A hurricane impact window, sliding glass door on the back patio of a South Florida home.

With so many different manufacturers and individual hurricane window options available, choosing the best hurricane impact window can sometimes be confusing.

When a hurricane impact window salesperson comes to your house, they are going to try and sell you on whatever impact window they distribute. How can you tell which Impact Window is best for you?

Here are three main points that you should research, and we will provide some insight into these points later in this article.

  1. Research the manufacturer and their impact windows
  2. Research the company

Research the manufacturer and their best hurricane impact windows

Make sure to research the impact windows you are considering before purchasing. Make sure to keep in mind the strength of the window, the style of the window, and the different features it provides.

Take note of the features they offer

It is essential to know which features your hurricane windows provide by default and offer at additional costs, depending on your home location and your particular wants and needs; some options, products, and even manufacturers might provide a better deal. 

How changes to the hurricane impact window industry affected consumers decisions

The impact of the window industry has changed drastically in 2021; as supply chain issues continue to worsen, the price of aluminum skyrockets. 

Because of the drastic changes to the costs of aluminum and how parts are shipped from around the world, PGT and CGI, at one time, the most well-known and best-selling brand of impact windows, have started to lose ground as more affordable and more feature-rich products are now quicker for hurricane window companies to get.

PGT and CGI’s timelines for delivering hurricane windows as increased to over six months from the order date, while manufacturers such as ES Windows timelines have been left, for the most part, largely unaffected. This is because companies such as PGT and CGI do not make their aluminum extrusions; they are a middleman who deals with other manufacturers for their extrusions. As timelines continue to increase for PGT and CGI, Floridians are more open to looking for alternatives that would allow them to get hurricane protection before hurricane season starts up. ES Windows has become the most popular choice for impact windows as they offer more options and features that other companies offer at a premium, for free; such as Kynar coating, reinforced aluminum with higher positive and negative pressure, gray or bronze tint is included with Low-E windows, as well as free screens for all windows and sliders. Also, ES Windows is now one of the quickest manufacturers to ship out their windows.

Here are some questions you should ask your hurricane window company about;

Does this manufacturer charge extra for Kynar, Dynar, or Durastar coating?

Kynar, Dynar, and Durastar coating offers additional protection from rust and oxidation damage. If you are within three miles of the ocean, this is an essential addon.

Does this manufacturer charge extra for Gray or Bronze tint?

These tints will help you save money on energy costs as they reduce the amount of heat coming into your home in the form of solar radiation by around 10%. Also, they can help to give you a bit more privacy as they make it a bit harder for onlookers to look into your home.

Does this manufacturer charge extra for obscured glass?

Obscured glass, such as frosted glass, raindrop glass, or other patterned glass, can give you a bit more privacy. Typically obscured glass is used for bathrooms or any areas in your home where you have block windows already installed.

Are window screens included in the price, or are they offered for an additional fee?

Some products and manufacturers may charge an additional fee for window screens. It’s essential to take note of any additional charges so that you can make an informed decision.

Impact Window Strength

It’s important to understand that all impact windows approved by HVHZ and Miami-Dade are all tested under the same conditions and will protect your home.  

The positive and negative pressure of the window typically determines the strength of the window. The minimum positive/negative pressure of a hurricane impact window is -50/+50. The higher the positive/negative pressure, the stronger the hurricane window will be. 

Impact Window Styles

It’s essential to look at the options offered by other window manufacturers and the different products they offer. While all hurricane window manufacturers typically offer;

  • Single-Hung Windows
  • Horizontal-Rolling Windows
  • Fixed Windows
  • Architectural Windows
  • Casement Windows

Other manufactures may have a much more extensive selection of decorative windows, hurricane sliding doors, and French doors. Knowing all of your options will allow you to pick the right windows for you.

Research the hurricane window company

Impact Window Company ratings and reviews

Before making your decision, look up the company you want to work with on Google and Angies’ List to make sure you will be working with a reputable company with ample experience helping customers protect their homes. For this reason, look for companies with a rating over 4.5 stars with over 100 reviews only. 

Has the Hurricane Impact Window Company Done work in your neighborhood before?

Having a friend or neighbor who has had hurricane impact windows installed by the company you want to work with can be an excellent opportunity for you to check out the quality of their work and speak with them about their own experience with the hurricane window company.

How many manufacturers does the hurricane window company work with?

Companies that offer a more comprehensive selection of hurricane impact brands are typically able to provide you with more options at better prices. 

