19 12, 2020

Top 10 Reasons to replace your old windows with Impact Windows.

By |2020-12-19T16:55:19+00:00December 19, 2020|Impact Windows|

  1. Impact Windows, also known as Hurricane Windows, provide turnkey protection against major storms.

Hurricane or Impact Windows main function is to provide protection from wind, water and wind born debris in the event of a storm. Impact-resistant glazing, also known as hurricane windows, are windows that have been tested for wind loads and wind-borne debris. Broward, Coastal Palm Beach and Miami-Dade are located in a High Velocity Wind Zone and Impact Windows must meet the most stringent testing requirements. Impact windows are laminated glass consisting of two or more clear panes of glass bonded together with a clear plastic-like film (usually polyvinyl butyral) sandwich between the two panes. If cracked or broken the glass fragments will adhere to the plastic interlayer preventing water, wind or debris from entering the home. Impact windows generally have heavier frames than regular residential windows. If a storm does threaten, your home is hurricane ready with no worry about hanging up plywood or putting up hurricane shutters.

2. Impact Windows provide a tremendous return on investment.

Are impact windows and doors worth the cost? In South Florida there is no doubt you will instantly receive a nice return on your investment. When it comes time to sell your home having new impact windows will return on average 70 to 77 percent of the cost. Replacing older windows is always listed in the top 10 for the best ROI by real estate and remodeling websites.

3. You may save money on your homeowners insurance

South Florida has the highest homeowners insurance rates in the state. Windstorm coverage is a special type of property-casualty insurance that protects policyholders from property damage caused by hurricanes and tornados.  Adding impact windows and impact doors, along with an impact garage door can provide a substantial discount on the wind mitigation portion of your policy.

4. Adding impact windows will be a great selling point when you decide to leave your home.

A common real estate adage says “kitchens sell houses”, however a mid-range kitchen remodel will have an ROI of only 59 percent. In hurricane prone South Florida, outdated windows and doors that require you to hang up shutters when a storm approaches will often deter buyers who are looking for safety and security. Buyers will most certainly request a credit for new windows. Moreover, before you sell your home you will get to enjoy turnkey storm protection, energy efficiency, better sound proofing and tremendous curb appeal. Having impact windows is a great selling point and can help you get top dollar when it comes time to sell your home.

5. Additional security.

Not only do you get protection from storms, but thieves know that it is virtually impossible to break through hurricane windows. Breaking and entering through a window is one of the primary ways thieves gain entrance to your home.  Once a thief sees that you have impact widows they will often move on to find a home that is an easier target. 

6. Adding Impact Windows will give your home amazing curb appeal.

Windows making up on average 35 percent of the exterior of any home.  Replacing your tired looking and non-functioning windows with new impact windows will give your home an updated and fresh look. 

7. There are special financing options that can make replacement impact widows an affordable option.

GM – Doors, Window and Screen offers financing options to qualified property owners to make energy efficiency and wind resistance improvement and repairs through Ygrene’s Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program. Here is how it works – property owners can get up to 100% financing based upon available home equity, ability to pay, along with other factors. The funding is repaid through an assessment included on the annual property tax bill. Wind resistant improvements include wind-rated / hurricane resistant windows, doors and storm shutters. The PACE program is not based upon credit score, pays the contractor directly, stretches payments out over terms up to 30 years and is at a fixed interest rate.

8. New Impact Windows will help reduce your energy bills. 

Old windows often leak air causing your air conditioner to continuously run driving up your energy costs. New impact windows will keep your home air tight. Radiant energy from the sun is another way windows transfer heat.  You can opt for tinted windows that will provide greater energy efficiency by reducing radiant heat. 

9. Adding a tint to new impact windows will reduce Ultra Violet (UV) light that causes items in your home to fade.     

The inner filling of new impact windows can be ordered in various color tints to help reduce UV damage. UV light from the sun over time does plenty of damage to the contents of your home – including artwork, furniture, wood floors, carpets and home furnishing.  

10. Impact windows significantly reduce outside noise.

Because of their thickness Impact Windows provide insulation from the amount of outside sounds coming into the home. You will immediately notice the peace and quiet provided by new impact windows.  

