Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Before the Hurricane

Preparation is critical when it comes to hurricanes. Before hurricane season, securing one’s home, creating a disaster plan, and assembling a disaster supplies kit will help minimize potential risks and ensure a smoother recovery process.

Preparing Your Home

With Impact Windows and Doors you are always ready if a storm threatens.

Securing your home before a hurricane is even a threat can lessen the stress should a storm ever approach.   Most often, your home is your largest asset, so it needs to be protected. One of the best things you can do is replace your old windows and doors with hurricane-rated products. This way, your home is always ready when a storm threatens. Having impact-rated windows and impact doors already installed avoids scrambling to put up plywood or hanging hurricane shutters. Furthermore, since hurricanes hit during the summer months, your home is already protected even if you are away on vacation. In addition, before hurricane season, you should look to get your trees trimmed. It is also essential to familiarize yourself with the location of shut-off valves for your water and gas lines. If you have a generator, you should test it before hurricane season and once a month during season to ensure it is operational. 

Creating a Disaster Plan

Every household should have a well-thought-out disaster plan in place prior to hurricane season. This plan should include designated meeting places, evacuation routes, and clear communication channels. It is crucial to discuss the plan with all family members and ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and what to do in an emergency.

Assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit

A disaster supplies kit is an essential component of hurricane preparedness. This kit should include enough non-perishable food, water, and medication to last each household member for at least three days. Other important items to include are flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, important documents, and cash. It is crucial to regularly check and update the supplies kit as necessary.

During the Hurricane

Safety Measures to Follow

Staying indoors during a hurricane is the safest course of action. It is important to seek shelter in a designated safe area away from windows and exterior walls. It is also advisable to have necessary supplies, such as a battery-operated radio and food, easily accessible. If evacuation is needed, follow the instructions provided by local authorities and evacuate promptly. Under no circumstances should individuals venture out into floodwaters, as they may be deeper than you think or have strong currents.

Communicating During a Hurricane

Establishing means of communication during a hurricane is crucial, as it allows individuals to stay informed and connect with loved ones. A battery-operated radio provides access to important weather updates and emergency information. Additionally, having a charged mobile phone and alternative charging methods is essential. However, using phone calls and texts sparingly is important to preserve battery life and facilitate communication in emergencies.

After the Hurricane

Once the hurricane has passed, assessing the damage and taking necessary steps to return home safely and cope with the aftermath is important.

Assessing the Damage

After a hurricane, it is crucial to carefully assess the damage to your home and property. However, ensuring safety is a priority, and do not enter or move near any damaged structures until it has been deemed safe. Take photographs of any damages to help with insurance claims and contact the relevant authorities to report any hazards or damages in your area.

Returning Home Safely

Returning home after a hurricane requires caution and careful consideration. Ensure that the area has been deemed safe and that roads and infrastructure have been cleared for travel. Be prepared for potential service disruptions and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety, such as wearing suitable protective gear when cleaning up debris and being mindful of potential hazards.

Coping with the Aftermath

The aftermath of a hurricane can be emotionally challenging for individuals and communities. It is important to seek support from loved ones and local resources. Additionally, be aware of the possibility of post-storm hazards, such as contaminated water and mold, and take necessary steps to mitigate health risks.

GM Door, Window & Screen has the most affordable solutions using the best products available to protect your home from hurricanes. GM specializes in the installation of hurricane-ready / impact windows, sliding doors, and entrance doors. In business since 1968, we are family-owned and operated. Upgrade and make your home safe from storms. Call today for a free estimate at (954) 797-0797.  

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

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. 

Door Installation by GM Door Window and Screen in Plantation, FL.
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. 

The 2024 Hurricane Season Forecast

Impact Sliding Doors by GM Door Window and Screen in Plantation, FL.

AccuWeather is predicting 2024 to be a very strong hurricane season. The current El Nino pattern, which produces high-level winds that weaken storms, gives way to a La Nina pattern, which is more favorable for storms. This coupled with warmer than usual Atlantic waters, should point to a very busy storm season. 

