Top Benefits of Hurricane Impact Doors vs. Shutters

Top Benefits of Hurricane Impact Doors vs. Shutters


Impact Windows vs. Shutters – Which is Best for You?

Protecting your family in a storm is essential, and among the best ways to ensure broken windows and doors are not a problem is to install impact doors and windows or their alternative, shutters. Legislation in Florida makes it a breach of the Building Code not to have some form of impact protection fitted, and this legislation was strengthened further after the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the devastating storm of 2005.

Following we look at the benefits and drawbacks of each, and we’ll finish with a brief conclusion.

Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors

Hurricane impact windows and doors are designed to withstand the forces presented by a hurricane, with many being resistant up to category 5. This means they can stay intact in the face of flying debris, ice or hail, in winds of up to 158mph or, as some claim, up to 200mph.

Although thought of as a very modern item, the origins of impact glass go back to the early part of the 20th century – 1901, in fact – when the concept was first discovered quite by accident. A glass flask coated in another material was dropped on the floor and did not shatter, sparking the idea in the mind of those present. The belief this sort of glass is a modern invention stems from legislation following Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that changed the building codes in Florida to help protect against hurricane damage.

The design of the windows and doors is such that they can be hit with a heavy hammer and still not crack. They work by way of strengthening layers between the glass that provide added resilience over that provided by standard toughened glass. Impact windows and doors are popular in Florida and other storm-prone locations.


Shutters are the go-to solution for many homeowners in Florida and other areas where hurricanes are expected. They do the job by acting as a supplementary protection for doors and windows, being closed and secured across them when a storm is imminent. Shutters do a good job of keeping windows intact and have been doing so for many years, are easy to use and cost-effective.

They have been around for many decades with very little change in terms of design and function and remain a popular choice. Shutters have evolved over the years to become more prevalent as metal designs than as wood, as this provides added protection and wears less quickly. Let’s have a look at the benefits and risks involved in installing each.

Benefits of Installing Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors

  • Lower insurance costs: installing impact windows will lower the cost of your home insurance thanks to their efficiency
  • Safety: the main purpose of impact windows and doors is to safeguard the home and those in it during severe storms, and serve this purpose well
  • Noise reduction: impact windows will vastly reduce the noise in the home caused by passing traffic and other outdoor factors
  • Security: intruders will find impact windows and doors impossible to breach
  • Energy efficiency: as they provide insulation by nature the windows and doors will reduce your energy expenditure
  • Added value: having impact doors and windows installed will add value to the home.

Risks in Installing Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors

  • Added cost: hurricane impact windows and doors are not cheap and will cost a lot more than fitting shutters. An average door, for example, is around $1000.
  • Not DIY: installing impact windows and doors is a job for the professionals, so there is the extra cost of fitting to factor in
  • Will take up to 9 weeks for impact doors and windows to be made ready for fitting.

Benefits of Installing Shutters

  • Traditional choice: shutters are the traditional choice for American homes and many people may wish to remain with this style of protection
  • Reduced insurance: as with the above, there will be a reduction in home insurance costs when installing shutters
  • Ease of use: shutters are opened and closed when needed or not with ease
  • Cheap: shutters are not expensive and are easy to fit

Risks in Installing Shutters

  • Not attractive: in all but a few cases shutters are far from attractive when open or closed
  • No added value: shutters are not a fixed part so will not add value to your home when you come to sell
  • Not infallible: in a severe storm you may find shutters do not perform as you would expect them to.

graphic explains pros and cons of impact windows and shutters

Ask Yourself These Questions

The following questions may help you make a decision as to whether hurricane windows are preferable to shutters on your home:

  1. Is it time to upgrade my windows and doors to impact windows, or do I remain as we are?
  2. What extra value will fitting impact doors and windows add to my property and is the investment worth making?
  3. How are my current shutters or impact windows performing in the storm season and do I need to improve my protection?

The above will give you an idea of where you stand currently in terms of storm protection for your property. Are hurricane impact windows and doors the right move for you, or should you simply upgrade to newer, more effective shutters? Let’s see if we can sum this up.


Living in Florida has many perks, not least the wonderful weather, superb beaches and vibrant towns and cities, but there is that other side to the local climate, the hurricane season. There is no doubt that protection is necessary but which route do you go down? Do you choose the simple, traditional and quick to fit – let alone cheap – option of shutters? Or do you equip your home with efficient, modern and stylish hurricane impact windows and doors, making it the house everyone envies in the neighborhood as well as the best protected in severe storms? We recommend you check out hurricane impact windows and see what the many benefits are and get protected for the coming season.