The main reasons we carry six different manufacturers hurricane windows are;

  • Some manufacturers offer specials and discounts at different times of the year, and we can pass those savings onto our customers.
  • Some manufacturers offer certain features that other brands charge extra for, completely free. 
  • Depending on your wants and needs, one manufacturer may charge significantly less for the particular type of hurricane impact window that you want. Having more options available to you allows you to have more opportunities to save.

Be aware of additional charges

Different companies may offer some services completely free of charge, while others may charge you a significant amount to provide the same service. It’s essential to ask the company if they offer the following services and whether they will be included in the price or added to your bill as an additional charge.

Some companies will lower the price of their windows to seem cheaper than their competition and then hit their customers with significant service charges, making them much more expensive than their competition.

A hurricane impact window being inspected.

Is the hurricane impact window company going to remove your old hurricane protection system? Is it included in the cost?

You will typically come across four different scenarios/policies for hurricane protection removal.

  • Some hurricane protection companies will not provide a hurricane protection removal service or filling or patching holes from your previous hurricane protection system.
  • Some companies will charge you for removing your old hurricane protection system and filling and patching the holes.
  • Some companies may not charge you for removal but will charge you to fill and patch the holes left by your hurricane shutters. 
  • Some hurricane impact window companies will include removing your old storm protection system and filling and patching holes in your walls free of charge. 

It’s essential to keep these small things in mind because these extra fees can significantly differ from the price you give you at the beginning of the quote and the price you receive after the work is complete.

Are replacing bucks with pressure-treated wood included, or is it offered at an additional fee?

When replacing traditional windows with impact windows, a hurricane shutter company will have to replace the bucks (a border of wood that surrounds your windows, which are typically 2 inches thick) with pressure-treated wood bucks (which are 3 inches wide.) 

We use 3-inch thick, pressure-treated bucks because the bucks must be at least the same size as the frame of the impact windows. Impact windows are tested with 3-inch, pressure-treated bucks, and without using these bucks, we cannot be confident that the impact window will perform as well as it did during testing.

If the hurricane impact window company does not offer this service, it would be best to deal with another company. 

If the company charges extra for this service, keep note of that charge and compare the price of this service with other hurricane impact window companies to get a more accurate total quote cost.

Are they going to take the debris and previous windows off your property during and after installation?

Please make sure the hurricane impact window company you work with also minds their mess. Ask if the company removes their waste and disposes of your previous windows. 

If they do, ask them if they offer this service for free or subject to an additional fee. Make sure to note any additional charges, mark them down in your quote, and include this in your decision-making process.

Ask if the company offers extended warranties

  • Some companies will only offer the factory warranty that the manufacturer provides.
  • Some companies will offer additional warranties that are far more inclusive and will do more to protect your investment over time for an additional fee.
  • Some companies will offer additional warranties that are included in the cost of the product.

Knowing the company’s warranty policies will allow you to make a more informed decision and be able to understand which company truly provides the best deal.

Key takeaways

  • All windows are going to protect your home. Positive/negative pressure is the best indicator of strength.
  • Get a couple of estimates from different companies and check the companies’ reviews.
  • See if the company did any work in your neighborhood.
  • Check to see if the hurricane impact window company works with multiple window manufacturers.
  • Assured carries multiple manufacturers’ windows because different manufacturers run different specials throughout the year, allowing us to pass on better savings to our customers.
  • See what options each company provides as free additions and paid additions.
  • The industry has changed drastically in 2021 due to supply chain issues and rising prices of aluminum. Always ask for time-frames for specific windows and window options.
  • ES Windows has become one of the most popular brands, as PGT and CGI have increased their prices and their time range for delivery significantly.
  • ES Windows also offers features that PGT and CGI charge 10-20% more for, completely free of charge.
  • Check the positive/negative pressure of the window; it typically determines the overall strength of the window.
  • Does the window offer Kynar/Dynar/Durastar coating for rust prevention?
  • Is the price of gray tint, bronze tint, or obscured/frosted glass included, or is it an additional cost?
  • Does the window or slider come with screens, or is it offered at an additional cost?
  • Is the cost of removing and patching the holes of your old hurricane protection system included in the price, or is it offered at an additional cost?
  • When replacing new impact windows, and you need to replace the bucks with pressure-treated wood, is that included in the price, or is it offered at an additional fee?
  • Are they going to take all debris and windows off of your property during the installation? Is that included in your price, or is that offered at an additional fee for a container?
  • What is the factory warranty, and are there any options to purchase an extended warranty?

If you have any questions on impact windows, feel free to contact us, or see some of our other content on hurricane impact windows. Get a free quote, no commitment, no hassle.

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