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Cost Analysis: Impact Windows vs. Shutters & Plywood

Have you ever been stuck in the throes of a tempestuous tropical storm, looking out your window at the turbulent winds and hurtling objects? Now imagine that same scenario but without any worry because you’ve taken action to protect your home. That’s what we’re talking about today: how does the cost of impact window installation compare to other storm protection measures, such as shutters or plywood?

In this informative journey into safeguarding our homes from Mother Nature’s fury, we’ll explore various fortification options available. From hurricane windows designed to withstand gale-force winds to affordable yet robust plywood alternatives – each choice has its pros and cons.

You might ask yourself – “Why should I even bother?” Well, protecting your house isn’t just about physical safety; it also affects insurance premiums and property value. And don’t forget peace of mind during hurricane season!


Understanding Storm Protection Measures

The role of storm protection measures in safeguarding your home against extreme weather cannot be understated. Impact windows, for instance, have been a reliable shield since the early 20th century.

In comparison to standard window glass, impact-resistant windows are designed to withstand flying debris and hurricane force winds up to 200 mph. These resistant windows provide not just security but also energy efficiency which is crucial in tropical storms or south Florida’s severe weather conditions.

Another common protective measure is the use of hurricane shutters. Available in several styles like accordion shutters, roll-down shutters or panel hurricane shutters, these coverings protect vulnerable window areas from damage during storms. Some homeowners prefer Bahama hurricane shutters for their dual functionality as both sun shades and storm shields.

Plywood may seem an odd choice when discussing storm protection measures, but it’s often used as an affordable option by many homeowners due to its availability and ease of installation. But remember, while plywood can offer some resistance against wind pressure and light debris during mild hurricanes, it does not match up with dedicated products like impact-resistant windows or approved hurricane shutter systems when facing the intense forces exerted by major hurricanes.


Comparing Cost Factors

The cost of impact window installation is often a top concern for homeowners seeking storm protection. But how does it stack up against other measures like shutters or plywood?

Hurricane shutters may appear to be the cheaper choice at first glance. However, when considering value over time, impact windows start to shine.

Average costs can be misleading due to variations in quality and size. A better way to compare might be by average cost per square foot. On this scale, regular windows with added storm shutters can end up costing more than installing all impact-resistant ones from the get-go.


An Investment Worth Making?

Although initially pricier than alternatives such as roll-down or accordion hurricane shutters, impact windows offer long-term benefits that help justify their higher upfront cost.

This type of window not only provides superior protection during severe weather but also enhances your home’s energy efficiency and security year-round—a claim few other options can make.


Pricing Details: Impact Windows vs Hurricane Shutters

In terms of specific figures? Well, you could expect to pay between $40 – $55 per square foot on average for high-quality impact-resistant glass. Comparatively speaking though – the expense is worth every penny if peace-of-mind during hurricane season holds any value.


Plywood as a Storm Protection Measure

While plywood might not be the first material that comes to mind for storm protection, it has served many Florida homes well during hurricane seasons. An affordable option compared to other methods like high impact windows, plywood can offer substantial resistance against flying debris.

The use of plywood is often seen in storm panel and fabric screen setups. As part of a more traditional approach, these provide some level of defense but fall short when compared with modern solutions such as accordion or roll-down hurricane shutters.


Efficiency vs Cost

A square foot of standard window glass covered by plywood could cost significantly less than installing an impact-resistant window. But there’s more to consider here than just upfront costs – you need to factor in the time and effort needed every season to install these makeshift protections.

Plus, unlike permanent fixtures like Bahama hurricane shutters or roll-up shutters, plywood doesn’t add any aesthetic value, nor does it enhance your home’s security outside the storm season.


Potential Limitations

No doubt, plywood offers an economical solution. However, it lacks when facing severe weather conditions synonymous with South Florida hurricanes – notably high-speed winds and torrential rainfalls which can cause significant damage even through double pane windows. Hurricane Irma was one clear example where simply boarding up didn’t quite cut it.

Window with storm shutters

Benefits and Costs of Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are a practical solution for those seeking affordable storm protection. Different types of hurricane shutters offer distinct advantages and drawbacks.


The Variety of Hurricane Shutters

Accordion hurricane shutters, as their name suggests, fold like an accordion. They’re permanently mounted to your home’s sides and are easily deployed when storms loom on the horizon.

Bahama hurricane shutters give a tropical aesthetic while offering reliable defense against harsh weather conditions. Meanwhile, roll-down hurricane shutters provide top-notch security but may cost more due to their automated mechanism.

No matter what style you choose, these shutters protect windows from flying debris during high winds without breaking the bank. On average, they can be significantly less expensive than impact-resistant windows; however, this depends on several factors such as size and installation complexity.

In fact, homeowners often find that installing regular non-impact windows coupled with sturdy hurricane shutters provides comparable protection at a fraction of the price.

Note: While effective against wind-blown debris and rain intrusion during hurricanes or severe storms, it is important to understand that not all shutter types will meet stringent Florida Building Code requirements for large missile impact rating – an essential consideration if considering them solely for window protection purposes.


