How Impact Windows Work Overtime

Sparta Impact Windows

Impact resistant windows let you enjoy the great outdoors, allow sunlight into your home, and even provide a lovely breeze in on cool days. But they’re working overtime. Did you know your impact windows offer safety, security, and cost savings?

How do impact resistant windows help with safety?

When a hurricane hits, a lot of things need protecting. First, your family must be kept safe from flying debris that could enter your home from strong winds. The good news is, impact windows can help give you peace of mind when it comes to your family’s safety. But they also protect your belongings. Since impact windows are less likely to break, they also help keep your home’s belongings safe from the damage hurricanes can create. Having to worry less about water damage or debris making its way inside your home, you can focus on taking care of your loved ones if a storm hits.

Are hurricane impact windows burglar proof?

Impact Windows Help Prevent Would-Be Intruders from Entering

Millions of people invest in alarm systems to keep their homes secure, but did you know that impact resistant windows can also help? Outside of protecting you from hurricanes and debris, impact resistant windows can help amplify your investment in home security. The National Council for Home Safety and Security reports that 95% of all home invasions require some sort of forceful entry.* Due to the composition of impact windows, they can help resist attempts from would-be-intruders. Even if the intruder damages your glass, it will remain securely in its frame thanks to a strong interlayer. This barrier helps prevent potential threats from entering your home.

Are impact windows worth the money?

Impact Windows by CGI

The investment in impact resistant windows can sometimes be a choice but often is a need. Due to state and county regulations, some homes are required to have impact windows no matter what. Although the price tag can be a bit higher for impact resistant windows, the good news is that they can help save you money in the long run. Due to their strength and tight seals, they are less likely to let out the cool air you’re paying for in the summer and the heat you also are billed for in the winter months. Also, impact resistant windows can increase the overall value of your home. If you’re replacing older windows, new impact windows can help increase your home’s resale value since these are the standard for most residences in Florida.

Whether replacing older windows or installing them in new construction, impact windows can help with your family’s safety, security and help lower your bills.

5 Ways Hurricane Windows Can Help Save Your Life

Hurricane windows do more than just protect your home during a storm. They also:

  1. Stop wind borne debris from entering your home
  2. Help keep intruders out
  3. No need to climb on ladders to install shutters and risk falling
  4. Help keep roof on home during a storm
  5. Keep zombies out of your house during a zombie apocalypse

Hurricane windows go through rigorous testing requirements set by Miami Dade County, the toughest wind-borne debris standard in the world. They will protect you from storms and intruders, possibly saving your life.

7 Reasons Why You Need to Replace Your Windows

  1. You have rotten wood windows.
  2. Your older windows are not energy efficient and are leaking air.
  3. They’re not impact windows. Non-impact windows won’t help you during a storm.
  4. The window panes are fogging up.
  5. Your insurance company no longer covers you since you don’t have hurricane rated products.
  6. The noise from outside is seeping in.
  7. Your windows are not opening and closing properly.

These are just a few of the many reasons why you may need to replace your windows. Security and energy efficiency are two very important ones. Non- impact windows won’t protect you from the storm or intruders and older windows leak air raising energy bills. Find out more about the right impact windows for you by exploring our website.

4 Signs You Ordered the Wrong Windows

When ordering windows, it’s easy to make a mistake. Here are 4 signs that you’ve ordered the wrong windows:

  1. They don’t have Miami Dade or Florida Building Code approval.
  2. They don’t fit your openings.
  3. You can feel a draft by the windows.
  4. The glass starts fogging soon after installation.

Make sure to measure twice and order once! A professional window installer will take measurements for you so you won’t have to worry about that, but the type of window you choose is up to you. Miami Dade approved impact windows should keep you safe from storms and intruders and give you the sense of safety you need for your family and home. Make sure that the windows you are ordering are Miami Dade Approved.

5 Signs You Hired the Wrong Installer

There are several red flags to look out for when hiring a window or door installer. Here are a few:

Hire a qualified and experienced installer.

Hire a qualified and experienced installer.

  1. They don’t have a license.
  2. They require 100% payment up front.
  3. They don’t have insurance.
  4. They don’t give you a written contract.
  5. They don’t have any references.

In order to make your investment in impact windows a good one, you need to hire the right window installer. Make sure to ask any potential installers questions such as:

  • Can you provide me with references?
  • Are you insured?
  • How long have you been in the business?
  • Will you be obtaining permits?
  • Do you offer a warranty?
  • What are payment options?

