Fantastic, you finally decided to replace your old inefficient windows and doors with hurricane-rated impact products but are unsure of the process. Here is an overview of what you should expect.  

Before the consultation

It would be a good idea to do a little research before meeting with a widow and door company.  That would include driving the neighborhood to see what type of windows and doors might be a good replacement option for your home.   You can also cut out pictures from magazines or look on the internet to get an idea of the type of windows and styles and doors you like. 

GM- Door Window & Screen works with a large number of quality manufactures, so we have an extensive selection of options from which to choose. If you are still unsure, no worries, we will help you through the process.   Our consultants have decades of experience to help you make the right selections.     

Your sales consultation

Ideally, your sales consultant should be highly experienced and have previously done work in your neighborhood.   With that background, they will have ideas and suggestions for what products, manufacturers, and styles will work best with your home’s architecture.   Also, having worked in the area previously, they will often be knowledgeable about the unique design characteristics of the homes built in the area.    They should also be ready with references from previous work they have completed.  

GM – Door, Window & Screen has been doing business in South Florida since 1968, so we have extensive experience, pages of reference and will be able to help you find the best window and door replacement option for your budget.  

Items to cover during the consultation

Which materials will work best for your home and budget?

Impact Windows- Vinyl and aluminum impact windows are your two main choices.  Advances in vinyl technology make vinyl impact windows an excellent and affordable option.   Quality vinyl windows will not crack, fade, or warp, plus they are very energy efficient.  Quality replacement vinyl windows should last for decades.  Aluminum impact windows are inherently strong but lightweight.   They are made with durable powder-coated finishes that are resistant to corrosion.

Impact Entrance Doors – Your entrance door is often the first impression when visitors or guests visit your home.   In storm-prone South Florida, it should be as beautiful as it is strong.   Your main choices of materials are fiberglass, aluminum, steel, and entrance doors made with impact-rated glass.  Nothing beats the look and feel of a real wood door, but a wood door will need to be coupled with a shutter system to protect the opening in the event of a storm.  Better choices for storm-prone South Florida are fiberglass, aluminum, and steel doors, which can all be manufactured to simulate a wood grain door and are excellent options when it comes to storm protection.   While they mimic the look of natural wood, these products are resistant to moisture, humidity, warping, and splitting.  Doors made with impact glass are another popular choice and give the home a fantastic contemporary look, plus impact glass doors let in natural light that brightens up your entranceway. 

GM Door, Window & Screen will review all your material options with you, and you can select the best choice for your style of home that will work within your budget.  GM sells a wide variety of affordable, solid, and durable impact products.     

Do impact windows block UV rays, and should I get my windows tinted?

Impact windows provide up to 99 percent protection from damaging UV rays generated by the sun, while regular glass windows only provide 60 percent protection.  Over time, UV rays will fade furniture, wood flooring, carpet, and artwork.  When you order your windows, you also have the option of getting your windows tinted.  Getting your windows tinted can also help keep your home cooler, which will lower your energy bill.  Windows can be ordered clear, but tint options are available in various shades of bronze, gray, blue, and green.   The tint can be lighter or darker depending on your needs.  Glass entrance doors are often ordered with a white opaque interlayer that provides absolute privacy but allows natural light to flow into your home, brightening the entrance.    

GM Door, Window & Screen recommends in many cases to select a tint that works with the color scheme of your home, which will help keep your home cool in the intense South Florida heat. 

What style impact windows and entrance door should I choose? 

This is where you doing some research before meeting with the consultant will come in handy.  Our knowledgeable consultant will help you narrow down your choices and advise you on what impact windows and doors will work best for the architectural design of your home.  We walk you through the available impact window choices: single hung, horizontal rolling windows, casement windows, fixed windows, and specialty shapes.  We will show you entrance doors that make a bold statement and more subtle entrance doors that complement the design of your home.     

GM Door, Window & Screen has been in business since 1968, and we have worked in every neighborhood in South Florida and done installations in every type of home architecture.  Using this experience, we will help you select the perfect impact windows and entrance door for your home. 

Preparing the quote. 

Once we have settled on the type of impact windows and entrance door, we will go around your house to measure all the openings.   Depending on your style and materials selection, we will reach out to our manufacturers to secure the absolute best pricing for your project for the quote.   Often manufacturers will have promotions where we can pass the savings along.  

I am ready to sign the contract!

We go over the contract to ensure everything is to your satisfaction and collect a deposit to get things rolling.   You heard the old say, “Measure twice, cut once.” We do the same thing for each opening.   Every opening is remeasured, and we confirm the product, style, and color for the job.  We also provide the paperwork needed to pull a permit with the city.  And the answer is YES to the question, “Do I need a permit?” You would be foolish not to have the installation properly inspected for a significant investment like window replacement and a new entrance door.  Plus, your insurance company will ask to see the paperwork showing the impact windows and doors have passed inspection to qualify for discounts.  

Since the windows are built to your home’s specifications, they are ordered at this time, and a second deposit is collected.  While you are excited about getting your new impact windows and entrance door, almost always, you will need to be a little patient as the products are manufactured to your specifications.  This will take a little time and that time varies depending on how busy the manufacturer is producing product.  All window companies incur this delay, but it will be well worth the wait.  

Are there financing options available?

Hurricane / Impact windows and doors are an excellent investment to protect your family, increase your home’s energy efficiency, and may also reduce the wind portion of your property insurance bill by up to 77% depending on the age of your home and type of improvement. Qualified property owners can get up to 100 percent financing to make energy efficiency and wind resistance improvement and repairs through Ygrene’s Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program. Financing is based upon available home equity, ability to pay, along with other factors. The funding is repaid through an assessment included in 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.

Time to install your impact windows and entrance door

GM Door Window & Screen has expert, in-house installation teams to do your job.  Be wary of companies that use outside contractors to do the work.   Proper installation following the manufacturer’s instructions is critical to avoid leaks and the proper function of your impact windows and entrance doors.  This is a job for experienced pros and not a handyman.  In most cases, the team can do an average size home in two or three days.  The only preparation needed by the homeowner is moving furniture or objects a couple of feet away from the windows, both inside and outside, giving workers room to work.  We do minor stucco repair if there is damage when the old windows are removed.  You should be prepared to do so some touch-up painting after the job is complete. On occasion, we may see more significant problems where there is structural damage due to a leaking window or considerable damage to the stucco or window sills tied to removing the old products.  Then separate arrangements will have to be made to address these problems.  Looking at the job, we can most often advise you upfront of potential issues.     

GM Door, Window & Screen expert installation team are all in-house employees and do meticulous work.   We carefully clean up the job site each day, so there is very little mess associated with your installation.     

After your impact window and entrance door installation is complete

Aside from being the envy of all your neighbors, we will arrange for the final inspection by the city.  Once everything passes inspection, we collect the final balance.   Now you can enjoy being prepared ahead of time in the event of a storm.  With new impact windows and entrance doors, there are also other added benefits, like a significant reduction in outside noise coming into the house, a reduction in your energy bill and added security.  Thieves most often enter a home by breaking the glass on a window or kicking in a door, but that is almost impossible with impact products.

In most cases, thieves decide to move on to easier targets when they encounter impact windows and doors.   You should also connect with your homeowner’s insurance company.  You may be eligible for significant discounts on your home’s insurance policy.  Finally, you will be shocked at how much better your home looks with new impact windows and a new impact-rated entrance door.  While a significant investment, these home upgrades will pay off when you decide to sell your home down the road.  In South Florida, home buyers will almost always look to purchase a home with upgraded impact windows and doors and pay a premium.  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.