Impact Windows vs. Hurricane Shutters

If you’re living in Florida, facing the wrath of hurricane force winds is not uncommon. But what’s your best defense? Let’s compare impact windows and hurricane shutters to see which offers better protection.


Which Offers Better Protection?

Impact windows, designed with an internal laminate structure, can resist hurricane winds blowing up to 200 mph. They provide more than just wind resistance; they also protect from flying debris that could cause severe damage to your household interior.

Hurricane shutters, on the other hand, are installed outside your regular windows as an additional layer of storm protection. However, unlike impact-resistant windows that stay put all year round offering constant security, shutters need installation each time a storm approaches – kind of like suiting up for battle.

But don’t let this fool you into thinking one clearly outweighs the other because both have their unique benefits depending on specific situations or preferences.

  • Cost: Impact windows cost more upfront but may save money in long term insurance premiums and potential repair costs after storms compared to standard windows.
  • Mantenimiento: While maintaining roll-down or accordion shutters might feel like tending a high-maintenance garden plant sometimes; cleaning impact-resistant glass is no different than any standard double pane window glass.
  • Estética: Some people find the permanently mounted Bahama hurricane shutters add a charming tropical vibe to their homes, while others prefer the clean and unobtrusive look of impact windows.


So, whether you’re team Impact Windows or team Hurricane Shutters, both offer robust storm protection measures. Your choice might just come down to balancing cost considerations with aesthetic preferences.

Woman looking through her open window

Long-Term Cost Considerations

When choosing between impact windows and other storm protection measures, it’s crucial to consider long-term costs. These can include insurance premiums, potential storm damage repairs, or the need for a battery backup system during hurricane season.

The initial investment in impact-resistant windows might seem steep compared to standard window options. But keep this in mind: homes with these high-grade installations often enjoy lower insurance premiums because of their superior resilience against hurricanes and tropical storms.

In contrast, while hurricane shutters may be less expensive upfront than installing new windows altogether, they could lead to higher expenses in future. This is due largely to recurring maintenance needs and possible damage from severe weather conditions. And let’s not forget about those tense moments when you’re wrestling with panels or roll-downs as a major storm approaches – talk about stress.

Now think about plywood; an affordable option indeed but only provides minimal protection. Plus, there’s the hassle of installation every time a storm threatens your area – that’s valuable time lost.

Last but not least are potential repair costs after a hurricane hits. Homes equipped with regular windows or even just shutters run higher risks of experiencing significant damage during Florida’s notorious hurricane seasons, which ultimately translates into more out-of-pocket expenses for homeowners.


Factors Affecting Cost of Impact Window Installation

The cost to install impact-resistant windows can vary greatly, with factors such as the quality of materials and local building codes playing significant roles.

First off, let’s tackle material quality. Higher-grade materials tend to come at a greater expense.

Impact resistant glass used in hurricane impact windows is made from two sheets of tempered glass bonded together by a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). This construction gives them the ability to withstand high-force winds and flying debris during tropical storms or hurricanes. But not all impact-rated glasses are created equal. The thickness and type of glass (double pane vs single), frame material (aluminum vs vinyl), and even the manufacturer can affect both performance y price.

Moving on to another key player: Florida’s building codes. If you’re living in South Florida where hurricanes are frequent, these codes dictate that your home needs storm protection measures up-to-code; this includes installing approved hurricane-impact windows if necessary.

A stringent interpretation of these rules might increase installation costs due to extra labor or additional components needed for compliance. So, when getting a free estimate for window replacement, it’s crucial to ask whether the quoted price considers potential changes due to building code requirements.


FAQs: Cost Analysis: Impact Windows vs. Shutters & Plywood

Are hurricane shutters cheaper than impact windows?

Yes, typically hurricane shutters cost less upfront compared to impact windows. But remember, long-term costs like maintenance and insurance may vary.

Are impact windows more expensive?

Indeed, the initial investment for installing impact windows is usually higher. However, they offer robust protection and potential savings on energy bills and insurance premiums.

Which is better: impact windows or shutters?

The “better” choice depends on your specific needs. Impact windows provide greater storm protection and energy efficiency but at a higher price point while shutters are a more affordable alternative.

Are impact windows or storm panels very expensive?

In comparison with standard window options, both can seem costly initially due to their enhanced durability features. Yet considering the peace of mind during storm season plus long-term benefits like lower insurance rates – it’s worth every penny.



Armed with the knowledge of storm protection measures, you are now better prepared to brave any weather. How does the cost of impact window installation compare to other storm protection measures, such as shutters or plywood? It varies greatly depending on factors like material quality and local building codes.

You’ve discovered that while hurricane windows offer excellent protection, they come with higher costs. However, affordable options like plywood provide decent shielding against storms too, if you’re okay with re-installing it before and after every storm.

Choosing between different types of hurricane shutters is no longer a puzzle for you – be it accordion-style or roll-downs; each has its pros and cons.

Now armed with knowledge about long-term considerations such as insurance premiums and potential repair costs from storm damage, making an informed decision just got easier!

The road to securing your home may seem daunting initially but remember: every step towards fortification is one away from disaster. So, start planning today because Mother Nature waits for no one!

Contact Window Replacement Group for all your impact window installations and maintenance!



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