Standard Windows Vs Impact Windows

Florida’s building codes require varying levels of wind and impact protection dependent on the region. Most require, at least, the use of hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows and doors.  Here at Guard Impact Window & Door, we know that each of our clients has unique needs, and that each home is different. Choosing between standard windows with hurricane shutters and impact windows and doors is an important decision. We’ll help you make the choice that’s right for your home or commercial property.

Design Differences

Impact windows consist of shatter-resistant glass housed in a heavy duty frame, typically aluminum. The glass in an impact window differs from that in a standard window due to the way in which its constructed.  Standard windows consist of a single layer of glass.  A pane of glass in an impact window, however, is constructed of two laminated layers of glass, between which is sandwiched a transparent, shatterproof membrane known as polyvinyl butyral (PVB). In the event that the outer glass breaks, it does not separate into shards and fall out of the frame. Instead, it adheres to the PVB layer.

The Pros and Cons of Standard vs. Impact Windows


Standard glass windows have a lower initial cost if one is considering only the window and its installation itself. However, depending on the types of storm panels or shutters installed to protect the standard glass windows, the costs can be comparable.

Storm Preparation Convenience

Impact windows win hands-down, when it comes to convenience in the event of a storm.  Not only is the home owner not required to go outdoors to install anything additional to prepare for the storm, they need not even be present to storm-proof their windows.

Protection Against Intruders

Single glaze standard glass provides next to no protection against home intrusion on its own. But impact windows and doors provide greatly increased protection against burglars.

Access to Natural Light

During a severe storm or hurricane, it is not unusual for there to be power outages.  Storm shutters over standard glass prevent you from taking advantage of sunlight. Even when winds die down, there is too much time and risk involved to remove the shutters if they may need to be quickly replaced.

On the other hand, impact windows allow you a view of the outdoors and access to natural light, even during the storm.  This may seem like a small advantage, unless you have been confined in a pitch-black house with your family during a hurricane.  Natural light helps you conserve your resources, and it’s also a major morale booster.

Storage and Appearance

If you have standard glass windows, you must take into consideration the need to store storm panels or shutters, or (in the case of permanent shutters) accept their often less than preferable appearance.  Impact windows don’t require you to compromise on the appearance of your home — Guard windows come in a wide variety of types, colors, and styles. Nor do you have to maintain storage for additional panels or shutters.

Contact us today for a free estimate on your window installation project.