For more info read this article from Angie’s list on hiring a window replacement pro.

Selecting Impact Resistant Glass

Selecting the appropriate impact resistant glass make-up is an important part of your window and door selection.

Step 1: Select between laminated glass or insulated laminated glass.

Laminated Hurricane Impact Resistant Glass is comprised of two sheets of glass bonded together with a protective interlayer. Laminated glass is the primary hurricane barrier used in impact resistant windows. Laminated glass is also used in the windshields of cars. Hurricane impact resistant products use a thicker sandwich of glass and special film interlayer to make the glass unit stronger. Laminated glass also eliminates 99% of UV rays, reduces noise transmission, provides enhanced security protection for your home, and reduces the air conditioning and heating portion of your energy bill.

Insulated Laminated Glass adds an extra single pane of glass to the laminated glass unit with a hermetically sealed air space (or gas filled space) in between. This glass is generally more expensive but offers enhanced energy performance. The air or gas filled space serves as an insulator between the temperature difference that exists between the inside and the outside. Although it is more useful in colder climates, it does improve the performance of LoE coatings and in some cases architects or local building departments are requiring its use.


Step 2: Decide whether to use a LoE coating or glass tints.

Tinted Glass – CGI offers a variety of glass tints. Tinted glass is likely the most cost effective solution combining cost reductions with energy efficiency. Tinted glass absorbs incoming solar radiation through the glass thereby reducing the heat and light transfer into a room. Gray and bronze tinted windows—the most common—reduce the penetration of both light and heat into buildings in equal amounts. Blue and green tinted windows offer greater penetration of visible light and slightly reduced heat transfer compared with other colors of tinted glass. Green or blue colored glass tends to paint your room in the same color. Gray and bronze tints tend to be more color neutral on the interiors. Clear glass is also available, although without special coatings or tints heat transfer is not minimized.

LoE Glass– LoE coatings are applied to the internal glass surface to separate heat energy (long wave) and light energy (short wave). The heat energy (long wave) is reflected back to the heat source and the short wave can pass through the coating. CGI offers high performance coatings on its insulated laminated products.



With all of these options of tints, LoE and Insulated Glass, how do I decide?

In warm tropical climates if you are cost conscious, avoid insulated glass if not required by codes. Suggest tinted glass or clear glass with LoE. If you want the best energy performance, consider insulated laminated glass with a LoE coating. Also, discuss with your dealer to ensure that you are in compliance with building code requirements.


Back to basics- Which windows and doors are best for you? A quick review.

Here are the different options you have available for your next project with CGI Windows and Doors.






A casement window swings open like a door. Hinged on the side, casement windows provide excellent ventilation and unlike a single hung, it has no center rail to obstruct the view.

Project Out/ Awning

A project out or awning window is a top hinged outward opening window that protects the opening like an awning, providing ventilation even during rainy weather. Project Out windows are suitable in nearly every style of home and frequently used in bathrooms with obscure or textured glass.


Fixed windows are typically used for openings that are larger or where an opening window is not required. They are used to expand the view and bring in more daylight. A great choice for living rooms, dining rooms, master bedrooms and where ventilation is not a concern.

Designer Fixed

A designer fixed window adds a luxurious look to any room in the house while bringing in daylight. A large selection of designer window shapes are available.

Single Hung

A single hung window is a traditional style sash operable window that opens without using any interior or exterior space. It is a perfect choice for most living areas in your home.

Horizontal Rolling  

A horizontal rolling window operates similar to a sliding door. The sash slides open perfect for satisfying bedroom egress requirements and is a popular style for contemporary and modern homes.


Sliding Glass Doors

CGI Sliding Doors are a perfect solution for space, ventilation and aesthetic considerations. Sliding doors are common in many houses, particularly as an entrance to the patio and backyard. Available with screens, CGI sliding doors are also a great solution where doors are kept open but insect protection is desired. Check out the numerous configurations available.

French Doors

CGI French Doors are an elegant way of bringing the outside inside. Connect your garden with your home; enjoy unobstructed views of gardens, the pool, the hills or sunsets from anyplace you desire. Whether a beautiful entry door solution, or a simple passage door, CGI French doors can fit virtually any application you desire.

