If you live anywhere in Southwest Florida, from Naples to Port Charlotte, you know how important it is to protect your home from nasty storms. Luckily, there are several choices in hurricane protection to choose from.
In this post, we have some questions you can ask to help decide between two of the most popular storm solutions in SWFL: hurricane shutters or impact windows.
1. Do you want to feel like you’re always protected?
That Category 1 storm that was headed to Punta Gorda can quickly turn into a Category 3, headed straight for Fort Myers.
Hurricane windows are three times thicker than regular window glass, meaning your home is already prepared to protect you. Plus, impact glass only needs to be installed once, so you don’t need to worry about rushing to get your house ready when you get word of an impending storm.
Shutters are also permanently affixed structures that only need to be installed once, and come in multiple forms, from roll down to wooden Bahama overhangs. Roll down and accordion hurricane shutters do require some prep time, varying from 15 minutes for the whole house to 15 minutes per window. Because of this prep-time, some people choose to keep their shutters closed throughout our SW Florida storm season or choose impact glass, which requires no hassle.
In the end, impact glass requires 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.
2. Does your home have a second story or hard to reach windows?
If the thought of climbing a ladder to put up shutters in the wind and rain sounds troubling to you, you may want to consider hurricane glass instead.
Don’t wait until you know a storm is coming to decide if you’re willing to do that. Leaving higher windows unprotected during a hurricane because you can’t reach them leaves your home extremely vulnerable.
3. Do you want an aesthetic that fits your home?
The answer to this question is usually a resounding “yes” from every Florida homeowner. Fortunately, both hurricane shutters and impact glass boast attractive installation options and features.
Hurricane shutters come in a variety of styles which actually add a visually appealing aspect to the house, rather than take away from the aesthetic. You don’t have to worry about shutters making your home unappealing, as there are many options in different colors and materials to best fit your home’s style. Learn more about the appeal of Bahama shutters in particular here.
Obviously, impact glass is a glass, with translucent features that match any home. You can, however, get different types of glass in a variety of finishes or color tints. Learn more about the difference between temperate, laminated and hurricane impact glass here.
Some people are concerned about the look of the framing, since impact windows combine impact-resistant glass and heavy-duty frames made out of vinyl or aluminum. But don’t be! Typically, the framing is designed with neutral colors to match the exterior of most homes.
4. Do you want to be able to see outside during the storm?
With metal shutters blocking the natural light, your home can quickly become pitch black. Typically, the first thing to happen during a storm is losing power. No power means no lights without a generator and it can be scary to children and pets to be in a dark home with no view of the outside. If this is a concern of yours, hurricane glass is a better option.
If you’d rather not have a view of the outside and would like to add another layer of protection between your home and the glass, shutters are preferable. Remember, most models, with the exception of Bahama shutters, retract when not in use, so you can still enjoy the sunshine with the peace of mind of elevated protection come storm-time.
5. Are you concerned with cost?
For those who are going the economical route, hurricane shutters are the way to go when it comes to hurricane protection. Adding shutters to your existing windows is less expensive than replacing all of your windows.
There are hurricane shutters priced for every budget! Check out our Hurricane Shutter Pricing Guide for rough cost per square footage of accordion, roll down, and Bahama shutters. It even offers prices for storm panels and screens.
While impact glass is certainly an investment, it can stand up longer than most installed shutter solutions, requiring fewer maintenance costs and upkeep hassle down the road.
Curious for an estimate to replace your windows? Use our handy Window Pricing Calculator or call us at (239) 674-3625 for free in-home estimate.
Are Impact Windows Really Worth the Investment?
Both hurricane shutters and hurricane windows are an effective way to protect your house during a hurricane.
No matter which type you choose, plan your project out well in advance of hurricane season and consider professional installation. Now is the time to get a free consultation and choose the best type of hurricane protection for you.
For more information on your options, download our free ebook The 12 Things you Need to Know about Impact Windows.