From abundant sunshine to easy proximity to the sand, sea, and surf, living in Florida comes with many amazing benefits. However, it also comes with at least one major tradeoff: the ever-present threat of hurricanes.
During the six-month-long hurricane season spanning from early June through the end of November, Floridians face the very real threat of hurricanes—and the strong winds, heavy rain, and flying debris that accompany them.
That’s where hurricane windows and doors come in.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, high-performance impact windows and doors can play an invaluable role in protecting your home and its inhabitants from the effects of the destructive forces of nature. The operating phrase in this equation? “High-performance.” Finding the right windows company to supply and install these essential components is a determining factor in the protection and peace of mind they’ll ultimately offer.
In this guide, we’ll explore a number of issues related to understanding where to buy high-performance impact windows and doors, including:
- How to find the best manufacturer of hurricane windows and doors
- Why certifications matter
- How to compare warranties
Read on for a complete guide to everything you need to know about where to buy hurricane windows and doors.
Finding the Best Hurricane Windows and Doors Manufacturer
All hurricane windows and doors aren’t created equal. Nor are all manufacturers. Here are some tips for finding the best windows company for your new or replacement window purchase:
1. Do your research
Begin your search by researching reputable companies in your area. Online searches, customer reviews, and recommendations from friends and neighbors can help you create a list of contenders.
2. Vet their expertise
Seek out companies with strong track records in hurricane window and door manufacturing and installation. Experience is a key indicator of their ability to provide quality products and services. In the competitive business world, longevity is often a vote of confidence.
3. Request references
While sales pitches and marketing materials are inherently biased, third-party feedback is priceless. Reputable companies should be willing to provide references from previous customers. Some things to inquire about when contacting these references include:
- Quality of the products
- The installation process
- Customer service and responsiveness
- Budget and cost
4. Visit showrooms
Many window and door manufacturers have online and virtual showrooms (or partner with dealers with showrooms) where you can experience their products for yourself, evaluate the options, ask questions, and get a feel for a prospective company’s professionalism.
5. Verify licenses, insurance, and warranties
Reputable hurricane window and door manufacturers should be properly licensed and insured. Not only will this defend against liability, but it also ensures that your new windows and doors will be in compliance with local regulations and standards. Meanwhile, window manufacturers that provide warranties on their products offer another level of assurance by standing behind their products.
6. Get multiple quotes
To compare prices, services, and quality, get quotes from several suppliers. But keep in mind that while cost is a factor, it should never be the sole determining factor when choosing between impact products for your home, business, or storefront.
The Significance of Certifications
While impact-rated products may be damaged in a storm, intensive testing indicates their ability to withstand more extreme weather conditions than standard windows.
Products tested to the TAS testing protocols have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they can withstand high-velocity hurricane winds and flying debris. Windows and doors that meet these standards offer paramount protection that exceeds the standard ASTM impact testing standards which are required for coastal regions outside the state of Florida.
How to Compare Warranties
It’s also important to evaluate warranties when shopping for hurricane windows and doors. Some factors to consider when comparing warranties include the following:
- Length of warranty. Longer warranty periods typically demonstrate a manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability.
- Coverage. Thorough warranties may cover defects in components like the frame, sash, screen, and moving parts, as well as damage caused by severe weather.
- Transferability. Depending on if you have plans to sell, warranties that are transferable to subsequent homeowners can add value to your home if you decide to sell it.
- Exclusions. These may include damage caused by misuse, accidents, or natural disasters that do not fall under hurricane events.
- Maintenance requirements: Some warranties may specify requisite maintenance procedures to remain valid.
If you live in South Florida or another hurricane-prone region, the importance of hurricane windows and doors cannot be overstated. Equipping your home or commercial property with high-performance impact products from a leading window manufacturer and window supplier is a vital step in the direction of a safer and more secure home.