Standard vs. Impact Windows

Should You Consider the Impact Window Option?

Deciding whether to change the existing windows of a house is an important decision to make since windows have a significant influence on the ventilation, interior temperature and lighting of a house. Equally important, replacing windows is a major investment that makes a tremendous impact on the house's architectural identity. Therefore, when it is time for a window facelift, homeowners need the honest advice from a professional window company that can explain the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives available to them. One of the most important decision is to make a choice between purchasing standard-glass windows with hurricane shutters and installing impact-resistant windows that do not require shutter protection.

Differentiating Factors

Cost, convenience, appearance and time commitment are the four major differentiating factors to consider when choosing between standard-glass and impact-resistant windows. With regular, standard-glass windows, the Florida Building Code demands the installation of storm panels in every house opening in order to provide for hurricane protection. The combined initial cost of purchasing and installing standard windows with shutters is less than buying and installing impact-resistant windows. However, the cost comparison can change substantially over time if we factor the time commitment for installing and uninstalling storm panels every time there is a hurricane warning, especially if mounted panels are used. Astor Windows and Doors can assist you weighting between these two alternatives and discuss in detailed the following advantages and disadvantages of these two options.

Standard Glass Windows with Storm Panels
  • More affordable initial costs
  • No glass replacement after an impact
  • Time commitment to install and uninstall
  • Appearance
  • Inconvenience - must be present to secure house
  • No noise reduction
  • Storage requirement
  • Lack of visibility and lighting when installed
Impact Windows and Doors
  • 24-HR hurricane protection
  • No time commitment to install and uninstall
  • Great appearance
  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Increased burglary protection
  • Improved UV reduction that turns into electrical consumption savings
  • No storage requirement
  • Higher upfront costs
  • Exterior glass panel might break if impacted


Installation Screw Size Comparison
On this video you can see at a glance why existing windows and doors were not designed to withstand a hurricane. Just take a look at the sizes of the screws that were used and the method of attachment to the substrate.