Within our different product lines, CGI offers plenty of window and door options for all of your upcoming projects. Choose from our Estate Collection, Sentinel by CGIEstate Entrances  and our Commercial Collection  lines. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


White Paper- How to Choose Impact Windows

Special thank you to Kim for making this white paper happen!

We’ve all seen those awful post-storm photos of 2x4s speared through a window, shattered glass covering someone’s possessions and furniture and belongings sucked through a window and scattered. Hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds – all of these weather phenomenons can wreak havoc on your home if you don’t have the right windows in place. Think window choice isn’t that important? Let’s look a little closer.

What if the three little pigs had chosen impact windows?

Living by the ocean can be such a joy: walking on the beach every day, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and cool breezes. But when hurricane season comes, what’s the best window choice to protect a home?

One of the first breaches of the building envelope during a wind event: the windows. Non-impact windows won’t stand up to the wind, weather and projectiles the way impact windows will. Weak, ineffective windows can be the difference between preserving family safety and possessions, and disaster.

According to the International Hurricane Protection Association, once winds get inside a home during a hurricane, the roof – and most of the home’s structure – most likely will not survive. Pressure build-up will cause these elements to separate, devastating a home in a matter of minutes.

Why Impact Windows are a Necessity

Sometimes it’s not the wind that shatters windows, but what the wind picks up and throws through windows. Photos like the ones below have become all too commonplace following significant wind events:
wp3 wp2 wp1

Take a look at this wind map illustrating the wind-borne debris regions present in the state of Florida, including adjustments made as part of the 2010 Florida Building Code (FBC).  As these affected regions continue to expand (the green area indicates expansion included in the 2010 FBC), the necessity of choosing impact windows will become even more important.

This level of information isn’t just specific to Florida: across the GulfCoast and the Atlantic Seaboard, wind and debris damage will always be a valid threat during wind events.


Beyond the broken glass and damaged property, choosing weak, non-impact windows can unleash a whole other host of challenges on the property owner. Higher noise levels. Higher property insurance premiums. Lower resale value. Lower intruder protection. Less UV protection for furniture and items within the home.

Taking all of this into consideration, one has to wonder: shouldn’t every home and building in storm-prone areas be constructed with impact windows?

The Obvious Choice: Impact Windows

So what’s the best way to keep the wolf away from the windows? Choose strong, durable, proven impact windows to protect your home and your family. Let’s explore the positive effects of this choice a little bit more.

Choosing to purchase impact windows for your home or commercial property makes sense on many levels. Impact windows are put through a series of rigorous tests designed to ensure that the windows, typically the weakest element of a structure, won’t compromise the integrity of the home during a storm.

How do they work? Impact windows are designed to resist the penetration of flying debris during a storm, thereby protecting a home or commercial structure from wind infiltration and resulting damages. Once a structure is compromised and penetrated by flying debris, internal pressure builds up, leading to serious structural damage.

To be qualified as an impact product, the window must meet hurricane or wind-borne debris codes from an approved body such as Miami-Dade, Florida Building or the International Building Code.

Beyond the obvious safety benefits, choosing impact windows has wide-reaching effects across almost all areas of home ownership. Among them:


The laminated glass used in impact windows adds another layer of 24/7 protection between residents of the home and intruders.

Lower energy costs

Good impact windows come with many glass options. Based on the glass chosen, energy efficiency can increase dramatically (in the form of less energy required to heat/cool the home) while the budget wins. The most cost-effective impact window glazing option is tinted laminated glass. Additionally, laminated glass or insulated laminated glass with a LoE coating would deliver even higher energy savings. While both options do cost a little more, they offer the best energy efficiency protection on the market. Both choices are perfect for warm climates such as Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii and along the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines.

Lower insurance costs

In most cases, installing impact windows will lower property insurance costs, offering another financial benefit.

UV ray reduction

Laminated impact glass eliminates up to 99 percent of UV ray damage to the interior furnishings and decorations of a home or commercial building.

Resale value

Better windows = better home envelope = better resale value.

Sound reduction

Laminated impact glass reduces outside noise transmission into the interior of the home or commercial property, which leads to a more beneficial, easy-going environment.

With new construction, choosing and installing impact windows should be a very easy choice. But what about remodeling? Are impact windows worth the price of a retrofit?

