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Pros & Cons of Impact Windows vs. Shutters

According to statistics, every year sees six hurricanes and roughly three major hurricanes in the United States. And while, of course, some areas of the country are more impacted than others, it’s important to make sure that your home is prepared, in case of an emergency.

When you live in a high-risk hurricane area, such as South Florida, you don’t want to take any chances. You need to fit your home with hurricane-resistant proofing, to safeguard you and your loved ones, in case of such an event.

But it can be hard choosing between hurricane resistant windows and hurricane shutters, so we thought we’d make it easy for you.

First off, what’s the difference?

The difference, we’d say, is evident from the name. Hurricane windows are just like regular windows in appearance, but they are made from much sturdier materials. For example, the frame is often made with reinforced materials, such as aluminium, while the glass itself has been doctored to be storm- and hurricane-resistant.

On the other hand, hurricane shutters don’t require you to replace all of your windows, but rather work as an addition. Hurricane shutters cover your existing windows and prevent the strong winds from destroying them.


When it comes to strength, hurricane impact windows are vastly superior, and are understood to offer better protection against storms and hurricanes. With shutters, you always run the risk of the wind breaking through and piercing your regular windows, whereas with impact windows, you don’t need to worry about that.

Another big point in the window’s favor is that impact shutters need to be drawn/activated by you so that they can actually protect the home. This means you need to be at home, or in range to activate when a storm or hurricane hits. With impact windows, again, that’s not a problem, because you’ve got 24/7 protection.

Protection against intruders

When you’re investing so heavily in your property, it’s nice to know you’re also getting additional benefits. For example, impact windows also offer protection against thieves and intruders, whereas impact shutters don’t (unless they are drawn, which they aren’t, in normal weather).

Noise Reduction

Since impact windows are made from heavy-duty materials, they also block out some of the outside noise, and offer a more peaceful atmosphere inside the home. Shutters, again, do not have this benefit.


One major win for hurricane shutters, though, is their better price. Since they don’t require the dismantling of your old windows and the fitting of new ones, shutters are much more affordable, and thus preferable for many homeowners working on a budget.

Time to activate

As we mentioned earlier, hurricane windows are there, and that’s all the activation you need. With shutters, however, it’s a more complex topic. Depending on the type of shutters you’re using, it can take upwards of an hour to prepare your home against a hurricane.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the choice between impact windows or shutters is up to you. But hopefully, this article has offered you the pros and cons of hurricane resistant windows and shutters, and helped you make an informed choice.

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