There are about 2,000 chickens and roosters strutting their stuff on the streets of Key West. These beloved fowl have become one of the most recognized interests of this tiny island.
Instead of adopting roosters to get into the Florida Keys spirit, homeowners can do plenty of other things to bring the Keys home and into their entertaining. It could be through the food served, decor choices, landscaping, or the home’s exterior colors. This guide will help homeowners feel like they are in Key West no matter where their home is.
The Food of Key West
Despite the island’s small size, it boasts a thriving food culture. Its Key lime pie, gulf oysters, Key West pink shrimp, and conch fritters are all standouts.
It may be challenging to find authentic Key West shrimp, gulf oysters, and conch fritters at the local grocery store. But one thing anyone can have is Key lime pie. Kermit Carpenter, one of the most famous purveyors of this sweet and slightly sour dessert, has sold his key lime pie in downtown Key West for 27 years.
Try his recipe for a Key West-themed event, or anytime you want to put a smile on your guests’ faces. Here’s one pointer, Key limes should not be substituted with Persian limes. It is vital to use Key limes or their juice for authentic flavor. You can read more about the Key lime flavor profile in this Southern Living article, “The Real Difference Between a Florida Key Lime and a Regular Lime.”
Key West Home Decor
It is easy to add small touches to create a Florida Keys vibe to your home. By mixing tropical, coastal, and vintage decor, homeowners can create an authentic Florida Keys vibe. Try to bring the outdoors in by having large French or sliding doors to open up a space.
Look for furniture pieces made of wicker, rattan, or bamboo. If wood is preferred, stick with the lighter shades. Choose a color palette that is light and bright. Embrace colors like pink, yellow, and teal. Add in plenty of tropical patterns that fit into the chosen color palette.
Embrace the Florida Key lifestyle by heading outdoors to the backyard. Create a tropical paradise by building up the soil with plenty of nutrients. Then plant blooming greens, quick-growing vines, and orchids that grow from the trees. Palms of varying sizes can provide plenty of shade and are a hallmark of Florida landscaping. The Gardenista has ten landscaping ideas you can steal from Key West to make any home feel more tropical.
The Colors of the Florida Keys
Stroll down the narrow streets, and it is apparent that the residents love color. Bring this trend home by painting the front door a Florida Keys inspired color. If a homeowner’s association prevents this, embrace the colors of the island in less permanent ways. Flowerpots, an outdoor rug, and throw pillows are the perfect places to embrace the color while complying with local restrictions.
While you are at it, take a cue by painting a front or back porch ceiling blue. When strolling along the tree-lined sidewalks in the Florida Keys, visitors will notice that most porches have a blue ceiling. Not only is this soothing and inviting, but there is an intriguing piece of history behind this decor choice.
Entertain in Florida Keys Style
With these small touches, any homeowner can feel as though the Florida Keys are in their home. It starts vivid paint colors, then continues with the decor. The finishing touches are a tropical oasis in the backyard with plenty of island-inspired nibbles to serve guests. No matter the time of year, homeowners can feel like they’re on holiday in the Florida Keys by trying some of these tips and tricks.
The question is: Are you storm ready if a hurricane heads your way? Read on for 4 ways to ensure you have everything you need to keep your family and home safe.
1. How Will You Protect Your Home?
Are you a year-round resident? Families who live in coastal areas year-round definitely need to be storm ready and should consider the following. Annually, ensure your impact windows and doors have been maintained and are storm-ready. If you are out of town during hurricane season, make arrangements for someone local to prepare your property if a storm strikes. It is imperative to remove all objects (outdoor furniture, potted plants, etc.) that could become airborne and secure them indoors.
2. Do You Have an Evacuation Plan?
Sit down with your family and create a detailed plan to use in the event of a storm.
• Where will you go if you need to evacuate?
• What will you do with your pets?
You’ll also want a detailed plan of what to do if you decide to stay home. Ensure your home is adequately protected, and you have all the supplies you’ll need for the aftermath.
3. Do You Understand Storm Categories & Warnings?
Most recently, 2017’s Hurricane Harvey was one of the most destructive in US history, with over $125 billion in damage.