The 2013 Remodeling Magazine Cost Vs. Value Report ( details the obvious financial benefits of replacing windows. Listed as one of the nation’s top remodeling projects, the ROI is clear:

Project: Window Replacement

Job Cost: $9770

Resale Value:$6961

Cost Recouped: 71.2%

Value Vs. 2012: UP

Impact Window Material Options

Searching for the right product from the right company might be overwhelming. Here’s a quick guide to what’s-what in the impact window industry.

There are three main options for impact windows: Aluminum, vinyl and wood. But how do these products compare and contrast with each other? Let’s take a deeper look.




Aluminum Stronger. Weather resistant. Light weight. Aesthetically pleasing. Low maintenance. Recyclable. Needs to be painted.
Vinyl Excellent insulator. High energy performance. Low maintenance. Low cost. Recyclability is still being fully researched.
Wood Excellent insulator. High energy performance. Recyclable. Rots and warps. High maintenance.

Impact Window Glass Options

How to decipher the many kinds of glass options from which to choose?

Laminated: Two sheets of glass bonded together with a plastic film.

Insulated Laminated: An additional pane of glass is added to a laminated unit with hermetically sealed air space in between. Commonly used in colder climates where the temperature difference is greater than 50 degrees between inside and outside during the winter.

Why Impact Windows?

Some may question the necessity of impact windows. Why take a chance? Most impact resistant windows and doors are designed to higher performance thresholds. The benefits far outweigh the cost difference, and in many cases, the cost difference is minimal. Keep in mind; it’s not only the performance in a storm, but also the longevity of the product that makes it worth buying. The product features that make these products stronger also allow them to last much longer than the competition. Good manufacturers stand behind their products with a competitive warranty. Quality hurricane windows and doors installed over 10 years ago can still be performing and operating as when they were first installed. If you are considering purchasing impact resistant windows or doors, you owe it to yourself to understand the long-term value difference between manufacturers and their products.

The Best Choice: Impact Windows from CGI

The decision has been made: impact windows are the best choice for any home or commercial structure in an area frequented by hurricanes or tornadoes. Next, it’s important to choose the right impact window manufacturer to ensure that the windows are strong, durable and will last.

Choose CGI Impact Resistant Windows and Doors

Selecting impact windows and doors for either whole-house or commercial projects is a big investment. Before making this big decision, compare things like designs, finish quality, aluminum sections, hardware components and product approvals. Look for a supplier with market longevity and a real focus on quality performance. A supplier that stands behind their impact windows and offers the best combination of beauty, durability, innovation and value.

Established in 1992, CGI blazed a trail as the first manufacturer of hurricane windows and doors to offer laminated glass designed to meet the most stringent Miami-DadeCounty impact standards. As one of the original pioneers in the design and manufacture of high-performance impact resistant windows, CGI continues to lead the industry in innovation, product craftsmanship, strength and style.

CGI impact resistant windows are a successful combination of heavy, commercial-grade aluminum frames and laminated glass which creates a superior level of strength and durability. CGI impact resistant windows offer 24/7 protection against storms, outside noise, UV rays and forced entry.

The architectural community has come to know and respect CGI impact window products. From elegant custom residences to personal homes, these windows remain a favorite product with both the personal residences of architects and the projects they design. CGI product collections can also be found in the most prestigious resorts, office buildings, schools and high-profile hotels. Of special note: CGI impact windows were chosen to be part of the renovation of the historic and beautiful Palm Beach Breakers hotel.

CGI Product Options

Offering a wide variety of high-performance product collection from which to choose, there’s a CGI impact window product to fit every project. From remodeling to new construction, choose from a full line of impact windows (and doors) that any discriminating buyer would be proud to own.

Estate Collection

Recognized by architects as the premier line of hurricane impact windows, the Estate Collection can be found from elegant homes to historic hotels. Combining best-in-class performance with architectural-grade quality against hurricane-force damage, Estate Collection impact windows finish the deal with handcrafted details and superior engineering.

Within the Estate Collection, the casement, project outs and fixed windows are all made with the same framing, allowing customizable mixing and matching while maintaining a clean, elegant look. The single hung comes with CGI’s patented carrier system which results in smooth, consistent operation, while the horizontal rolling window includes a patented quad-roller system, ensuring a long-lasting, reliable operation.

Estate Entrances

Style, beauty and strength combined: that’s the Estate Entrances Collection from CGI. Featuring a wide variety of door styles, finishes, hardware choices, glass types and sizes, the Estate Collection is one of the most unique lines of entry doors on the market today. These doors are hurricane- and intruder-resistant, durable, require less maintenance than wood doors, and offer fantastic aesthetics, making them perfect for any style home.