GM – Door, Window & Screen is a family owned and operated business operating since 1968 that specializes in impact replacement windows and doors.  With our own in-house installation team we provide the finest products and will work within your budget.  Give us a call for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.  

8 08, 2022

Reducing the cost of your Homeowner’s Insurance in South Florida

By |2022-08-08T19:25:24+00:00August 8, 2022|Door Category, Homeowner Insurance Savings, Impact Windows|

Impact windows and doors can help you mitigate the high cost of home insurance.

https://www.gmdoorwindowandscreen.com/impact-doors.htmlHome improvements that mitigate potential storm damage to your home are one of the best ways to reduce your homeowner’s insurance cost. In 2022 the cost of homeowner’s insurance has gone up dramatically. The average price for homeowner’s insurance for a $300,000 home is $9,700 in Broward County, $11,400 in Miami-Dade, and $8,600 in Palm Beach County.   Adding impact windows, and doors, including your garage door, will help you reduce your insurance cost. It should be noted to receive those discounts, all exterior openings on the home must be protected with impact-rated products.  

Aside from reducing your insurance cost by making these upgrades, you will benefit from energy savings, added security, and a reduction in outside noise. Adding impact products to your home will also benefit you when it comes time to sell your property.   You can ask for top dollar, and your home will spend a shorter time on the market once these improvements are completed.   Finally, adding new windows and doors can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal.

If you want to replace your old windows and exterior doors, call the pros at GM- Door, Window & Screen. We offer quality and great value. Selecting replacement windows and a perfect front door can be overwhelming, but our expert staff will guide you through the process. From choosing the ideal style for your home to your final installation, we walk you through the entire process. At GM, we have our in-house team of installation professionals who will ensure the job is done correctly.   We are family-owned and operated and have been in business since 1968. Give us a call for a Free Estimate – (954) 797-0797. 

14 07, 2022

Special Savings for Window and Door Replacement in Florida

By |2022-08-08T19:26:40+00:00July 14, 2022|Uncategorized|

If you have been looking at replacing your old windows and doors with impact-rated products, now is a great time. The State of Florida enacted a bill offering a temporary Home Hardening Tax Exemption program for 2-year starting July 1, 2022. This means you will pay no sales tax on impact-resistant doors and windows replacement. The sales tax savings applies to both residential and commercial properties.  

Impact Window and Door Installation
Sliding impact door installation.

Homeowners and businesses who take advantage of the tax-free program will save not only on the cost of installation of impact windows and doors but will be eligible to save on their insurance premiums by having an inspector provide wind-mitigation certificates on the upgrades.

The State of Florida is reacting to increased insurance costs by offering this tax relief savings to encourage home hardening upgrades to protect their home and businesses in the event of a storm. By making these upgrades and getting a wind mitigation inspection, you can significantly reduce your insurance cost. 

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Revenue.    GM Door, Window & Screen is a family-owned and operated business. GM has been servicing South Florida since 1968. We are experts at installing impact windows and doors. GM has its own in-house installation teams. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.     

13 06, 2022

How Condo Associations and HOA’s look at Window and Door Replacement

By |2022-06-13T13:31:56+00:00June 13, 2022|Condominium Window Replacement, Door Category, Hurricane Shutters, Hurricane Windows, Impact Windows, Screen Enclosures|

If you live in a Condominium or have a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), there are usually strict rules about making improvements to the outside of your home or unit.  As hurricane season rolls around each year, you might be looking at replacing your old windows, entrance doors, or sliding glass doors with hurricane-rated products. Here are some guidelines that you should understand before making any home improvements to the exterior of your unit or home, and who might be responsible for payment. These questions always depend on the restrictions outlined in the unit owner’s association’s declaration.   

How do Condo Associations and HOAs look at Window and Door Replacement?

Generally, there are private and shared elements to a condominium or HOA.   It is as if you bought a private home and shared interest in the common spaces. The community’s declaration defines the shared elements, broken down into common elements and limited common elements. A common element is normally defined as all parts of the condominium or community other than the units. A limited common area is a common element that is restricted for the exclusive use of one or more but less than all of the unit owners. Limited common elements may include things directly connected to individual condominiums, such as entrance doors, windows, and balconies.   Maintenance, repair, and replacement of a limited common element in a condominium is usually the association’s responsibility, except to the extent the declaration shifts that duty to the unit owner. In an HOA, the homeowner is almost always responsible for window and door replacement. 

