Impact windows can protect your home against damage from strong winds or attempted break-ins.
You might have considered installing them to replace your existing standard windows, or perhaps you want to replace your older or damaged impact windows.
Either way, it’s worth finding out exactly what can affect your impact window replacement costs.
What Are Impact Windows?
Impact windows are also known as impact-resistant or hurricane windows. They consist of heavy-duty frames and laminated glass. The glass is set into the frames with a special silicone glazing process, which stops the glass breaking away from the frame.
Before impact windows were available for homes, they were mainly used in the automotive industry. After 1992, when Hurricane Andrew struck Florida and caused around $25 billion in damage, they became widely used in home construction.
One of the biggest reasons to install these tough and powerful replacement windows is to maintain your home’s structural integrity in a heavy storm. Windows that are blown out cause air pressure changes in a building – which can make it collapse completely!
Impact windows will also help to protect your home against dangerous flying glass, water, intrusive objects, and people. They can also improve your energy efficiency.
Impact-resistant glass is available in any style of window you can think of; such as single hung, casement, awning and French windows – and different kinds of doors as well.
The frames are made of the usual materials – vinyl, wood, steel or aluminum. However, they’re designed to be sturdier than standard window frames. Steel and aluminum are the most expensive options, and can considerably raise your impact window replacement costs.
Impact glass is made of two panes of glass bonded together with a layer of clear vinyl-based material or resin. Although the glass will still break on heavy impact, the inner layer holds the shards in place and prevents them flying off.
Impact Window Replacement Advantages and Disadvantages
If you’re thinking about replacing your windows with impact-resistant styles, or fixing damaged windows, the following advantages and disadvantages can help you make your decision.
- Impact windows are designed to withstand very strong winds of up to 200mph (a category 5 hurricane).
- They will not shatter dangerously if struck heavily.
- Impact-resistant windows help to keep your home’s structural integrity in a heavy storm.
- Having hurricane windows can reduce your homeowners’ insurance by as much as 45%.
- Impact window glass can provide sound insulation.
- Impact-resistant window coating can protect your home interior from up to 99% of UV rays.
- Impact window replacement costs can be several thousand dollars, depending on the number and size of windows.
- If you don’t have severe storms in your area, cost of impact window replacements might not be worth the investment.
- Some types of impact-resistant glass can turn yellow over time.
- Visibility through the windows can be slightly reduced for styles with very thick glass.
Impact-Resistant Window Cost Factors
Impact-resistant or hurricane window costs can be daunting for most homeowners. They depend on the style and size you need, and whether you want the Bentley or the Jeep Cherokee of windows!
The glass you pick can also affect the price of your project. You can pick from a few different laminate options:
A film of PVB (polyvinyl butyral) or EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) sandwiched between two layers of glass is the most common type of hurricane-resistant window. This is the same technology that is used to make shatterproof car windshields.
Another option is SentryGlas Plus (SGP), which uses a different kind of polymer material instead of PVB or EVA. This glass is lighter, stronger, and less susceptible to yellowing over time. They are mostly used in commercial buildings, especially those who need bomb- or bullet-proof glass, but are also available for home use.
“Why impact windows, and not tempered glass windows?” is a question that some homeowners might ask. The answer is that tempered glass will break apart on impact. They won’t shatter into dangerous shards like normal glass, but they’ll leave a space in your wall that can cause building collapse.
There is a fairly large range of impact window replacement prices, but here is a brief overview to give you an idea of the costs involved.
|Price per window
|Average per sq/f
|Average labor per hour
|$40 - $55
|$60 - $135
So should you install impact-resistant windows, or concentrate on shuttering or boarding your windows if there’s a hurricane warning? Impact windows will take the pressure off you so you won’t have to take days off work before a storm to protect your windows. Impact windows offer year-round protection.
While impact window replacement costs can be intimidating, they’re a significant investment into your property. And you can’t put a price on the peace of mind you get from protecting your home and family against the elements.