Even a tropical storm can cause severe damage from wind, flooding, and storm surge. If you’re not already familiar with the Saffir-Simpson scale, it’s time to get acquainted.
And while you are brushing up on your knowledge, do you know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning? A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours, while a warning means you can expect hurricane conditions within 36 hours.
4. Are You Prepared for the Biggest Risks?
It’s scary to think about high winds, but that’s not always the most dangerous part of a hurricane.
Statistics show, 88% of fatalities from hurricanes come from water, not wind. Along the shore, the storm surge pushes a massive wave of water into coastal communities. Further inland, flooding often causes more damage and injuries than high winds.
Start preparing now by ensuring your windows and doors are properly weather-stripped and caulked. Check your homeowner’s policy to confirm flood insurance inclusion—if not, make sure to add it. Also, photograph or video your personal property to make insurance claims easier to file.
Hurricane Season 2020: Are You Storm Ready?
Whether this year’s hurricane season breaks records or passes quietly, it is up to you to prepare your home and family.
If these tips revealed a few areas of improvement to make, do not delay. Take action today to ensure you are ready for the rest of the season. Are you looking for more in-depth information on getting ready for a storm? Download our free 2020 Hurricane Guide to use in your preparations.
Experts now believe 20 named storms will form during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. That prediction comes from Colorado State University who also expects nine of those will become hurricanes, with four developing into major hurricanes. With these storms on the horizon, it is essential to fool-proof your hurricane evacuation plan.
That is a high number in any year. But it adds more stress in a year when the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic, and states like Florida are among the hardest hit as of July.
A hurricane evacuation plan is more important than ever in current times. Coming up with a hurricane preparedness list now will save you valuable time in case you need to evacuate. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for a hurricane and considerations for densely populated areas.
A Brief Look At Past Hurricane Evacuations
There have already been six named storms as of mid-July and even some activity. That seems like a lot, but the busiest part of the season is still to come.
Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, generally peaking around September. As the season continues, you are more likely to see hurricanes that both last longer and pack more power.
Hurricanes are a regular part of life by the beach. But history also tells that they are especially dangerous in densely populated areas. For instance, a storm that hits Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle is terrible. Yet it is not as potentially catastrophic as one that strikes South Florida.
That’s because South Florida has a much larger population. If there’s a mandatory evacuation there, things can get messy fast. Houston in 2005 is an unfortunate example of this. With Hurricane Rita approaching, nearly 4 million people fled the area at the same time. The resulting evacuation led to historic traffic jams.
Also, consider additional evacuation zones you may have to drive through to make it to your destination. If you’re leaving Miami and heading to Georgia or Alabama, Orlando may have people heading north and even Jacksonville. Plan and give yourself plenty of drive time.
Prepare to Evacuate Sooner
Emergency preparedness officials learned several things from Houston’s disaster 15 years ago. Some city and state officials are now more hesitant to order a mandatory evacuation for a large area. If they do, it’s likely to be smaller in scope.
If you’re going to get out, you should prepare to go as soon as possible. If authorities issue an order Wednesday for a hurricane slated to hit Saturday, try to get out by Thursday morning.
“The reason we are doing that is because you forget when there is an evacuation, the traffic, the fuel, lodging options become a problem when everybody tries to leave at the same time,” Baldwin County EMA Director Zach Hood said.
Make sure to review your personal hurricane emergency evacuation plan at the beginning of every hurricane season. Keep a bag packed with essentials like medicine and pet food.
Because of the pandemic, you’ll also need to pack things like disinfecting wipes, thermometers, and hand sanitizer. Face coverings are essential, as well. Sure, you won’t need them in the car, but you will when you arrive at your destination.
Keep a smaller emergency kit in your car. It should include a basic first kit.
What about food? If you don’t want to stop for food while evacuating during a pandemic, that is understandable. Make sure to bring snacks like beef jerky, dried fruit, nuts and other non-perishable items.
Also, remember to pack a cooler full of water in case you need it for drinking, hand washing, etc.
