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Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters: The Pros and Cons

As a South Florida-based company, LockTight Impact Windows and Doors is no stranger to the devastating hurricanes that reak havoc each year. Florida residents understand the urgency when learning about a new storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean. Once this news breaks, homeowners are frantic trying to gather supplies and essentials to protect their homes. Water and canned food fly off the shelf and sandbags and plywood are scarce. However, one of the most well-known forms of hurricane protection is hurricane shutters.   

On the other hand, there are a large number of Florida locals that are a little more prepared during hurricane season. Instead of rushing out to board their windows and doors, they are sitting back and relaxing. This is because they made the investment to add impact windows and doors to their homes. The question remains, impact windows vs hurricane shutters, which one is better?

Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane Shutter Pros 

Hurricane shutters have been used for centuries to protect windows from the intense winds and debris that occur during a hurricane. There are several types of hurricane shutters to choose from. Some are completely opaque, leaving your home dark. Whereas there are options that are transparent allowing you to watch the storm as it passes. 

Generally speaking, your standard hurricane shutter is made out of metal (aluminum or steel). These are the opaque option that does not allow you to look out whatsoever. However, if you choose a transparent option it is made out of polycarbonate. These all vary in price but commonly hurricane shutters range between $10 – $50 per square foot.

Some of the other options for shutters are:

  • Automatic roll-down shutters ($20-$30 per square foot)
  • Accordion shutters ($15-$25 per square foot)
  • Bahama shutters ($15-$25 per square foot)
  • Colonial shutters ($200-$500 per window)
  • Storm panel shutters ($7-$15 per panel)

Hurricane Shutter Cons

Although $10 – $50 per square foot does not sound like a lot, an entire project ranges from a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Not to mention, hurricane shutters should be serviced at least twice a year depending on the hurricane trajectory. Although this can be a small fix, it takes more and more money out of your pocket year-round. 

Hurricane winds can reach up to 150 mph and shutters can completely be ripped from the foundation of your home. Thus, leaving you with more damage and problems to fix. When you have the style of hurricane shutters you have to put up and take down yourself this is extremely time-consuming. 

For first-time installs, measuring each window to purchase the right fit can take hours. Once you have your shutters it is a guessing game whether you want to spend the hours of labor putting up your shutters if the storm is only going to break up before making landfall. 

Furthermore, although one of the pros of hurricane shutters is the affordability compared to installing impact windows, this comes at a cost. Hurricane shutters provide less functionality and protection, resulting in the cost-efficient pro, also being a con. 

Impact Windows Pros

Impact windows offer more protection compared to any other hurricane protection on the market. Each window is manufactured with laminated glass. The laminated glass includes a thin interlayer between two or more layers of standard glass. This offers more layers of protection when being struck by debris. When struck, the glass is designed to form a “spider” pattern that prevents the threat of shards of glass flying into your home. 

Not only can impact glass withstand hurricane-force winds up to 200 mph, but they add extra security for your home from break-ins, offer noise reduction, as well as UV protection. Harmful UV rays can make a large impact on the integrity of the inside of your home, as well as your belongings that are near windows. Unlike hurricane shutters, impact glass filters the UV rays without completely leaving you in the dark. 

When choosing impact windows it is a one-time installation eliminating the last-minute run around trying to get your hurricane shutters up before the storm. Impact windows also add value to your home while saving you money on your homeowner’s insurance. Homebuyers are more inclined to purchase a home that has impact windows rather than cumbersome, and unattractive shutters. 

Impact Windows Cons

One of the only cons of hurricane impact windows is that they are a large investment and can be costly. However, there are many ways this con can be turned into a pro. Impact windows may be pricey but they can increase your home’s value, making you more money when ready to sell. 

They can also save you money on your energy bill each month. The impact glass helps by reducing the amount of heat and cold air that enters and escapes your home as it tends to do with traditional windows. Switching over to impact windows can save you between 20 – 30% on your energy bill each month. 

Thus, turning the only con of impact windows into a pro in the long run. 

Choose LockTight Impact Windows and Doors

If you are in the market for impact windows and doors contact LockTight. Their 50+ years of experience sets them apart from other companies. At LockTight, we work with the best manufacturers to deliver you quality products with quick and efficient service. 

At LockTight we offer:

  • Zero down, 100% financing 
  • No payments for 1 year
  • Valuable warranties
  • Windows as low as $99 per month

No more wasting time preparing and planning. When a storm is forecasted to make landfall, sit back and relax because you’re protected. 

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