Sentinel Collection

Exceptional quality, craftsmanship, energy efficiency and durability at an affordable price – these are the hallmarks of the Sentinel Collection by CGI. Custom manufactured to enhance the aesthetics of any home, Sentinel impact windows are champions at delivering protection from the most extreme coastal weather conditions. Aesthetically pleasing, functionally proven and uniquely affordable – Sentinel offers the best of all impact window worlds.

What About Code Approvals?

All code approvals are not created equal. Code approvals can be granted for many different product types, product properties and product uses. When evaluating code approvals, make sure the products are specifically approved for impact by a reputable governing agency such as Miami-DadeCounty and verify the approved performance level (PSF). Some manufacturers misrepresent their products as impact approved, when in fact the product is not. Talk to a CGI dealer for more information. Beware of the following:

• Approved NON IMPACT windows and doors

• Impact windows and doors that are NOT approved for larger sizes, heights or locations in a structure.

• So called “impact products”, which are simply impact glass in a non-impact approved window. Under tropical storm conditions, the glass could fly out of the window framing. Confirm the details with a CGI dealer.


Whether building a new home or taking on a remodeling project, windows are a key element of every home or commercial building. If the structure is located in a hurricane-prone area, impact windows are the best option to ensure safety and protection. The added bonus of lower energy costs and insurance premiums make impact windows the obvious choice. When choosing impact windows, be smart: do the homework, compare the brands. If industry experience, design options, safety and durability are paramount, go with the leader in hurricane impact windows: choose CGI Impact Windows & Doors.


Permit Fees for Impact Windows and Doors by Carlos Paesano

Carlos Paesano is the owner of Astor Windows and Doors, an impact-resistant window specialist based out of Miami, Florida.  Astor Windows provides full service window installations for both residential and commercial applications.

Carlos recently posted a blog we thought could be of help to our readers. With his permission, we are reposting it here.

Permit Fees for Impact Windows and Doors by Carlos Paesano

Homeowners planning to replace existing windows for impact-resistant windows always ask us how much permit fees will cost.  The answer is not simple as each municipality has different formulas to calculate the permit fees. To give our potential clients an idea of how much fees might be, we have looked at our accounting records.  The table provided below contains a short list of previous projects by municipality.  On this list, homeowners and our readers can learn how much our previous clients have paid for permit fees. We have included the total project cost to provide a tangible point of comparison.  It is our understanding that project cost is one of the important factors municipalities use to calculate the permit fees due.  In addition, they might use the square footage of glass replaced and the total number of different products installed (because they review each product approval).



 Project Cost  

 Permit Fee  

City of Coral Gables




City of Coral Gables




City of Coral Gables




City of Coral Gables




City of Miami




City of Miami




City of Miami Beach




City of Miami Beach




City of Miami Beach




City of Miami Beach




City of Miami Springs




Miami-Dade County




Miami-Dade County




Town of Miami Lakes




Town of Surfside




Village of Biscayne   Park




Village of Key Biscayne




Village of Key Biscayne




Village of Palmetto Bay




Village of Palmetto Bay




Village of Pinecrest




Village of Pinecrest




Village of Pinecrest




Source: Astor Windows and Doors Accounting

Important note: Please understand that this list is provided for informational purposes only.  Astor Windows cannot guarantee nor estimate in advance how much permit fees will be assessed in our future projects.  We hope that this information proves useful during your research when in the market for installing impact windows and doors for your property.

Please visit for more information.

CGI Advantages – One Product At A Time

CGI Impact Resistant Windows and Doors stands out from the competition, and we’d like to tell you how, one product at a time.  From time to time, we’ll be using our blog to explain the CGI advantages of our different products and hope these key points are helpful when making your decision. As always, if you need more information and wish to contact us, we can be reached here.

Let’s review our Series 238 Estate Collection Casement Window.

Estate casement blog

The 238 Series Estate Casement Window

CGI Windows and Doors 238  Estate Collection Casement Windows have an advantage over the competition because they include:

  • An industry leading casement with design pressures up to +110/-195 PSF
  • Ogee glazing beads and muntins
  • Stainless steel hardware package as standard
  • Multipoint locks and
  • Matching sitelines to our fixed and project out windows

Learn about more of the great features of our Estate casement window, and send us any questions you might have about this product.