Hurricane Windows Cost & Prices for Installation
South Florida homeowners located in the high-velocity hurricane zones like Miami-Dade and Broward understand the need to replace their old windows with impact windows in order to keep their homes protected during hurricane season. The first step for many people looking to do a window replacement is a good understanding of what the total project cost for new windows might be and how this price is impacted by the installation cost, window brand, different frame materials and additional features window companies offer on their products.
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Factors in Calculating Hurricane Windows Cost
There are many factors that determine the final cost of a hurricane window project. The most important factors are:
- the square footage of the window,
- where on the home’s exterior it is being installed,
- the material used in the frame,
- and the type of glass chosen.
Following is a more detailed review of how these factors contribute to the project’s final cost.
Overview of Hurricane Window Prices
The average price of hurricane-resistant windows with installation in Miami for most normal-sized openings and including wood bucks with minor stucco repair is between $1000- $1400 per window. For example, a normal Miami home with 10 windows ranging between 12 and 18 square feet in size would cost around $12,000 to $16,800 plus permit fees. This is assuming standard aluminum framed windows with 7/16″ glass and a basic tint.
Installation costs will vary depending on the experience of the installer. The above pricing assumes a quality installer with delivery and passing all the necessary inspection processes. It also assumes a mix of common window styles.
Understanding of how a window’s style affects the cost per window will help a homeowner choose what windows they might want to use in different parts of their house. For the most part, horizontal rolling and single hung sliding window styles are very close in price to each other.
Fixed hurricane windows are generally cheaper because they have no hardware or moving parts that add to the material costs of the manufacturer. However, one exception is the case of very large, fixed windows which require reinforced, thicker glass in order to meet the code requirements.
There is a type of fixed window called casement windows. These are comparable in price to a normal picture window but they have a thicker frame so they tend to go for a 5 to 10% premium. They are designed to look like operable casement windows which open with a crank and swing out like a door panel. Operable casement windows are the most expensive style of window because they have extra hardware and moving parts. Typically, an operable casement impact window will cost 30% more than a single hung window of the same size.
Window Size and Shape
It is not surprising that a hurricane windows cost is directly related to its size. However, it might be surprising to know that the shape affects the window cost as well. Custom shapes know as Architectural windows with curved frames and angled extrusions can often be more expensive by as much as 40% when compared to a simple rectangle picture window the same square footage.
As previously mentioned, oversized windows with a large surface area of glass require an upgrade to thicker SGP glass in order to maintain strength. Thicker SGP glass can add 20% to a unit’s cost.
Type of Window Frame Material Used
Window and door frame material can influence average cost as well. The most common material used is aluminum for the frames due to its strength and resistance to corrosion.
Recently, windows frames made from PVC have become increasingly popular due to the ability of the material to block heat transfer and resist degradation due to mold and moisture. Storm windows with vinyl frames routinely cost 20 to 30% more than aluminum windows not only because of the material, but because of they are paired with more expensive insulated impact glass with LoE in order to maximize energy efficiency and save on energy costs.
Steel frame impact windows are also an option for homeowners. Due to the properties of steel, however, it is not the preferred material for use in the wet climate of Miami or Broward. Steel oxidizes easily; for this reason, steel windows require a special coating and high-quality paint which adds to their material cost significantly.
Best Hurricane Window Brands and Costs
Many people want to know what the best impact window brand is for the money. There are many different manufacturers from which a homeowner can choose. The more well known and established companies have different product lines that are available for purchase. This variety allows for a homeowner to get a custom solution in order to balance value and performance.
Some well-known and established companies are ES Windows, Marvin, Mr. Glass and the PGT/CGI/Eco family of window products.
Hurricane Impact Windows Cost Per Square Foot
The cost per square foot for materials and installation will vary greatly based on the considerations discussed. This calculation is usually used more often in the commercial side of the impact windows business. Exterior storm windows are usually priced by the square foot for both materials and installation. Due to the large sizes and, therefore, heavier windows with reinforcements, the price per square ft for these hurricane impact windows is around $120-$140 per square foot.
New Construction vs. Replacement Installation Cost
Commercial and new construction prices can vary slightly from the cost of replacement hurricane windows for a single-family home. The main reason can be found in the installation costs associated with each type of project. Generally, a window installation in a residential home requires additional work in order to make sure the final product is as close to the existing finish as possible. There is also the removal of old windows which can damage the exterior stucco and interior plaster, adding to the cost of installation.
In some cases, the residential home was built before current codes were in place and modifications are needed to bring the opening structurally up to code in order to anchor the new windows.
In new construction projects, the openings are being built up to current codes so all that is needed are the bucks and perhaps the exterior caulking once the final stucco is applied to the exterior.
For many commercial projects, window installation companies will work alongside GCs in order to complete the project together, minimizing the window company’s scope of work.
Additional Hurricane Impact Window Features and Costs
Glass Treatments On Hurricane Windows
Impact window prices can vary greatly based on specific features of the window especially the glass. Energy efficient windows require a tint or special coating to decrease light from entering through the window. Basic tinting on clear hurricane windows will increase the cost by roughly 2-3%.
Many homeowners opt for a hurricane window film known as Loe 366 which filters harmful frequencies of light while allowing as much light as possible to enter. Tints can have the tendency to darken a home while LoE 366 cuts out the glare and UV only. This LoE product can add roughly 8-10% to the over impact windows cost.
Paint Quality And Aluminum Frames
Not all impact windows are the same when it comes to how the aluminum frame extrusions are painted. Powdercoat quality is rated by the AAMA as either 2603,2604 or 2605. Inexpensive products will use 2603 paint to save money but this will result in a visible deterioration of the look in the exterior window’s frame due to sun and rain damage. This will be visible in only a few years after replacement windows are installed.
