windows can still crack (although rarely) even if the projectile was repelled. Once cracked, typically a full replacement is the safest option.

Hurricane Windows Vs Impact Shutters - Which is Best For You?

Both options offer great storm protection for your home. Hurricane impact windows are excellent for homeowners who want to protect their home, yet still be able to look outside during the storm. Additionally, they require zero prep work, which means you'll be protected on the off-chance that a storm appears out of the blue or shifts directions quickly. This is particularly important for seasonal residents, people that travel often, or those who may be out of the area on vacation when a storm occurs. 

Hurricane Shutters are a budget-friendly option that can add value to your home and come in a wide variety of types and styles. They still offer great storm protection, and although pre-storm prep is required, it’s usually a pretty quick setup. This may be an attractive option for your waterfront property.

To learn more about your storm protection options, contact us today.

Hurricane Protection

Topics: Hurricane Shutters, Impact Windows, Hurricane Protection