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Standard versus Impact Resistant Windows

The Florida Building Code demands the installation of either impact windows or hurricane shutters over every home opening with regular / standard glass windows and doors in order to meet the new requirements for hurricane protection.

The five major factors to consider
when choosing between standard glass windows and impact-resistant windows and doors:

  • Cost
  • Appearance
  • Convenience
  • Choosing the right product
  • Time involved securing your home

Replacing the existing standard windows and doors of your home is an important decision to make. They have a significant influence on a variety of items, including:

  • The interior temperature
  • The ventilation in the home
  • The ambient lighting
  • The overall appearance of your home

When the time comes for a window and door replacement, you need honest and educated advice. The Shield team will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the choices available to you today. One of the most important decisions you will be making is between:

· Standard-glass windows with hurricane shutters


· Impact-resistant windows that do not require shutter protection

What most hurricane shutter
companies don’t want you to know:

Most hurricane shutter companies are in the business to sell shutters, but are shutters the best choice to protect your family?

If your home was built before 1998, your windows and doors most likely do not meet the current code requirements. According to the new building codes, even on a non-impact window, the standard glass window or door must pass a wind-load test. This test demonstrates a door or window’s ability to withstand the changing wind pressures created by a hurricane. However, one thing to remember is that while these non-impact rated products may be able to withstand wind, they will not be able to withstand the impact of any wind-blown debris (such as flying coconuts, tree limbs and more), and therefore shutters are required to be installed over this type of window.

If you are considering a company that only sells hurricane shutters, storm panels, accordion shutters or roll up shutters, they will sell them to you no matter what kind of windows you may have. However, remember that their priority to just sell you shutters, and that is quite different from your desire to safely protect your family.

Keep in mind that in the event of a hurricane, shutters are not designed to hold back the incredible wind pressure that is being forced onto your windows or doors. They are only designed to resist the impact of debris.

During a Hurricane, Window and Door Breaches Are Devastating

Windows and doors play a crucial role in maintaining the building envelope of a structure – the structural integrity of your home. A broken window can easily be the trigger for a massive destruction of a structure, both inside and out, during sustained hurricane-force winds.

When high-speed winds have unfettered access to a home’s interior, they create a dramatic difference between inside and outside air pressures. When this occurs, the air pressures reach a critical stage, and the structural members holding the home together can be weakened. A devastating breach like this can affect the roof – one of the most wind-vulnerable sections – breaking it apart or losing it in its entirety.

The Shield Difference

At Shield Building Products, we specialize in superior safety-rated impact windows and doors. As part of our consultation, we check your existing windows and doors to determine if they meet the current code requirements, and then we will recommend the best product to meet the needs of your home as well as your budget.

Our team will gladly assist you and discuss in detail the advantages and disadvantages of both impact resistant doors and windows and standard windows. We want you to make the best and most informed decision when investing in the safety and security of your family.

Advantages of Impact (Laminated) Windows and Doors

Investment of Your Time and Long-Term Protection

The initial cost of purchasing and installing standard windows with storm panels may be less than that of impact-resistant windows and doors. However, the cost comparison can change dramatically over time, especially when you consider the time expended and the elevated stress levels you experience whenever you need to put up your storm panels – and then to take them down to store away – time after time. If you are like most Florida residents, you know that this can happen several times even during a single hurricane season!

If you combine hurricane accordion shutters or roll-up shutters with standard windows, those costs could well exceed the price of impact-resistant windows package.


Just knowing that you don’t need to rush back home if a storm is quickly approaching or rely on a good neighbor to shutter your home properly while you are away on vacation is something you can appreciate. You can feel safe in knowing that your home has non-stop protection from extreme weather and burglaries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Burglary Protection

With our large selection of windows and doors, you not only obtain hurricane protection, but you also shield yourself and your family against home burglaries.

Hurricane windows and doors are built with a special interlayer sealed in between two layers of glass that makes any attempted break-in nearly impossible. Therefore, many of our customers have installed impact windows and doors for that reason alone.

Insurance Premium Discounts

Impact windows and doors are effective hurricane protection systems recognized by many insurance companies.

If all of your home openings are protected with impact resistant windows and doors, as a policy-holder you could obtain up to 45% in premium discounts year over year. Check with your insurance company to discover what discounts may apply.

In a very short period of time, these savings, along with your reduction in heating and cooling costs, will effectively make up for the price difference between standard glass windows with shutters and impact glass windows.

UV Protection

Laminated glass provides 99% blockage of ultraviolet (UV) light, and this shielding protects your health (skin care) and irreplaceable valuables inside your home. Cherished family photos, furniture, valuable rugs, and even your flooring are protected from fading or discoloration that can occur with repeated exposure to the sun.

If you enjoy direct sunlight filling your home all year round, our wide selection of high impact windows and doors will act like sun-glasses for your homes’ interior as they will effectively block the damaging UV light without any noticeable light reduction.

Tremendous Noise Reduction

For homeowners who live near busy intersections, highways or noisy neighbors, installing our hurricane impact windows and doors has proven to be a highly effective way to reduce disturbing, exterior noises. Our client testimonials confirm that their impact-resistant glass windows and doors are great when it comes to blocking out any loud outside sounds that they prefer not to hear inside the privacy of their homes.

Proven Energy Efficiency

Our hurricane windows and doors are constructed of heavy-duty aluminum frames or reinforced vinyl frames with double glazing panes, which make them extremely energy efficient.

If you currently have any large single-glazed windows in your home, you may not realize how much heat or cold air is transferred from the outside to your home’s interior and vice-versa.

On the other hand, impact windows and doors will:

  • Have excellent insulating ratings
  • Help to isolate the interior spaces from the outdoor weather changes
  • Decrease the cost of your utility bills
  • Reduce your carbon footprint

Proven Quality

Since the 1940’s, laminated glass has been used in the production of front windshields for automobiles and aircrafts. No other impact product on the market today has had as much everyday wear-and-tear exposure.

Approved by the strict Miami-Dade County Building Code, our impact-resistant windows and doors are built to last and are designed to withstand the most extreme weather conditions known to frequent Florida, the Gulf Coast and the entire Caribbean.

Peace of Mind During Stormy Weather

One of the most depressing aspects of living in a shuttered home during a hurricane is the darkness that surrounds your family, especially when the power goes out.

Since our windows and doors don’t require additional light-blocking protection, when the sun comes out, you’ll know it.

Safety Features

Broken laminated glass is designed to stay intact. There is no risk of glass injury or flying debris entering your home that can occur with any standard window.

Rest assured, our impact resistant windows and doors are designed, built, and installed to protect you, your loved ones and your home.

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