Impact Windows vs Non-Impact Windows

While living in Florida definitely has its advantages, there is one major disadvantage, hurricanes. The hurricane/tropical storm season runs from June 1 to November 30 every year, and no location in Florida is immune to its wrath.

When building a new home, renovating an existing home, or simply considering replacement windows, it is wise to consider the cost, safety, and added value benefits of installing impact windows.

Florida Building Code requires that storm panels be installed in every opening of the house. This means that every standard window in your home requires the installation of further protection such as shutters or storm panels in the event of a storm.

With that in mind, here are some points to consider:

Non-Impact Windows

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Pros

  • Can be less expensive, initially. Installation of a non-impact window plus storm panel averages around $375-$400 per window. Installation of a non-impact window with the addition of shutters can average $700-$750.
  • Panels prevent glass breakage. In the event of flying debris, a panel or shutter will, in most cases, prevent the window from breaking.

Cons

  • Must install storm panels or shutters. In the event of a hurricane warning the panels or shutters must be put in place.
  • Labor involved in installing panels. Installing panels is a difficult and time- consuming job in the wake of an oncoming storm.
  • Lack of light/visibility when installed. While blocking wind and debris, panels and shutters also block light and visibility.
  • Storage of panels. Panels must be stored in a dry place when not in use.
  • Must be present to install. Someone must be at the home in order to install the panels.

Impact windows

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Pros

  • Meets Florida Building Code requirements for safety. Impact windows meet or exceed requirements for withstanding wind, pressure, and flying debris.
  • Will protect home from wind/flying debris breach. Most damage is done to a home after a breach (broken window), allowing pressure, wind, and water to cause structural damage.
  • Superior Construction. Impact windows are constructed with two layers of tempered glass bonded to a shatter-proof membrane. If the outer glass is broken, it adheres to the membrane, disallowing breach. Frames are constructed of heavily reinforced aluminum.
  • Tested on 6 levels for ability to withstand hurricane conditions. Six rigorous tests are performed to ensure impact window construction will withstand wind, water, flying debris, and pressure in the worst conditions.
  • Adds value to home. Impact windows add significant value to your home and can essentially pay for themselves in added value in just a few years.
  • Saves on home insurance. Florida statute requires insurance companies to offer discounts to homeowners who have an effective storm protection system in place.
  • More energy-efficient overall. The design of impact windows not only protects your home during storm conditions, but also aids in heating and cooling.
  • 24 hour protection with no labor. With no panels to install or shutters to put in place, impact windows offer 24 hour, no-labor protection for your home.
  • Burglary protection. Construction of impact windows reduce the ability of a burglar to break in.
  • Noise reduction. Construction of windows significantly reduce noise from outside.
  • Aesthetically pleasing. Windows can be designed in many styles and tinted in several colors.

Cons

  • More expensive to install, initially. While impact windows average about $550-$600 to install, they save on labor and peace-of-mind.
  • Exterior glass may break on impact. In the event of flying debris, the exterior panel can be broken and will have to be replaced.

Installing certified impact windows will save time and money in the long run and ensure the safety of your home, possessions, and family. They will also add overall value to your home and save on homeowner’s insurance.

If you are considering new windows, contact us. Our experts will be happy to discuss window options, and help you choose the best windows for your needs and budget.

 

Five ways to change up your front door

Unless you bought your home from someone who was creative and design-oriented, you probably have a solid front door just like almost everyone else. Your front door is responsible for curb appeal and when you pull into your driveway, it’s one of the first things you see. It’s important to like what you see and therefore it may be time to make a chance.

Front doors can be changed in all sorts of fun and creative ways that allow your personality to shine through. You can still obtain all the privacy and security you want, but it will add some flair that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

#1 Dutch Door

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The Dutch door allows the door to swing open on the top, the bottom, or both. There are a lot of benefits to this, especially if you have a pet or kids. You can get your pizza from the delivery person without ever having to hold anyone or anything back. Doors can have glass on them or be completely solid.