For some condominiums, the condo association may decide to replace all exterior doors, windows, and/or sliding glass doors to maintain a consistent aesthetic of the property. The association would cover the cost and would likely require a vote and an assessment, if needed, to cover the cost.   Having all impact-rated products throughout the building will likely reduce insurance costs and help offset the expense. Again, the unit owner’s association’s declaration will determine if that would be the case. 

Condominium Associations and HOA Approvals for Window and Door Replacement?

If the unit owner is responsible for window or door replacement, they will need written approval to replace their entrance doors, windows, and sliding glass doors. This includes submitting plans and a building permit from your local municipality. Your contractor will help you with this process. In addition, the contractor most likely must be approved by the association to do work on the property. Also, the contractor must adhere to the condominiums or HOA’s rules, such as hours and days in which the work can be performed.   The association will often have regulations about the color and style of entrance doors or windows you may select for replacement. They may also mandate specific products or manufacturers be used for replacement purposes to maintain a consistent look to the community. 

Read your Condo or HOA”s declaration carefully to make sure you understand all the rules and get all the needed approvals for your window and door replacements.

What to look for in a contractor to satisfy your Condo Association and HOA?

Many condo associations and HOA’s require that contractors be properly licensed and insured as part of the approval process for architectural review. Often contractors must submit a written proposal describing the scope of work to be performed and work schedule prior to commencement of the work. As applicable, the plans must be certified by a registered architect and/or engineer and must state all work that shall be performed in accordance with the State of Florida in addition to any applicable municipality’s building codes. And the answer is “yes” to the question “Do I need a building permit to replace my windows and exterior doors?” In addition, the association and/or manager must approve all contractors and project submissions.   The contractor will be responsible for removing all construction debris, and deliveries are only permitted during authorized hours. 

You must work with your contractor to read and follow your association’s declaration to ensure the work goes smoothly.  

Call the pros at GM- Door, Window & Screen. We are licensed and insured and have been in business since 1968. Having done thousands of window and door installations over the years, we have already dealt with many condo and homeowner associations. We are well-versed in following all the rules and regulations associated with window and entrance door replacement in condominiums and units within an HOA. Our expert staff will guide you through the process. We have our own in-house team of installation professionals who will ensure the job is done right.   GM- Door, Window & Screen is family-owned and operated. Give us a call for a Free Estimate – (954) 797-0797. 

24 05, 2022

The 2022 Hurricane Season Forecast

By |2022-05-24T18:17:38+00:00May 24, 2022|Hurricane Shutters, Hurricane Windows, Impact Windows|

Once again, NOAA predicts an above-average 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season.   An ongoing La Niña, which creates favorable wind conditions and warmer waters in the Atlantic, set the stage for another active hurricane season. There are predicted to be 14-21 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes with 3-6 major hurricanes.   Colorado State University, another nationalized recognized source for extended range forecast, predicts 19 storms compared to an average of 14.4 storms from 1991-2020.   Due to supply chain issues, now is the time to order impact windows before a storm strikes. Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.   Call GM-Doors, Windows & Screen for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797. We are a family-run business with our own in-house installation team that has been in business since 1968.   Gm offers only the finest products and will work within your budget to make your home safe in the event a storm threatens.   

17 05, 2022

Sliding Glass Door and Patio Door Replacement

By |2022-05-17T18:25:48+00:00May 17, 2022|Door Category|

You typically have two door replacement options for an outside patio or pool deck, a hinged door option, or a door that slides on a track.   Sliding patio doors are the best option when space is a premium, but hinged doors, also known as French doors, have a spectacular look that is hard to match.  

The harsh environment and time take a toll in South Florida, making it necessary to replace your patio or sliding glass doors every 15 to 20 years. However, with proper upkeep, you can extend the life of your doors. This includes cleaning and lubricating the doors on a regular schedule. 