Standard Paint Quality Minimum Recommended
Most quality manufacturers are using 2604 as a standard finish. It is recommended that homeowners use this level of quality at a minimum in order to withstand the Miami elements. The paint coat is slower to chalk.
High Quality Paint
For as much as a 30% premium cost to the standard 2604 finish, Kynar or Duranar paint coatings are an option. Both rated 2605, these paint coatings are recommended near the coast or for those homeowners who want the longest lasting, highest quality paint coat available.
How to Save Money on Hurricane Windows Cost
The best way to save money on the cost of a windows and doors project is to start from the beginning and figure out what is the ultimate goal. For some homeowners, the look of exterior windows is the primary focus so they can increase a home’s aesthetic value. Other homeowners want to get insurance benefits and energy cost savings but can’t afford or do not want to spend a lot of money to achieve this.
Get A Quality Consultation From A Reputable Company
It is important to consider up-front cost and monthly savings as well as payment options. Ask an ASP Windows and Doors consultant for advice. Our specialists are trained to design a custom solution for each unique home and family based on their goals.
Tempered Glass Vs. Laminated Glass
Heat-strengthened laminated glass is the preferred option for impact windows although it will cost roughly 10-15% more than annealed impact glass.
Tempered glass is glass that is heated in order to strengthen it. If such a process is followed when creating impact laminated glass, the result is a stronger product that is resistant to stress cracks.
For an even stronger product, SGP glass can be used, usually for an additional 10-15 % upcharge per window.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Apart from what has already been covered, there are some additional items included in an impact window cost estimates that should be considered. Installers with more experience and a higher skill level demand premium pay for their services. Delivery of windows to the job site is also included in most estimates.
If plaster or stucco repair is needed, this might or might not be included in estimates. Minor opening adjustments like threshold height adjustment or reinforcement come at an additional cost as well.
If the homeowner has protective bars or hurricane shutters, there will be an additional fee for removal of these items as well as the necessary stucco repair. Most impact window installation companies will not include paint so this is an additional cost a buyer should consider if there is extensive stucco repair necessary.
What Are the Benefits of Installing Impact Windows in Miami?
There are many benefits to installing impact windows Miami or Broward. These include savings on monthly/yearly insurance and energy costs, an increase in property value, noise reduction, improved home security, improved aesthetic appeal and, most importantly, protection from a hurricane or tropical storm damage.
For a more detailed description of the benefits, here is a useful article.
Do I Need to Install Hurricane Windows?
Current code requirements in hurricane zones are that replacement windows must either be impact rated or nonimpact rated with hurricane shutters installed. While its technically not required to install exterior impact resistant windows, standard windows that are non-impact combined with shutters do not provide the same level of aesthetic improvement, energy efficiency or increase in property value. They have the added inconvenience of having to be closed and opened when a storm comes.
Improved Home Security
It is very difficult to break through impact windows. Even when they are cracked, they will continue to protect the home as they form a “spider web” that keeps the shattered pieces together. In many cases, the thief will bypass homes with impact windows because the effort is simply not worth the reward.
Exterior Noise Reduction and the Cost
While it is true that impact windows will reduce exterior noise, the level of improvement is sometimes overstated. In order to achieve the maximum level of noise reduction hurricane windows can offer, a homeowner would need to upgrade to Vinyl impact windows with insulated impact glass which are 25-30% more than basic aluminum window frame products with a standard tint.
Questions to Ask About Hurricane Windows Installation:
There are many important questions to ask when getting cost estimates from storm window installation companies.
- How many years have you been in business?
- What type of product and manufacturer are you recommending? What is the warranty on their product?
- Are you fully licensed and insured?
- What is your GC number?
- What is included in my estimate? What is not included?
- What options do I have as far as window styles for particular openings?
- How long will the whole process take? How long will the installation take?
Should I install hurricane windows if I don’t live in a place that gets hurricanes?
This is really up to the homeowner. While impact windows do have additional benefits, it is not necessary to pay the much higher premium for impact windows unless if a homeowner does want them. It is ultimately up to the individual homeowner to decide if the added cost is worth the added benefits impact windows will provide to them in their region.
Hurricane Windows Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Installing hurricane windows requires a high level of skill including detailed measuring, product knowledge and carpentry. There are also specialized tools needed to ensure windows are installed correctly. In addition, installing hurricane proof windows requires a license and permits so it is not recommended as a DIY project for most homeowners.
Are there any drawbacks to installing hurricane windows?
Apart from the expense, there are no real drawbacks to this home improvement. The only one to be considered is if there is damage to the impact glass of a particular window. In order to fix this, the cost can be around 1/3 to 1/2 for materials and labor to reglaze a new piece of glass.
Are hurricane windows better than shutters?
Hurricane windows are better than shutters in many ways. Shutters are often difficult to open and close due to the corrosion of the metal over time or due to their location on the home particularly if they are located on the second floor.
They are unsightly, decreasing the home’s aesthetic value and appeal. Their Florida Building Code Approvals often expire meaning the homeowner can no longer get the mitigation insurance discount.
Finally, during storm conditions, the house is completely dark offering the homeowner no visible light or a view of the exterior for hours or even days before or after severe storms have hit the area.
Increased Energy Efficiency?
Vinyl hurricane windows with insulated impact glass and LoE 366 offer the maximum energy efficiency by blocking both heat transfer through the unit and the heat caused by visible light. Despite their higher cost, their higher price is partially mitigated by the lower energy usage in the home.
Do hurricane impact windows increase home value?
A Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine claims a window replacement project with high-quality vinyl windows has a return of 73.4%. While it is likely that his varies, the review shows that money invested in a window project has one of the highest ROR of any other home improvement.