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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are building a new custom waterfront house in the Northeast, and the town requires either (a) shutters, (b) impact windows, or (c) precut plywood panels for all windows and doors. Shutters are not feasible, so it is (b) or (c). The architect specs are for Loewen, Kolbe or Marvin windows, and the leaning is toward impact glass for insurance reasons.


Can anyone share any experience with longevity, maintenance, functionality, etc. of the much heavier impact glass? Also, most of the experiences I have heard with these windows are in the southeast. What about significant northeastern winters?
Any insights, as well as experience with particular impact Loewen, Kolbe or Marvin models, would be appreciated.
 

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Just out of curiosity, why impact in your area? I would opt for the impact glass myself, reason being that it is on the job whether you are home or away. Other advantages are helping to keep the criminal element out and sound deadening.
As far as the brand names that you mentioned, I am not familiar with there products.
As far as what I have worked with, the windows are fundamentally the same construction. The glazing will be counterbalanced(if hung products) for the particular sash weight. Impact glass packs can also be made with low e coatings with an inert gas such as argon to meet the energy tax credit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. My apologies if I should not be posting here. Although I am a mechanical engineer, I am not a tradesman. I lost my job mid-planning, so I have taken on as much of the general contracting work as feasible since I have limitless free time and limited money.

The house is on the east end of Long Island, and most of the towns out here have adopted Florida-like building codes, at least near the water. Also, even though we have not had a lot of major hurricanes, the few insurance companies that write policies out here typically impose a much larger deductible for hurricane wind damage (as much as $50,000) if you don't use shutters or impact glass.
 

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Just out of curiosity, why impact in your area?
Many coastal states have updated codes to better protect against storm damage. For us out on Cape Cod and along the coast there are major changes from just a few years ago.

On of my friends jokingly said he though Simpson wrote the new regulations.
Wasn't much of a joke though, because if you forgot to factor in all the connectors now needed, could cost you a pretty penny
 

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If you match the Miami-Dade code you should be good to go. You will need a contractor to install for ins. purposes.
 

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We are building a new custom waterfront house in the Northeast, and the town requires either (a) shutters, (b) impact windows, or (c) precut plywood panels for all windows and doors. Shutters are not feasible, so it is (b) or (c). The architect specs are for Loewen, Kolbe or Marvin windows, and the leaning is toward impact glass for insurance reasons.

Can anyone share any experience with longevity, maintenance, functionality, etc. of the much heavier impact glass? Also, most of the experiences I have heard with these windows are in the southeast. What about significant northeastern winters?
Any insights, as well as experience with particular impact Loewen, Kolbe or Marvin models, would be appreciated.


Pretty much anyway you look at it, impact windows outperform plywood - except price. As you mentioned, there is a definite upcharge when going from "normal" windows to impact windows.


The question in your location is whether or not the advantages of impact windows are worth the cost.

1) Considering protection, impact windows significantly outperform plywood primarily because they are passive protection. You don't have to do anything with them once they are installed. Your home is protected.

2) Considering protection (again), since the requirement in Florida for storm and impact protection, there have been no reported home structural failures related to impact window performance. There have been losses of homes related to plywood-protected window failures.

2) Considering convenience, see #1.

3) The laminated glass in impact windows will also help to protect your home furnishings from fading by blocking over 99% of UV rays trying to enter your home, and aminated glass is used in sound control applications, so impact windows will help to make your home quieter than it would be with standard windows.

4) Safety. Putting plywood over your windows, especially if you have to work on a ladder, is not something that everyone wants to do.

5) Convenience (again). If you use plywood, you have to have a place to store it. A place that is reasonably accessible if you have to mount them on the windows when a storm is coming.

In Florida, for example, if you opt for plywood you have to have mounting bolts permanently attached to your home for the plywood. Is that a requirement for you as well?

6) Safety (again). You have built-in burglar protection with impact windows. The same glass/sash/frame that is built to withstand hurricanes is going to make your typical break-and-enter artist go elsewhere. It is not easy to break into a house when the windows and doors are impact rated.

But, and it is a significant but, impact windows can be expensive. Compared with high end "normal" windows protected with shutters, impact windows are typically about the same cost or even less. But when compared with plywood then the impact windows can be a significant expense.

Does your insurance company offer discounts for using impact windows? If so, then that can help offset some of the additional cost.

The windows are designed to be able to handle the additional weight of the thicker glass used in impact products. It really isn't a concern. Impact windows are designed with heavy duty hardware and reinforced sash and frame components. These upgraded components should also help contribute to unit longevity as well

While I don't recommend or compare window companies, the companies that you mentioned are all nationally recognized as higher end window companies who all offer various impact window options.
 
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