Your Hurricane Evacuation Plan
Your hurricane evacuation plan should be something everyone in the house understands. Yes, the adults will know more than small children. But everyone needs to know the basics of how to prepare for a hurricane evacuation.
Listen to local and state officials. Keep an eye on CDC guidelines as well. Above all, be proactive instead of reactive. For more advice, download our 2020 hurricane guide. It has all the information you need to finish making your hurricane preparedness list.
When it comes to preparing for hurricane season, one of the most important things you can do is keep water, wind, and debris out of your home.
When windows or doors break, it often results in the home’s elements, separating from one another with catastrophic results. In the past, homeowners only had the option of boarding up their windows with plywood. Today, hurricane resistant impact windows and doors are a solution with proven reliability. There’s no better way to protect your home and have peace of mind during hurricane season than with impact windows and doors.
Take a Long-Term View
There is a trend of hurricanes growing stronger and retaining their strength further inland year-over-year. To learn more about this, explore our “How to Choose Impact Windows” whitepaper that discusses how the risk area has grown, and why it may continue to increase. Additionally, hurricane impact doors and windows are a long-term investment that can last years with proper maintenance. These are both critical factors that put expenses and material choices in perspective. Investing in the best impact windows and doors will ensure you are ready for anything this hurricane season may and future storms. In most cases, installing hurricane impact windows will lower property insurance costs, offering another long-term financial benefit.
Identify Your Hurricane Risk
One in every 45 tropical storms will transform into a Category 5 hurricane and retain that devastating strength upon reaching the shore. After Hurricane Andrew, in 1992, the state of Florida created new requirements to protect its citizens. Building officials in Miami-Dade, Florida, developed construction code requirements, which are still among the most stringent in the country, to help save homes and lives during future storms. Throughout Florida, the risk is different depending on the location of your home. With a little research and partnering with an authorized impact window and door dealer, you can quickly determine your risk, what is required by law, and the ideal hurricane doors and windows for your home.
Wood, Vinyl, or Aluminum Windows and Doors?
An intense hurricane can tear windows and doors from a home if the frames are not adequately reinforced. Wood, vinyl, and aluminum are common choices for either window or door frames. Wood is affordable and an excellent insulator, but it does require maintenance (especially in coastal areas) and is the most prone to weakening with age. Vinyl is durable and typically less expensive than other materials, but the thicker frame appearance may not match your aesthetic. Aluminum is the most reliable choice but can require preventative maintenance to deter rust and corrosion.
Impact Window Glass Options
Once you start researching, you may be asking yourself, “How do I decipher the kinds of hurricane window glass options?”
• Laminated Glass:
Laminated glass is two sheets of glass bonded together with a robust and transparent interlayer. A silicone glazing process helps keep laminated glass from breaking away from the frame. Once sealed, the glass “sandwich” behaves as a single unit and is transparent like ordinary glass.
• Laminated Insulating Glass:
Laminated insulating glass is composed of three panes of glass: two panes of glass bonded together with a strong, clear interlayer for impact resistance and one pane for added insulation. The additional pane of glass is added to a laminated unit with hermetically sealed air space in between. It is commonly used in colder climates where the temperature difference is greater than 50 degrees between inside and outside during the winter.
An authorized window and door dealer can help you determine which glass type is ideal for your home.
Protect Your Home with Impact Doors and Windows
Proper preparation for hurricane season is essential. Once you understand your hurricane risk and how it may change in the future, you will be ready to choose hurricane windows and doors. If you’d like to learn more about preparing your home, download our “CGI 2020 Hurricane Guide.”
New home construction is tricky. There are millions of choices to make, and it can feel like every single one of them is permanent.
But, when it comes to windows and doors, there’s no reason to stress. They not only provide personality to a home, but they give houses a different look and feel depending upon the time of day and season. Here are some considerations for door and window location and type in new construction.
Window and Door Options
When working with a builder, you have options on windows and doors. Sometimes these are filed under the “upgrade” category but don’t automatically count them out when evaluating your budget. When moving into a new home, there are things you can invest in later after you move in. But decisions during a build about windows and doors will save you time and money when you have an initial strategy. In other words, it’s easier to add a door or window when building a home than to go back and add it later.