The La Nina storm pattern was in place during the 2005 and 2020 storm seasons, tied to the most active storm seasons in history with 31 tropical systems. 

At the end of January, the water temperatures for storms in the Main Development Region were 65 percent higher than the next closest year. Because of these unusually warm water temperatures, this gives storms the potential for rapid intensification, even close to land. 

Hurricane windows and doors ensure you are always ready should a storm threaten. 

If you are thinking about getting new impact windows and doors, the earlier you act, the better. Don’t get caught having to board up your home when a storm threatens. 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.   

By |2024-02-27T20:36:15+00:00May 24, 2022|Hurricane Shutters, Hurricane Windows, Impact Windows|

Should I get all my Windows and Doors replaced all at once with Impact Windows and Doors?

While it is a significant investment to replace all of your windows and doors simultaneously with Impact windows and doors, it does pay off in the long run.  And yes, it is an investment that will have a good return. 

Here are some excellent reasons to have all your home’s windows and doors upgraded all at once with impact products. 

  1. Cost Savings – You will be able to save significant money on labor and materials by replacing all of your windows and doors at once.   Sending out a team of installers at various times over a year or two will increase the cost of labor, set up and clean up for each upgrade.   Plus, the cost of materials is likely to rise over time, making new windows and doors more expensive. 
  2. Insurance Savings – To qualify for a discount on your wind-storm portion of your home’s insurance, every opening, both windows and doors, must be covered with a product rated for hurricane protection.
  3. Energy Savings – Old windows and doors are likely to be leaking air, causing you not only to be air conditioning your own home but the surrounding neighborhood.   When properly installed, new impact windows and doors make for an air-tight seal of your home, saving money on your electrical bill every month.   Proper installation following the manufacturer’s instructions is critical.  It is always better to work with a company that uses its in-house installers and no contractors to control the quality of the installation work.
  4. Safety and Security – If all of your windows and doors are impact rated, also known as hurricane rated, you will be ready at all times if a hurricane threatens.  No need to worry about putting up shutters or plywood; you are hurricane-ready at all times.  Many people take summer vacations during storm season, making it unnecessary to rush back home if a storm threatens.   And no need to find someone from afar to make your home hurricane-ready while you are away.  Thieves have also learned to move on to easier targets when confronted with impact-resistant windows and doors.   Kicking in a door or breaking a window are the number one ways thieves gain entrance to a home.  It is almost impossible for thieves to gain entry through a locked impact window or door.  Getting your windows and doors done in stages leaves openings for storms and thieves to penetrate the envelope of your home through those weak points.   
  5. Aesthetics – Brand new impact windows and doors will dramatically improve the appearance of your home.   Doing some windows and not others will create a disjointed look.  Old windows with a grid design over the glass obscure the view from inside the home are going out of style.   Sliding, Single-hung, and picture windows are all good for maximizing your home’s views and giving your home a modern look.  Impact entrance glass doors are also great for letting in natural light.  Entrance doors can be fitted with obscured impact glass that lets the light in but does not allow anyone to see into the home.  This modern look is great for lighting up a dark entryway during the day.   
  6. Return on Investment – Aside from ongoing energy savings, it is estimated that replacing old windows and doors with impact-rated windows and doors can return as much as 78% of their cost at the time of resale.   Plus, your home is likely to sell more quickly with new impact windows and doors.    

Often, financing options are available to get all your windows replaced simultaneously rather than making these home improvements in stages.   Call GM – Door, Window & Screen for a free estimate.  We have been doing this since 1968 and are family-owned and operated.  Call us at (954) 797-0797.     

