Top Impact Window Brands Builders Prefer & Use

Key Takeaways

  • Impact windows are essential for protecting homes from severe weather conditions.

  • Brands like PGT Innovations and Andersen Windows are among the top choices for builders.

  • Durability, warranty, energy efficiency, and cost are key factors in selecting an impact window brand.

  • Professional installation is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of impact windows.

  • Regular maintenance can extend the life and performance of impact windows.

Why Builders Trust These Impact Window Brands

Let's cut to the chase: builders trust certain impact window brands because they deliver. They meet high standards of strength, offer diverse product lines, and come with warranties that speak volumes about their confidence in the product. Builders look for windows that can withstand a hurricane, reduce noise, and provide UV protection, all while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the home.

Criteria for Selection

When I choose an impact window brand for a project, I look for a few non-negotiables:

  • Durability: The windows must withstand high winds and flying debris.

  • Energy Efficiency: They should help reduce energy bills by keeping heat out during the summer and in during the winter.

  • Warranty: A solid warranty signals the manufacturer's trust in their product.

  • Cost: The windows should offer value for money and fit the project's budget.

Brand Reputation and Builder Trust

It's not just about the specs, though. Reputation is built over years of consistent quality and service. Brands that have earned builders' trust did so through a history of resilience in the face of storms and the ability to innovate and adapt to new building codes and homeowner demands. They provide comprehensive solutions, from various design options to energy efficiency and noise reduction.

Impact Windows: Meeting the Demand for Durability

When the winds howl and the debris flies, it's the durability of your windows that stands between a safe interior and a potential disaster. Therefore, impact windows must be rigorously tested to meet specific standards, such as those set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS).

Strength Against Elements

These windows are built to resist. They're typically made with heavy-duty frames and laminated glass. The laminated glass, much like a car windshield, holds together when shattered, preventing water and debris from entering the home.

Longevity and Warranty

Good impact windows are an investment. They should last for decades, not just years. Most top brands offer warranties that cover everything from frame cracking to seal failure. A lengthy warranty is not just peace of mind; it's a statement about the life expectancy of the windows.

So, let's dive into some of the brands that have become the go-to for builders aiming for excellence.

The Preferred Impact Window Brands in Construction

PGT Innovations: Leader in Strength

PGT Innovations stands out for a reason. They offer a range of impact-resistant windows that are known for their strength. Their WinGuard® Aluminum and Vinyl windows and doors not only meet but exceed the International Building Code for impact resistance. This is why I often recommend PGT to clients who prioritize safety and durability.

Andersen Windows: Diverse Offerings and Time-Tested Quality

Andersen Windows has been in the game for over a century, and their impact-resistant windows reflect their expertise. With a variety of product lines, including the A-Series, E-Series, and 400 Series, Andersen offers a solution for every design and budget without compromising on protection.

Marvin Windows and Doors: Combining Aesthetics with Resistance

Marvin is a brand that understands the balance between form and function. Their windows don't just stand up to the harshest weather; they look good doing it. Marvin's impact windows come with a variety of aesthetic options, which is why they're a top pick for high-end homes where style is as important as safety. Moreover, their commitment to quality means their windows provide both beauty and brawn.

SIMONTON Windows: Customizability and Warranty Excellence

SIMONTON Windows has carved a niche for itself with its impressive range of customizable impact windows. They understand that no two homes are the same and provide options that cater to the unique needs of each project. Their warranties are equally flexible, offering coverage that reassures homeowners and builders alike.

Their Reflections 5500 series, for example, is not only energy-efficient but also comes with a variety of options for hardware, grids, and color. This level of customization allows builders to provide homeowners with a personalized touch.

And it's not just about the looks. SIMONTON's impact windows are tested against the most stringent standards to ensure they can withstand severe weather. Their commitment to quality is evident in their comprehensive warranties, which cover aspects like hardware, screens, and even accidental glass breakage.

One builder shared, "With SIMONTON, I can assure my clients that their windows are tailored for their home and backed by a warranty that protects their investment. It's a win-win."

Other Notable Mentions

Beyond the brands already mentioned, there are other players in the market worth considering. Companies like CGI, ECO and ESW also offer impact windows that combine reliability with affordability. These brands may not have the same level of name recognition, but they are making waves in the construction industry for their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Features That Set the Best Brands Apart

The best impact window brands distinguish themselves through features that go beyond the basic requirements. These features include advanced storm protection, energy efficiency, and a wide range of customization options. Builders who understand the value of these features can guide their clients toward the best choices for their homes.

Advanced Storm Protection

For example, PGT's WinGuard® impact windows have been tested to withstand a nine-pound 2x4 lumber missile striking end on at 140 feet per second. That's the kind of resilience that gives homeowners peace of mind.

Advanced storm protection means that the windows are designed to handle not just strong winds but also the debris that those winds can carry. This level of protection is achieved through the use of heavy-duty materials and innovative construction techniques.

Additionally, these windows often feature a multi-chambered frame design and reinforced corners for added strength. The glass used in these windows is typically laminated, with a tough interlayer that holds the shattered pieces in place upon impact.