When it comes time to replace your patio or sliding glass door, the Florida building code requires all structures’ openings to be fitted with an impact-rated product or coverings like storm shutters.

Hinged Patio Doors, also known as French Patio Doors

French doors are a classic patio door option, and here is what you should look for when selecting and installing an impact-rated French patio door.  

All exterior doors must open outward and have a multi-point lock in the case of the French doors. Aside from the typical centrally located deadbolt lock, two perimeter bolts are located at the top and bottom of the door. A multi-point lock adds additional stability and security. Some multi-point locks are engaged operated by lifting the door handle and are locked in place by turning the key or interior thumb turn. For others, you manually flip a latch at the top and bottom of the door to engage the pins that lock the door.

The glass on French doors should be multi-layered, impact-rated glass. There are two panes of glass that sandwich an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral film. While the glass might shatter on impact, the interior film will keep the door from failing, preventing the outside elements from breaching the home’s interior.    

As far as style is concerned, a French door with a single pane of impact glass gives the home a more modern contemporary look, but you can also choose between multiple grill patterns to match your home’s architectural style.  

Sliding Glass Doors

Many homes have sliding glass doors because of ease of use and affordability. Since the door does not swing open, a sliding glass door creates more usable space. They are also great for letting in tons of natural light and providing a great view of the outside. 

If you have a large deck or patio, choosing a multi-slide patio door is an option. The panels stack as you slide the door open, giving the homeowner a large open space to the outdoors.      

In South Florida, you should select a sliding glass door with impact glass that has been manufactured to meet your local municipality’s building code. Broward, Miami- Dade, and the coast of Palm Beach are located in a High-Velocity Wind Zone.   This means doors and windows must all be impact tested to meet Miami-Dade Building Codes, the most stringent in the nation.  

Patio Door Security

Patio doors are one of the main access points for thieves to enter your home. Usually, these doors are located away from onlookers’ view, making them prime targets for thieves. Multi-point locks and impact glass make it virtually impossible for thieves to breach an impact-rated French door. Sliding glass doors with impact glass and blocking bars will also keep your home safe from intruders.   Thieves will often move on to easier targets when encountering an impact-rated door.  

Tinted Glass

Many people choose to have their French Door or Patio Door glass tinted. Tinting will help reduce the heat and block damaging UV rays. UV rays will, over time, fade carpet, furniture, and artwork. Manufacturers often offer various tint options to complement your home’s style and color scheme.  

Do I need a permit to replace an exterior door?

And the answer is Yes, to the question, “Do I need a permit to replace an exterior patio or sliding glass door?” The inspector will verify the door is properly rated and is appropriately installed following the manufacturer’s specifications.  

Replacing your doors and windows will give your home a tremendous facelift. Count on the experts of GM – Door, Window & Screen to do the job right. We are family-owned and operated, and the company has been in business since 1968.   We have our own in-house installation teams. Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797. 

10 05, 2022

Ideas to Improve your Home Office

By |2022-05-10T14:13:26+00:00May 10, 2022|Impact Windows|

Today many people are in a work-at-home situation. Most likely, you put together your home office with what you had available to make it work. But if you are working at home permanently, it might be time to take a hard look at your home office setup.

Dedicated workspace

If you have the space convert a spare bedroom into an office, or if you need a shared space, make your office the primary focus of the room. If you are working at home full time, you must have an area primarily dedicated to this purpose.  

Desk

If you are at the kitchen table or any makeshift desk, it is time to look at an actual desk that will fit your workspace. It would help if you also considered an adjustable desk that allows you to raise the desk to work in a standing position. An adjustable desk is especially beneficial for those who have back problems and work at a computer all day.  

If kids are your spouse are also going to use the space, consider a partner desk setup where two people can simultaneously work at the same desk.

New Windows

Everyone enjoys having a nice view from their office. Old, tired windows that obscure your view can make the room look dark and uninviting. Upgrading your windows can make a big difference in your work environment and change the room’s energy.   New windows with expansive panes of glass can let the outside in and provides tons of natural light. It would help if you also considered changing your windows to  impact windows with multiple benefits. In South Florida, protecting your home in the event of a hurricane and now your office is paramount. Plus, there is an added benefit that impact windows significantly reduce distracting outside noise. Impact windows are also a significant deterrent to thieves, who often access the home by breaking a window. Breaking through impact glass is virtually impossible with impact windows. With new windows, you might want to invest in some new landscaping to improve your view. 