By |2021-11-16T20:15:35+00:00July 13, 2021|Door Category, Hurricane Shutters, Impact Windows|

Impact / Hurricane Windows and Doors versus Shutters

There are many considerations when deciding between hurricane shutters and replacing your windows and doors with impact / hurricane rated windows and doors.  Both provide significant protection in the event of a storm, but homeowner’s these days really appreciate how brand new impact windows and doors really update the look of the home.  Now if budget is your main concern then shutters might be the best choice. 

GM –Door, Window & Screen offers both options and will help you decide what is best for your circumstance.  

Impact / Hurricane Windows and Doors versus Shutters

  • Shutters need to be put up and taken down before and after each storm threatens.  Hurricane windows and doors provide continuous protection. 
  • Shutters are a more budget friendly option over impact windows and doors. 
  • Both Shutters and impact rated windows and doors can reduce your home owners insurance cost.  One should be aware that all openings: windows, sliding glass doors, exterior doors and garage doors need to be impact rated or have a shutter installed to enjoy a rate reduction.  
  • It should be note having shutters or impact windows and doors will increase the value of your home, plus make it easier to sell when the time comes. 
  • Finding space to store shutters when not in use is often an issue for homeowners.
  • Old windows and doors will need to be eventually replaced, so installing hurricane shutters over old windows and doors will cost more in the long run when it comes time for replacement.
  • New impact rated windows and doors have the following added benefits:
    • Increased energy efficiency – Energy consumption will most certainly be reduced replacing old leaky windows and doors.
    • Increased security – Kicking in doors or breaking windows is the main way thieves gain access to a home.  This is virtually impossible with impact rated windows and doors. 
    • UV light protection – new impact windows will significantly reduce UV light which damages furniture, flooring and artwork.   
    • Noise reduction – With new impact windows and doors you will see a significant reduction in the amount of outside noise entering your home. 
  • With shutters you may end up sitting in the dark if the power goes out day or night.  Many prefer impact windows that gives them a view of the activity that is going on outside, while still remaining safe.    

Whether you choose hurricane / Impact resistant windows and doors or shutters , GM – Door, Window & Screen does it all with our own professional installation team.  Family owned and operated since 1968.  Give us a call for a free estimate (954) 979-0797. 

By |2021-04-30T16:30:23+00:00April 30, 2021|Door Category, Hurricane Shutters, Impact Windows|

Financing Options for Impact Windows and Doors

Hurricane / Impact windows and doors are a great investment to protect your family, increase your homes energy efficiency and may also reduce the wind portion of your property insurance cost by up to 77% depending on the age of your home and the type of improvement. 

So what are your home improvement financing options if you do not have the liquid cash to spend? 

One option is to take a traditional home equity loan.  Sometimes these loans can take several weeks to secure, but this will not make sense if your repair or upgrade is needed quickly.  Also, if you have an impaired credit score that could exclude you from qualifying for a home equity loan.    

A great financing option for eligible Florida property owners is through Ygrene’s Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program.  Homeowner’s can receive up to 100 percent financing to make energy efficiency and wind resistance home improvement and repairs.  Financing is 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.    

The PACE program was made available by the state legislation and approved by local governments, but is not a government incentive or subsidy program.  It is a long-term, fixed rate source of financing that allows homeowners to do energy conservation and hurricane hardening improvements to their property.  PACE financing was specifically designed to fill the gap when financial institutions were reluctant to finance these types of home improvement projects.      

PACE assessments can be paid off at any time and residential PACE programs do not have any early prepayment fees.  The PACE program makes it easy for homeowners to make home improvements by eliminating up-front cash payments and provides a competitive interest rate.  In addition, there are no interest rate adjustments and no balloon payment. 

The PACE assessment is attached to the property, rather than the property owner, so if you sell the property before the assessment is paid off the balance of the assessment remains with the property.   At the time of sale you can pay off the assessment or negotiate with the buyer to pay off the balance.

Call GM – Door, Window and Screen to set up a free estimate.  

By |2024-04-03T16:12:13+00:00February 25, 2021|Door Category, Hurricane Shutters, Impact Windows|
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