Upgrade options don’t stop with simply adding new doors and windows to your floor plan. This is also an ideal time to consider upgrading to impact windows and doors. In the long run, this upfront investment can help you save you money long-term with potentially lower insurance premiums and much more.
Door and Window Location
Accessibility can make the difference between liking and loving your home. Does your existing floor plan have a door far away from the kitchen that allows you to access your lanai ? Consider replacing a window closer to the kitchen with a door or adding a new French Door if entertaining outdoors is important, and you don’t want to have to carry food and drinks far. Do you like to store your backyard gardening tools in the garage? Maybe a side-entry door from the backyard to your garage would make things easier for you day-to-day.
Window and Door Types
For example, if your initial floor plan offers a single swing door to your back patio, is it worth upgrading to a sliding glass door, so you can easily transport food to the grill and drinks out to your guests without having to turn a knob or handle? Or, do you love to grow herbs in your kitchen? There are a couple of window types that should be considered:
Fixed/Picture Window: A picture window gives you more sunlight for your plants (and maybe the perfect excuse to grow your plant family).
Project-Out Window: Are you an avid baker who likes to air out the kitchen after a long day of baking? Consider adding a project-out window for easy kitchen ventilation.
Casement Window: The ease of a casement window over the sink allows you to easily open and close your window with the use of a crank. Casement window screens also keep out unwelcome insect visitors.
Door and Window Design
Would you like your home to stand-out compared to your neighbors? It’s worth asking your builder if you have window frame finish options or other upgrades to select from. . You may also have the option to select from half circle, eyebrow, half eyebrow, arch, half arch, or trapezoid architectural shaped windows. These types of windows let you showcase your personal style and differentiate your home. Glass colors, hardware type, and additional options such as improved energy efficiency that could save you long-term on your heating and A/C bills may also be options.
Take the time to evaluate how you currently use your home or how you’d like to utilize your future home. This upfront effort can help you create a window and door strategy that will not only function for your family but maybe even make your neighbors a bit envious.
For the 5th year, Door and Window Market Magazine (DWM) has named their top door and window dealers.
‘DWM editors undertook extensive research, scoured various sources and conducted field surveys for the latest annual sales and other information.’
We are proud to note that this compilation of top dealers/installers includes some of our very own PGT Innovation dealers.
Congratulations goes out to all winners but special note to our PGTI dealers Weather Tite Windows, Window Classic Corp, East Coat Windows & Doors, HBS Inc, Coastal Supply, and White Aluminum.
The article can be found here.
Don’t take it from us, read this recent Wall Street Journal article by Ken Brown.
To see the article directly, click: http://bit.ly/InvestPGTI
At its most basic, an investment in PGT Innovations (PGTI) is a bet that there will be hurricanes in Florida. That part is impossible to time. But investors can do well with PGT even if Florida doesn’t see another big storm for years.
PGT controls about 65% of the market for impact-resistant windows and doors in Florida. These windows can stop flying debris in a storm and are part of the building code in storm-prone areas. Last year’s Hurricane Irma, which led to the biggest storm evacuation in U.S. history, was a reminder of the state’s vulnerability after years without a major hurricane. Just 18% of Florida homes have impact resistant windows. The rest rely on storm shutters or plywood for protection.
PGT sales have been strong since then, but sales to existing homes were already up by more than 20% in the two quarters before Irma. That gets to the strength of PGT: After being hammered like the entire Florida building industry in the housing crisis, PGT rebounded, getting some growth from new home sales but more from renovations of existing homes. In the second quarter, sales for renovations grew 30% and accounted for 65% of revenue. To further dominate its market, PGT acquired its two biggest competitors.
The company’s healthy free cash flow—expected to be $62 million to $72 million this year—allowed it to pay down the debt from those acquisitions and to make new ones. This time it ventured out of Florida for the first time and in July agreed to pay $360 million for Western Window Systems which sells high-end, energy-efficient windows, from the West Coast to Texas.
