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Should You Choose Hurricane Shutters Or Impact Windows?

In coastal areas where major storms and hurricanes can occur, special care must be provided to the windows on your home. Building code usually requires that you have either impact windows or hurricane shutters. The following guide can help you determine which one you should purchase.

Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are fitted over your existing windows to protect your home against wind, rain, and storm surge. The following are some of the major benefits of shutters:

  • Shutters can be retrofitted to almost any house, which means even older homes can have protection without the need for major remodeling or updating.

  • Retrofitting is often less expensive than replacing all the windows.

  • Depending on your home and the style of shutters, you may be able to install them yourself.

  • Shutters can also provide home security if you close them before leaving the house. This works well in vacation homes that are left empty for long periods of time.

There are some concerns with hurricane shutters as well. The primary concern is that storm pressure, which is the air pressure change that occurs due to the weather, can still cause the windows behind the storm shutters to crack or shatter. Another concern is time – it takes several minutes to close all the shutters, plus you must be home to do it. There are newer shutters that can be closed remotely, which helps alleviate this concern.

Impact windows

Impact windows are quickly becoming the standard in new construction, but you will still have to decide if they are the best option if you are retrofitting a home. The following are the main benefits of impact windows:

  • They are designed to handle storm pressure changes, so there is less chance of shattering.

  • Impact windows are providing protection at all times, so there is no need to rush home to close shutters.

  • You can still see outside during a storm.

  • Many impact windows also provide energy savings, since they are thicker and insulated. This helps to offset some of the installation costs.

Although a good choice for most, keep in mind that impact windows are often more expensive to install when compared to shutters. Otherwise, most homes benefit more from impact windows. If you are especially concerned, you can use a combination of impact windows with shutters over them. Simply close the shutters in the event of a major storm event.

For more help, contact a window contractor in your area and check out