Most importantly, the best brands test their windows in conditions that simulate both small and large missile impacts, ensuring that they can withstand the harshest weather scenarios.

Innovative Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another hallmark of top-impact window brands. These windows help to lower energy bills by providing excellent insulation, reducing the amount of heat transfer between the inside and outside of a home. Low-E coatings, argon gas fills, and warm-edge spacers are just a few of the technologies employed to achieve this.

Customization and Design Flexibility

The ability to customize impact windows to fit the specific design and aesthetic preferences of a home is a feature highly valued by builders and homeowners alike. The top brands offer a wide range of options, from frame colors and finishes to different styles of window grids and glass tints. For those considering their options, understanding the best impact windows for your money can provide valuable insights into customization and design flexibility.

Customization also extends to the functionality of the windows, with options for single-hung, double-hung, casement, picture windows, and more. This flexibility allows builders to install windows that not only protect the home but also enhance its overall design.

Cost vs. Benefit: Impact Window Options for Every Budget

Understanding the cost versus benefit of impact windows is crucial for builders. While some brands may offer premium options at a higher price point, there are also reliable brands that provide quality impact windows at more affordable prices. The key is to match the right brand with the project's requirements and the homeowner's budget.

Affordable but Reliable Brands

Brands like MI Windows and Doors and Silver Line by Andersen offer cost-effective solutions without compromising on safety or durability. These windows provide the necessary protection against storms and are backed by warranties that ensure long-term performance.

Cost-effective doesn't mean cheap. These brands invest in technologies that allow them to produce impact windows that are both affordable and reliable, making them a smart choice for budget-conscious projects.

High-End Brands for Premium Projects

For high-end projects, brands like Marvin and Andersen's A-Series offer premium impact window options. These windows come with advanced features, such as superior energy efficiency and architectural-grade materials, that justify their higher price points.

Professional Installation Tips

Let's be clear: even the best impact windows won't do their job if they're not installed correctly. As a builder, it's your responsibility to ensure that the installation process is as precise as the manufacturing of the windows themselves. Here are some pro tips to ensure that your impact window installation is top-notch:

  • Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions to the letter. Cutting corners can void the warranty and compromise the window's performance.

  • Use the right tools and materials. High-quality sealants, fasteners, and flashing will ensure a watertight and airtight fit.

  • Ensure that the rough opening is properly sized and that the window is plumb, level, and square in the opening.

  • Consider hiring a certified installer if you're not experienced with impact window installations. Their expertise can be invaluable.

Remember, proper installation is not just about following steps; it's about understanding the importance of each detail in the grand scheme of the home's safety and efficiency.

Maintenance and Care for Lasting Impact Resistance

After installation, regular maintenance is key to ensuring that impact windows continue to function at their best. Here's how to keep them in tip-top shape:

  • Inspect the windows regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks in the glass or damage to the frame.

  • Clean the windows with mild soap and water, avoiding abrasive cleaners that can scratch the glass or damage the frames.

  • Check the seals and weatherstripping periodically and replace them if they're worn out to maintain the windows' energy efficiency.

By keeping up with these simple tasks, you can extend the lifespan of the windows and ensure they remain as resilient as the day they were installed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As a builder, you're bound to face questions from clients about impact windows. Here are some answers to the most common queries:

Which Impact Window Brand Offers the Best Warranty?

While warranties vary by manufacturer, brands like PGT Innovations, CGI, ESW, and Andersen Windows are known for their comprehensive coverage. PGT offers a limited lifetime warranty for their vinyl frames and a 10-year warranty for glass breakage, while Andersen provides a a 10-year limited warranty on non-glass parts. It's essential to read the fine print and understand what's covered before making your choice.

For instance, a client once asked me about the best warranty available, and I directed them to PGT's warranty document. It was reassuring for them to see the level of coverage provided for their investment.

Can You Customize Impact Windows for Any Home Style?

Absolutely! Customization is one of the strengths of top impact window brands. Whether you're working on a modern minimalist home or a traditional colonial, you can find windows that fit the aesthetic. Brands like Marvin and SIMONTON offer a wide range of custom options, from frame colors to grid patterns and glass types.

Are Impact Windows Energy-Efficient in All Climates?

Yes, impact windows are designed to be energy-efficient in all climates. They are built with insulating glass and other features that keep homes cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. This efficiency is not just about comfort; it also translates to savings on energy bills.

For example, PGT's WinGuard® Vinyl windows come with options for insulated glass and Low-E coatings that reflect heat, making them suitable for a variety of climates.

How Often Should Impact Windows be Replaced or Serviced?

Impact windows are built to last, but that doesn't mean they're maintenance-free. Service them regularly to ensure they operate correctly, and inspect them annually for any potential issues. As for replacement, it's generally not necessary unless there's noticeable damage or a failure in performance. With proper care, impact windows can protect a home for decades.

Do Impact Windows Increase Property Value?

They do, indeed. Impact windows are a desirable feature for homebuyers, especially in areas prone to severe weather. They offer enhanced safety, can reduce insurance premiums, and improve energy efficiency, all of which contribute to increased property value.

Consider this: a home with impact windows might be the deciding factor for a buyer choosing between two properties. It's an investment that pays off in both safety and resale value.