There are good reasons for investors to expect PGT to keep up the momentum. The first half of this year was very strong: Sales were up 24%, earnings more than doubled and margins hit a record. Keeping step, shares of the company, which now has a market value of about $1.3 billion, have nearly doubled in the past 12 months.
The second half of the year definitely would get a boost if another hurricane hit Florida. Even without a storm, though, the company’s backlog is up 64% compared with a year earlier in part because the tight labor market has stretched out the post Irma boom. The company’s guidance calls for slowing growth, which looks unlikely given the backlog. While the stock’s valuation is at the high end of PGT’s historic range, there is evidence the company has moved to another level in terms of scale, diversification and customer awareness of its products.
There are risks. Tariffs have driven up the cost of aluminum, though PGT has been able to hedge its exposure and raise prices to offset the increases. New home sales are sluggish and the growth rate in the company’s renovations business is well above housing turnover, which is what typically drives renovations.
Nobody should wish for a storm, and PGT shares should do well even without one.
Top Three Reasons to Invest In Impact-Resistant Windows Now
There are important steps to be taken in advance of a hurricane to ensure homes are protected from impending harsh weather conditions. Our impact-resistant windows have long been at the forefront of such protection, offering a variety of styles and options to serve the diverse needs of homeowners. For years, however, a value-custom line of impact-resistant windows wasn’t available. Until now.
CGI is proud to offer Sparta, our all-new value-custom impact-resistant window line. CGI Sparta windows are available at a price you can afford while still offering durability and style, equipping your home to withstand the test of time. With hurricane season underway, these are three reasons to invest in impact-resistant windows now.
- Strong windows are now at a strong price
The number one reason to buy Sparta impact-resistant windows? Affordability. This year, impact-resistant windows are more affordable than ever. Sparta impact-resistant windows are accessible to homeowners looking for strong, quality products at an equally strong value. Sparta windows provide benefits beyond just hurricane protection, however. They protect from potential intruders, significantly reduce outside noise, and prohibit 99% of ultraviolet rays from entering your home. The decision to upgrade to impact-resistant windows has never been easier.
- Strengthen the vulnerable
A window serves as one of the main entry points in a home, and is therefore one of the most vulnerable spots on a home facing extreme weather. If windows are damaged during a storm, high winds and debris can enter the home, put pressure on the roof and walls, and damage it from the inside out. Replacing non-impact windows with Sparta value-custom, impact-resistant windows creates a stronger barrier against a storm – preventing high winds from entering your home, and keeping your home secure and your loved ones safe.
- Year-long preparedness
In the case of an imminent storm, not all homes are prepared equally. While covering windows with plywood or shutters may be the most economical way to protect a home, this protection often requires immediate action by homeowners in the last moments before a storm. Further, the hazards that can result from improper installation can be costly, or even dangerous. Passive protection, on the other hand, embraces year-long preparedness. There is no need to scramble in the last moments before a hurricane to coordinate (and pay for) installation of plywood or storm shutters or to try to apply these cumbersome products yourself. Sparta impact-resistant windows provide passive protection by safeguarding your home from hurricanes and extreme weather, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
CGI’s Sparta Brings Strength and Affordability to Homeowners
When considering an upgrade to impact-resistant windows, there are many options to choose from and cost is likely a big part of the decision. For years, a value-custom option for impact-resistant windows wasn’t available to homeowners. While the unmatched safety and protection that impact-resistant windows provide is as clear as the windows themselves, purchasing impact-resistant windows can seem financially out of reach. To better meet the needs of all of our customers, CGI is proud to offer Sparta, our all-new value-custom impact-resistant window line. Now having impact-resistant protection from storms is more attainable than ever.
Sparta is here
As a leader in the impact-resistant window industry, PGT Innovations recognized the need for a value-custom impact-resistant window line, and we’re excited that CGI is launching Sparta to fill that need. With Sparta, you can expect the same strength, quality, and performance you’ve come to expect from other CGI products at an affordable price. These durable value-custom windows will keep your home and loved ones safe from the next big storm. Sparta windows offer passive protection, meaning there is no need to apply cumbersome plywood or storm shutters prior to a storm. Sparta provides all the window protection you need, at a price you can afford. The decision to upgrade to impact-resistant windows has never been easier.