#2 Art Glass

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A glass door is elegant, but you may want some designs incorporated into it. Art glass allows for a variety of shapes and designs to be integrated into the glass. You can choose frosted or stained glass designs as well. This can provide some color to your front door should you desire as well. It is a great option when you are the artistic type.

#3 Sidelites

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Have you ever seen those doors that seem to look so solid, but let in a little light? The sidelite doors are the perfect combination. They can add an attractive characteristic to a door without taking away from the overall look that you want to achieve. It’s your way of being unique while still maintaining the overall solidarity within the neighborhood.

#4 French Door

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A French door is a great way to let plenty of light into your foyer. The glass panes may be found throughout the entire length. You may want a particular pattern or aesthetic to how the panes are spaced down the door. Whether you want to go for a standard look or something unique, it can be done. A frosted glass can also be used so that you can have a higher level of privacy without having to worry about curtains.

#5 Iron Doors

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While a little more expensive, these doors are built to last. They won’t warp or split, and the darker color can be ideal for the look you are trying to achieve. Various glass panes can be found down the middle, providing you with an added piece of art to show off as curb appeal.

Regardless of what you choose, you can change the look of your home considerably with a new front door. You may want to choose a glass design so you can take advantage of natural lighting. If you find that the front of your home is too dark during the day, adding glass to your front door can be the perfect solution. In the end, you want to choose a design that matches your personality and the styling of your home.

For more information, contact us today to learn what can be done in your home.

6 window shapes you’re going to love

Windows can be virtually any size and shape you want them to be. It is time to make a dramatic change to your home, and there are some innovative window shapes that you are going to fall in love with. It is the perfect way to breathe new life into your home, and they are capable of providing you with some serious curb appeal, too.

Every shape is going to say something different about who you are and what kind of home you have. It is also possible to incorporate various shapes into your home design based upon the rooms that you want to have them installed.

Circular Windows

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Adding a circular window into your bathroom or a small bedroom can be fun. It will often provide the illusion of a porthole. When you want to create a marine or aquatic theme to a room, this is the shape to go for. It is generally a smaller window, but that is part of its appeal.

Narrow Rectangles

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There’s something sleek and modern about a long, slender rectangular window. It may go from ceiling to floor and let in plenty of light. You don’t even have to worry about adding drapes. The goal is to choose an angular line, and works great in kitchens and dining rooms. You may even want to put more than one on the same wall.

Arches

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From San Francisco row houses to the early Windsor homes of England, the arched window has been a favorite. It shows a significant amount of sophistication. One of the best parts about the arch is that it allows a lot of light to come into the room. You can choose to add curtains or keep it wide open.

The Pentagon

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A window in the shape of a pentagon immediately says that you think outside of the box. It’s not a very common window shape and this is all the more reason to consider it. The window may be a solid pentagon or have multiple panes, adding some character to it. These can be a great addition to living rooms as well as foyers.

Bay windows

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Bay windows have a bow to them, and generally consist of a square in the middle with two rectangles on either side. This is the best way to create a window seat in a living room or loft. It’s not something you see just anywhere, but when you have limited wall space and want to allow the sun to shine in, this can be a fun way to make it happen.

Semicircle

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This is a really fun design because it’s not seen that often. The semicircle is generally large, as in larger than the width of a king size headboard. As such, it’s a great addition to a bedroom to let in natural light. The semicircle has the ability to bring in a significant amount of character instantly, which is much of its appeal.

There’s no reason to go with a boring rectangular window if that’s not what you want. It’s your home and therefore you can have any design that you want. Homes around the world have uniquely shaped windows and this is what adds to the overall charm. Take the time to look at some of the homes in your area or even within architectural magazines to get some ideas. You may be surprised by what you find and what can be created within your own home. It is sure to create something beautiful, and can make the neighbors jealous in the process.

Find out more by contacting us today.

The 5 Best—and 5 Worst—Home Improvement Projects for Your Money

Before you get started on that family room addition, take a moment to consider its potential return. Each year, Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report provides a fascinating look at the percentage of a home improvement project’s costs that are likely to be recouped at resale.

Continue reading “The 5 Best—and 5 Worst—Home Improvement Projects for Your Money”