Consider who else might use the office

If you have clients or co-workers visiting, you need to consider seating. This could include table space if you have enough room.   Pick your furniture accordingly.  

Desk Chair

Proper support is imperative when selecting a desk chair. Borrowing a chair from the dining area is not the best choice for seating when working long hours at your home office desk. Selecting an ergonomic chair with adjustable height, a 360-degree swivel base, adjustable backrest and armrest, and built-in lumbar support is critical. 

Monitor Placement

No person is the same, so you might have to experience different setups for your monitor and keyboard. Ideally, everything should be set up, so your spine remains in a neutral position. The monitor should be at least 20 inches away, and your eyes should be looking slightly down when viewing.   If you wear bifocals, you should tip the screen back so you are not tilting your head to focus. 

Storage

You most likely need office supplies and paperwork storage even in this digital age.   Depending on your needs, you need to provide additional cabinet space, or you can even get plastic bins to store away all your office supplies. This will help you feel more organized and keep your work environment tidy. 

Wires and Cords

Even with wi-fi, you will have power cords and cables to deal with within your home office. Many cord management systems are available, from simple twist ties to more elaborate designs.   Most important is to have cord covers to deal with cords that might be in the path of where someone will walk. You may also need to invest in a wi-fi extender or even a wi-fi mesh system to ensure a strong internet connection. 

Lighting

Good lighting is needed to prevent eye strain that can cause fatigue and headaches. Let in as much natural light as possible. Indirect light is also better as it causes less glare.  

Invest in yourself

Setting up a proper home work setup is an investment in yourself. Not only will your mode improve, and you will be more productive, but you can prevent back problems and headaches that are brought on by things like eye strain.  

Having a great view from your home office is priceless.
16 03, 2022

How long will it take before my new impact windows are installed?

By |2022-03-16T16:45:09+00:00March 16, 2022|Uncategorized|

Professional installation is critical when it comes to getting replacement windows installed.

If you plan to replace your old leaky windows with hurricane impact windows these days, you need to plan ahead.   In the past, you could expect to have your windows installed in 4 to 8 weeks once the contract has been signed and the deposit received, but those lead times are now 16 to 20 weeks.   Supply chain issues have affected many parts of our everyday lives, which is also true for windows, so it is vital to act quickly.  

New windows are part of a complex environment of raw materials, components, manufacturing, and labor that all come together to form the end product.   Glass, resin, and vinyl are all in short supply due to hurricanes impacting chemical plants and refineries along the gulf coast.   In addition, the slowdown of foreign supply lines that provide some of the raw materials needed to produce windows has also contributed to delays. This, coupled with strong demand and labor shortages, prevent the plants from operating at full capacity.  

Replacement windows are custom manufactured and ordered for the exact specification of your home, so it is not possible to buy a prefabricated product for installation off the shelf.  

Since product delays impact all window companies, you should deal with a company that has been in business a long while, has roots in the community, and has expert installation.   Family-owned and operated, GM – Door, Window, and Screen has been around since 1968. Call us at (954) 797-0797 for a free estimate.

9 03, 2022

New Windows and Doors can Completely Change the Look of Your Home

By |2022-03-09T14:15:43+00:00March 9, 2022|Door Category, Impact Windows|

Replacing your old, poorly functioning sliding glass doors with impact rated sliding glass door will not only make your home look great, but give you piece of mind in the event a storm threatens.

Replacing your windows and entrance doors are home improvement projects that can dramatically improve the look of your home.  The before and after transformation will be dramatic for both the exterior and interior of the house, plus you will receive many additional benefits when you change out your windows and entrance doors. 

One of the main concerns is the high cost of window and door replacement, but no worries.  Fortunately, replacing your windows and doors has one of the highest returns on investment when you decide to sell your home.  Window and entrance door replacement both fell into the top 10 of cost recouped when it came time to sell in 2021. 