Available in Single Hung, Horizontal Roller, Fixed, and Architectural styles, Sparta windows are constructed with strong aluminum frames. The window line can withstand a design pressure of up to +55/-65 pounds per square foot and offers powder coat paint, corrosion-resistant hardware, and standard stainless steel assembly screws. Sparta windows hold a Florida Product Approval, are ideal for both new construction and remodeling, and are easy to install.
Safety beyond hurricanes
Designed to stand up to hurricanes and tropical storms, Sparta impact-resistant windows are the smart choice for other safety reasons, too: they provide protection from potential intruders, significantly reduce outside noise, and prohibit 99% of ultraviolet rays from entering your home. When you choose Sparta, you’re not simply designing a house — you’re building a home.
CGI Products and Severe Weather Events
As a long-standing Florida-based company operating in the building and remodeling industry, CGI is particularly sensitive to weather-related risks posed to residents of this state. The destruction of homes and businesses caused by hurricanes, as well as the disruption caused to the daily lives of the residents, affects all of Florida citizens. CGI products are tested and comply with current industry standards and code requirements for repelling and dispersing water under defined performance conditions. The impact-resistant glass used in CGI products is also tested to ensure that it will resist direct impacts from wind-borne debris and high design pressure caused by hurricane-force winds.
While these products perform as intended under specified conditions, windows and doors are not designed to be leak proof. As with other building components, the forces imposed on windows and doors by extraordinary events such as hurricanes can exceed their ability to keep out water and water infiltration around the frames may occur when exposed to these conditions.
Below are several common questions and answers regarding the performance of impact-resistant and non-impact-resistant windows and doors.
The Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) recommends that if a structure sustains damages as a result of extreme weather conditions, the owner should file a claim with his or her insurance carrier to ensure proper handling.
The swift and innovative responses to previous weather events have resulted in significantly reduced catastrophic property damage and personal loss. This is a testament to all companies and individuals in the industry who work to improve the quality of building and public safety. We at CGI are proud to contribute to this public service and look forward to providing quality products that improve lives for many more years.
Frequently Asked Questions
HURRICANE-RELATED Q & A
Q: Are there window and door products that are “hurricane proof”?
A: Impact-resistant products are designed, tested and built to withstand certain conditions to provide reasonable storm protection; however, it is unsafe to consider any product “hurricane proof”.
Q: If something hits my impact-resistant glass, will it break?
A: If struck, the impact-resistant glass can break, but it is designed to remain in the frame. This prohibits wind, water or other debris from entering the structure and causing further – sometimes catastrophic – damage.
Q: Will windows and doors leak in a hurricane?
A: Not necessarily; however, wind speed, duration, direction, rain volume and other natural phenomena that accompany a storm all contribute to and increase the possibility of leaks.All of our products are tested and certified for water infiltration resistance and meet or exceed code requirements.
WATER-INTRUSION Q & A
Q: Why does water leak through my product when I spray it with a garden hose or pressure washer?
A: Most operable windows and doors are designed to withstand up to a certain amount of water pressure, measure in pounds per square foot (psf) or pounds per square inch (psi). A typical garden hose sprays water at approximately 30-60 psi and a typical pressure washer sprays water at 1200+ psi. These pressures far exceed the water rating for operable windows and doors, which typically range between 7 psf and 13.5 psf (0.0486 psi and 0.0938 psi, respectively).
Q: Why does water get into the track of my Sliding Glass Door or windows during a minor rain storm? Is something wrong with my product?
A: It is normal for water to be present in the track of sliding glass door or windows during a storm, especially if it is a windy storm. These products are designed to capture water in the track and drain it to the exterior of the building through the “weep holes” located in the bottom of a door or window frame. Keeping these “weep holes” free of dirt and debris will allow the water to flow out freely and not to build in the track.