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What Is The Cost Per Square Foot For Impact Windows?

Impact windows are sometimes also referred to as hurricane windows and are essential for homes in certain parts of the US. Windows are usually the first thing to breach in a storm either due to projectiles or just the sheer force of the wind.

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What is the cost per square foot for impact windows?

Impact glass fitted to an existing window will cost up to $55 per square foot. This might seem a lot cheaper than buying a whole new window with a new frame and impact glazing but you may need to cover the cost of window repairs if you intend to keep the existing unit. It is important that the current window is totally weatherproof without any damaged tracks, seals or hardware otherwise it will simply compromise the impact glazing and prevent the window from doing its job properly.

What factors affect the cost of impact windows?

  • The choice of material for the frame
  • The type of glazing
  • The size of the windows
  • The number of windows in the installation
  • The brand or make of impact window
  • The size of window installation company
  • The condition of the existing frames if you are just going for a re-glaze
  • The disposal costs of the old windows
  • The cost of any necessary building permits
  • Your zip code – labor costs and material prices vary from state to state

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How do impact windows work?

Impact or hurricane windows are designed to resist the penetration of flying debris during a storm, protecting your home from wind infiltration and subsequent damage. To qualify as an impact product, each window must meet hurricane or wind-borne debris codes from an approved body.

You might want to install impact windows as replacements for your current units or you can install impact glass into an existing window frame.

Impact window material options

There are three main types of material available for impact window frames and these are:-

  • Aluminum – aluminum is strong yet lightweight, weather resistant and nice to look at. It is low maintenance and recyclable, but it will need to be painted.
  • Vinyl – vinyl is an excellent insulator with a high energy performance and reasonably low maintenance, it is also low cost compared to the alternatives.
  • Wood – wood frames are excellent insulators and offer both high energy performance and recyclability. However, timber is high maintenance and will rot or warp if not looked after.

What is the difference in frame costs for impact windows?

Impact windows made with wooden frames will cost anywhere from $175 to $400 each. Wood is a great insulator and will perform better than aluminum and vinyl alternatives.

Aluminum storm windows range from $90 to $275 each, they are the most affordable but do not offer much insulation and don’t have such a pleasing aesthetic effect as wood.

Vinyl frames for impact windows are approximately $100 to $300 each. Vinyl comes in a wide range of colors and is low maintenance.

Glazing choices for impact windows

There are two main choices for impact windows, laminated and insulated laminated. Laminated glass consists of two sheets of glass bonded together with a plastic film. Insulated laminated features an additional pane of glass added to a laminated unit with hermetically sealed air space in between. Insulated laminated glazing is commonly used in colder climates where the temperature difference is greater than fifty degrees between the inside of the house and the external environment during the winter.

Why are impact windows so essential?

According to the International Hurricane Protection Association, once winds penetrate a property then they can cause significant damage to the roof and the structure of the building. The wind causes a build-up of pressure which can devastate the house. Equally, wind can pick up debris and hurl it against the windows. Windows are the weakest point in your house.

What are the other benefits of impact windows?

  • Security – impact windows use laminated glass which has the added benefit of extra security for your home, deterring intruders and burglars
  • Lower energy costs – it’s possible to combine great energy efficiency with an impact window as there are many different glass options within this categorization. The best form of energy efficient window is one with insulated laminated glass with a LoE coating which will really maximize your energy savings
  • Lower insurance premiums – hurricane impact windows will nearly always lower your insurance premiums if your home is located in a recognized storm-prone area
  • UV ray reduction – laminated glass eliminates up to 99% UV ray damage to interior fabrics and furnishings
  • Longevity – impact windows by definition are designed to be much tougher than regular windows and so, storms aside, will last a lot longer than standard glazed units
  • Sound proofing – laminated glazing reduces the transmission of outside noise into the house
  • Better resale value – impact windows are considered an asset to a property and will uplift the value of your home

 Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have higher insurance premiums for my home in a storm-prone area if I don’t have impact windows installed?

More expensive insurance premiums are just one consequence of not having impact windows, there are others like higher noise levels and a lower resale value.

Is there a cheaper alternative to full impact windows?

Retrofit glazing to your current windows, this is one way of significantly lowering the cost but is only good value if your current window frames are in a decent state of repair. Another even cheaper option is to use hurricane window film which costs around $350 for 75 square feet of film and this amount will cover up to ten windows. You can install this yourself but if you hire a professional to do it then expect to pay $30-$65 per hour.

Are hurricane shutters better than impact windows?

Both impact windows and hurricane shutters will protect your home from debris damage during severe storms. Hurricane shutters are undoubtedly cheaper than full impact window replacement, but they will affect the look of the exterior of the house permanently which impact windows do not. There is also no set up time before a storm as impact windows are a permanent installation. Because impact windows are a permanent feature, the homeowner also gets the benefit of soundproofing and improved energy efficiency which are not offered by hurricane shutters. Impact windows are a big initial investment compared to hurricane shutters.

Will impact windows increase the value of my property?

Hurricane or impact windows offer an 80% Return on Investment or ROI and represent excellent value for money plus they are an attractive feature for potential purchasers in hurricane-prone areas with the added benefits of excellent energy efficiency, soundproofing and security.

Can I fit impact windows myself?

Most window installation is a pretty expert job however, if you are opting just for hurricane film then this is something that most people competent in DIY can fit. Windows require proper and professional installation otherwise this can void the manufacturer’s warranty.

How long does it take to install an impact window?

Assuming there are no hitches, it usually takes between one and two hours to fit a new impact window.