If your windows and entrance door are 15 to 20 years old, they most likely make your home look dated, plus they are likely beginning to fail.  As a home settles, weather and sun all begin to take their toll, windows and doors begin not to function properly.  Windows start to leak air, and in worse cases, water may be getting into your home through a leaky window.  The same thing could be happening with your entrance door.  If this happens, you should have a consultation with a window and door professional who can show you many options that will fit your budget.  

There are many styles to choose from, and you can select windows and doors that will best fit your home’s architectural style.   Popular today is a clean contemporary look with very little in terms of divided lights.  These huge glass windows let in dramatically more light, brightening the home’s interior.  To complement the windows, homeowners are choosing contemporary glass entrance doors.  One type of glass entrance door has an opaque film sandwiched between two panes of glass that block people from looking into the home but allows a flood of light.  A client who recently installed an opaque glass front door commented they had to check them several times the first few days, thinking they had left the door wide open because there was so much light coming into their previously dark foyer.   

In South Florida, when it is time to replace your windows and doors, it is recommended that you select impacted-rated windows and entrance doors, also known as hurricane windows and doors.  This way, you will always be ready if a storm threatens.   Nothing ruins a summer vacation than if a storm suddenly pops up and you have to worry about securing your home.  With impact windows and doors, your home is secure 100 percent of the time.  In addition, not only are you secure from hurricanes, but thieves most often gain entrance to a home by breaking a window or door.  That is almost impossible when you have an impact-rated product, and thieves will move on to select an easier target.       

Repainting your home can give your home a facelift, but if you have old windows and an old entrance door, you will not get the effect you desire.  Windows and the entrance door make up a large portion of the home’s exterior.   Replacing your windows and doors will give your home instant curb appeal.  Using impact-rated products will help you get a premium price for your home when it is time to sell.  Plus, your home will likely sit less time on the market as buyers will look favorably on homes with already installed impact windows and doors.  

GM – Door, Window & Screen is a family-owned and operated business operating since 1968 that specializes in impact replacement windows and doors.  With our in-house installation team, we provide the finest products and will work within your budget.  Give us a call for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.  

11 01, 2022

When should I replace my windows and doors?

By |2022-01-11T15:15:41+00:00January 11, 2022|Uncategorized|

New impact windows and doors will add tremendous curb appeal to your home.

In South Florida, windows and doors should last from 10 to 25 years before you start seeing issues.  The life span of windows of doors depends on the materials utilized and the quality of the installation.  Salt air, using inferior products, lack of maintenance, and poor installation can all lower the life expectancy of your windows and doors.  

 You should regularly inspect and maintain your windows and doors, which can extend their life expectancy.   Every six months and more, if you live near the ocean, you should clean your windows, doors, and sliding glass doors.  Maintenance includes cleaning and washing your windows and doors, checking for proper operation, and clearing the tracks of dirt and debris.

Cleaning the window and sliding glass door’s window tracks is especially important to ensure smooth operation.   The first thing you should do is use a vacuum or shop vac to remove the debris.  Next, spray a mild household cleaner and wipe the tracks with a paper towel or old cloth to remove the dirt and grime.  Paper towels tend to fall apart, so we recommend using a cloth for this job, but you can certainly use paper towels.  To get into the corners, you can use an old toothbrush, cotton swab, or wrap the cloth around a butter knife to reach into the corners.  Use a dry cloth to wipe down the tracks till they are completely dry.  As a final step, you can lubricate the track.  Petroleum-based lubricants attack dirt, so we recommend using a spray silicone lubricant.  Spray down the track two or three times and exercise the door to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Exterior door failures are most likely caused by wear and tear in addition to weather damage, or the door becomes out of plumb from the house settling.   High humidity will cause wooden doors to swell and stick.  It is essential to direct water away from the door.  Door gaskets should be replaced every 5 to 8 years.   Fiberglass, steel, and solid core wood door can last the lifetime of your home if properly maintained.  However, in storm-prone South Florida, you should have an impact-rated entry door, also known as a hurricane-rated door, that has been installed correctly in the event of a hurricane.      

It would be best if you regularly inspect your windows and doors for water and outside air intrusion during your cleaning.  You can sometimes repair small leaks in your windows by removing the old caulk and re-caulking with a silicone caulk designed for windows and doors.   However, if you have significant air and water intrusion or your windows and doors no longer operate properly, have major rotting, it is time to look at getting them replaced.  The window or door was most likely not correctly installed, leading to its failure. 

When it comes time to look at replacement options, it only makes sense to look at impact-rated products in storm-prone South Florida.  If you have impact-rated windows and doors, you are always prepared in the event of a storm.  Plus, nothing gives your home a new facelift like new windows and doors.  You also might be able to save money on your homeowner’s insurance if you have installed all impact-rated windows and doors.  New windows and doors have a great return on investment that will pay off when you sell your home.  Prospective buyers come to expect impact windows and doors when looking for a new home. 

GM Door, Window & Screen is a family-owned and operated business.  GM has been servicing South Florida since 1968.  Call us for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.      

16 11, 2021

Florida Building Code as it relates to Impact Windows

By |2021-11-16T20:13:29+00:00November 16, 2021|Impact Windows|

Replacement windows are subject to current building codes and require a building permit.  In South Florida, a window’s function is not just to allow light and air into the home but can be a safety measure in the event of a storm.  One should seriously look at adding impact windows, also known as hurricane windows, to receive protection from storms and many more benefits.  An impact window in a Florida home has a multi-functional role: it must allow the sun’s light to pass through, but not the sun’s heat; it must keep cool conditioned air inside but not allow condensation to form on the surface of the glass. It must not allow hot, humid outside air to leak into the home in summer, nor allow warm inside air to leak out of the house in winter. Plus, as a result of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, we know hurricanes can breach older windows, making them a primary access point for wind, rain, and wind-borne debris.

Florida Building Code (FBC)

The FBC requires windows to be impact-resistant or protected with shutters if located within one mile of the coast where the wind speed is 140 mph or greater during a storm. (Of course, even if your home is not located in this area, impact windows are getting to be the norm in all of South Florida.) A window is a complex system, and it’s more than just glazing (glass): it also includes the frame, sash, and any operable elements as well.

Florida Building Code prescribes performance and construction requirements for exterior windows and glass doors installed in-wall systems. Testing by an approved testing laboratory is required. Approved labels affixed to the window must identify the manufacturer, performance characteristics approved product certification agency, testing laboratory, evaluation entity, or Miami-Dade notice of acceptance (NOA).  To pass inspection, the city inspector must view this sticker affixed to your windows, so make sure not to remove the sticker before the inspection.  And the answer is yes to the question, “Do I need a permit to install impact windows?”

There are testing standards set forth by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) and/or others that must be met before a window is certified as being impact-resistant. One of the most stringent testing requirements is referenced in the High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) section of the Florida Building Code, which applies to Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. To pass inspection and be eligible for insurance discounts, every exterior opening, residential or commercial, must be protected by shutters or impact-resistant windows against wind-borne debris caused by hurricanes in the HVHZ. A company may have its products approved for local or state use. Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have the strictest test protocols in the country for wind-borne debris, positive and negative air pressure, and water tests.

Impact-Resistant Glazing

Impact-resistant glazing is available as laminated glass and is also considered a type of safety glazing. Laminated glass consists of two or more panes of clear glass bonded together with transparent plastic-like film (usually polyvinyl butyral) sandwiched between the two. This inner “filling” ranges in thickness from .015 to .090 inches, which can be ordered in various colored tints to help reduce UV damage in the home.  The laminated glass does not shatter but holds hold the glass together upon impact. If cracked or broken, the glass fragments adhere to the plastic interlayer, thus preventing water, wind, or wind-borne debris from entering the structure. Note that the frames for laminated glass are generally beefier than for regular residential windows because although the glass may not break, a strong force could hit the window hard enough to cause the entire frame to give way. The window is tested as a unit that includes the glass, frame, attachment hardware, and the installation method when undergoing testing. Products designed to protect your home’s openings must be both tested and approved for wind load and wind-borne debris. Keep in mind that all glass other than impact-resistant window glass, even if tempered, reinforced, or insulated, needs to be protected with shutters during severe wind events.

Proper Installation

The proper attachment of the window to the structure is critical to the performance of the window. Each manufacturer specifies how its impact-resistant windows must be installed to offer the maximum amount of protection when confronted by storm-driven debris. The FBC has specific requirements for window installations but primarily refers to following the “published manufacturer’s recommendations.” Detailed information about window and door installation is provided in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard ASTM E 2112 (Standard Practice for Installation of Exterior Windows, Doors and Skylights), a comprehensive installation guide. Look for an installer who has extensive experience and is familiar with this document or other installation specifications as available through the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and who follows the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.

Insurance Benefits

Visit the Florida Wind Insurance Incentives website to search for wind insurance incentives, such as impact-resistant glazing or shutter protection for windows, which reduce wind damage. Check with your homeowner’s insurance carrier to see what kind of a discount is available. Benefits from impact-resistant windows extend beyond storms to broader security concerns such as reduced break-ins and theft.

The window sticker must remain affixed in order to pass inspection by your municipality.

Design Wind Pressure Rating

The pressure rating measures the window’s performance and is expressed as positive and negative wind pressure and is measured in pressure per square foot (PSF).  Required design wind pressure is based on wind speed, the surrounding terrain (proximity to the coast, open terrain…etc.), the building height, the size of the window, and the window’s location on the building.  An independent laboratory tests the window to 150% of the design pressure rating.  Florida Building Code for Risk Category II structures (one-and-two family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories in height) specifies a wind speed of 175 mph in Miami-Dade County and 170 mph in Broward.  The higher the pressure rating, the better. 

Energy Performance of Windows

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) offers a voluntary testing and certification program for thermal performance for windows and residential door products with glass. The NFRC does not conduct structural characteristics, such as impact resistance, but instead serves as a complementary program that can test the whole window (including frame) for the following features: U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Transmittance, Air Leakage, and Condensation Resistance. Remember that just because a window has an NFRC certification label, it does not mean a window or door is energy efficient. Instead, it provides information about energy performance that users can then use to determine if the product is efficient for the region or situation. You’ll note the window sticker contains other information as well, including company name, framing material, product type, etc., so be sure to compare similar products with each other. The SHGC rating is the most important in Florida since we usually try to block the most heat from coming while admitting the most visible light. NFRC Label Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) SHGC measures how well a product blocks heat caused by sunlight. The SHGC is the fraction of incident solar radiation admitted through a window, both directly transmitted, absorbed, and subsequently released inward. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits in Florida. Select windows with an SHGC of 0.40 or less.

U-Factor

U-factor measures the amount of heat that escapes through the product. The lower the rating, the better the window prevents heat loss (as imagined, this is more of a concern in northern climates). NFRC certified products require U-factor ratings. In Florida, select windows with a U-factor at least as low as 0.65. Air Leakage* (AL) AL is indicated by an air leakage rating, expressed as the equivalent cubic feet of air passing through a square foot of window area (cfm/sq ft). Heat loss and gain occur by infiltration through cracks in the window assembly. The lower the AL, the less air will pass through cracks in the window assembly.

Condensation Resistance* (CR)

CR measures the ability of a product to resist the formation of condensation on the interior surface of that product. While this rating cannot predict condensation, it can provide a credible method of comparing the potential of various products for condensation formation. CR is expressed as a number between 0 and 100. The higher the CR rating, the better that product is at resisting condensation formation.

Visible Transmittance (VT)

VT measures how much light comes through a product. Visible transmittance is an optical property that indicates the amount of visible light transmitted. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the more light is transmitted. * This rating is optional, and manufacturers can choose not to include it.

GM Door, Window & Screen has the most affordable solutions for your home remodeling project. We specialize in the installation of hurricane-ready / impact windows, sliding doors, and entrance doors. In business since 1968, we have been family-owned and operated. GM takes your vision and works within your budget to provide the perfect finished product. Upgrade and make your home safe from storms with new doors, windows, shutters, and more. Call today for a free estimate (954) 797-0797.  

Review the various ratings with your salesperson to select the best window for your home or business.
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