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Impact doors are an incredible investment for homeowners in Miami. These hurricane-ready products provide you with superior storm protection, improve the energy efficiency of your home, and so much more!

However, before settling on the first quote from an installer, it's important to do your own research first! Make sure you are getting top-notch quality at a great price - with an ironclad warranty!

Our guide can help Miami-Dade property owners find the best impact door installation experience - guaranteed!

BEFORE YOU START

Choosing the right impact doors and qualified installers in Miami can be daunting. Simply relying on Yelp or Google Reviews might not tell you the whole story. With that said, doing some research before setting up any appointments will help reduce overwhelming feelings when making final decisions.

You’re doing the right thing! Protecting your family and property is paramount in today’s world. Our guide is a great place to begin your deep dive.

Is Your Home Hurricane Ready?

SOUTH FLORIDA’S STORMY HISTORY

1. South Florida’s Stormy History

Miami Dade County has a deep history of rebuilding due to severe weather. Hurricanes remain the most dangerous threat each year, as they can cause massive damage to all types of homes and result in thousands (if not millions) in damages throughout South Florida.

Hurricane Andrew was an especially destructive example. This event resulted in $27 billion in damage and destruction when it hit back in 1992. Not all of this storm’s effects were negative, though. In order to safeguard communities in the future, the county began researching and investing in more stringent building codes. The goal? To produce stronger structures to withstand the new major storm event.

One such regulatory update involved requiring stronger windows and doors on new constructions. According to the Florida Building Commission (FBC), if your home sits within one mile of a coastal area that receives winds more than 100 mph, windows must be:

  • Impact-resistant
  • OR have some external protection measures. (such as hurricane shutters)

In areas classified as High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ), requirements are even stricter. In an HVHZ zone, every exterior opening, such as garage doors and windows, must be impact resistant or have shutters.

On average, Miami faces a hurricane every 1.94 years, hence the strict codes for protecting structures. Long-time Miami residents know true storm protection means investing in simple, reliable products that withstand severe weather.

While both hurricane shutters and impact windows can prevent significant damage during a heavy storm, impact windows look great year-round and don’t require any extra steps on the day of a storm.

In addition, homeowners should consider the potential safety implications of shutters, such as needing to scale a ladder, closing them in high winds, or conducting last-minute installations or repairs right before or during a dangerous storm. When it comes to preparing for inclement weather, you need a solution that won’t make your life more complicated!

To see more of a breakdown between the two, check out our article comparing both impact windows and hurricane

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2. Why Purchase Impact Doors?

If you are like most homeowners, you may not give too much thought to your front door's security or safety features. Maybe you never use it that often because your common form of entry is through a garage door.

While that's perfectly normal, I encourage you not to underestimate the importance of a secure front door. It is a significant line of defense against storm damage, break-ins, noise pollution, and more.

For this reason, purchasing impact doors for your home is an important investment that offers a wide range of benefits. Perhaps the most critical advantage is that these hurricane-proof products provide the best protection against severe weather.

As a result, many South Florida homeowners choose to invest in hurricane-resistant doors because the area is susceptible to damaging winds and tropical storms.

Aside from storm defense, impact doors provide other benefits for South Florida homeowners, including:

Improved home security.

Impact doors are fitted with high-quality locks, so there is no need to worry about theft.

Reduced outside noises.

Hurricane-proof products come equipped with polycarbonate and acrylic panels to help reduce noise pollution from outside disturbances.

Lower energy bills.

Impact products have the highest energy performance ratings compared to traditional counterparts. As a result, homeowners can minimize annual energy bills in all types of climates.

Lower insurance payments.

Homeowners won't only save on energy bills but property insurance rates as well. Certain providers view impact doors as a strong protection system and reward customers with reduced payments.

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3. Are All Impact Doors Equal?

As you can see, an investment in impact doors and windows isn’t just for peace of mind during extreme storms. South Florida homeowners can benefit in multiple ways – all with the end bonus of saving money. However, earning the true value of impact products can be dependent on how the doors are installed.

When it comes to choosing an installation method, there are three popular approaches:

  • DIY impact door installation
  • Hiring installers from big box stores such as Home Depot
  • Hiring local, professional impact door installers

The Dangers of DIY
Installation

While installing the impact doors yourself will save you money, there are many ways this type of home improvement project can go wrong if not handled by a professional. Therefore, it might be worth considering the total costs of hiring a professional installer to avoid any surprises and potential headaches.

What to Expect from Big
Box Store Installers

In some instances, big box store teams will not have experience with impact door installations specific to your needs. For example, South Florida is unique based on environmental factors, local ordinances, and other regional factors.

Additionally, the consistency of this type of contractor can vary. It is common for chains to contract out to whatever installer is available that day. It can leave the reality of quality results up to chance.

The Advantage of Hiring
Local Installers

Sure, local installers may not be as cost-effective as hiring big box store installers or doing the job yourself. But, they do come with years of experience to avoid the unexpected such as delayed timelines and surprise expenses.

Plus, local installers are small enough to research and often have readily available customer reviews. When it comes to protecting your home, you want to make sure you have the right team for the job.

Are you interested in learning more about how a local installer compares to big-box stores?

Read our blog post Buying Impact Windows From a Local Installer vs. Home Depot.

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4. How Are Impact Windows Made?

Staying protected against hurricanes is a top priority for anyone living in South Florida, as impact windows are uniquely designed to withstand the impact of flying debris from severe weather. These hurricane-resistant windows can handle heavy impact without fracturing or breaking apart into a thousand pieces.

Exterior tempered glass improves energy efficiency, while the interior heat strengthened glass provides your window with additional support to withstand flying debris or break-in attempts. A clear SGP or PVB interlayer prevents the glass from shattering, which is the same material used in car windshields. The space between both panes of glass is filled with argon gas to provide superior insulation.

Impact-resistant windows and doors must undergo an extensive testing process to ensure they can withstand severe weather conditions. Installing impact glass throughout your house gives you the best protection against hurricanes, whether you need it for windows or a sliding glass door. Many times you can decrease your insurance premium by getting impact products installed for all of your windows and doors.

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4. How Are Impact Doors Made?

A question our impact windows and doors company hears a lot is, "How are impact doors different from traditional entry doors?" The two can look very similar and therefore spikes curiosity as to what makes impact doors so durable.

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Traditional Doors

A traditional front door is typically made of wooden or aluminum frames with two steel facings and an insulating filler. It also often includes a solid wood block that attaches the lock and door handle for added security.

Standard door frames are made of wood or aluminum. While a traditional entry door may be suitable for some environments, the materials it is made with will not stand the intense winds that accompany a hurricane.

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Impact Doors

As a result of its make-up, hurricane-rated doors are built with materials that have been rigorously tested and approved to withstand even the most catastrophic winds.
Impact doors are composed of thick, fiberglass skins with composite reinforcements and specialized polyurethane foam cores. Additionally, the door frames have strengthened hinges that ensure all materials will stay in place under any condition.

Lastly, hurricane-rated doors are built with materials that have been rigorously tested and approved to withstand even the most damaging weather

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5. What are the Costs of Impact Doors?

It often depends. In general, the cost of non-custom impact doors will range between $2,400 and $3,000. This price point is common for homeowners who select a popular style and cost-effective material choices. However, the final cost of installing impact doors can increase based on material costs, labor, and scheduling.

Manual Costs

The physical components of your impact door will be the most significant factor in determining the final cost of installation.

For example, a 72x80 sliding glass patio door with simple aluminum framing can be more expensive, because most of the door installation is impact-resistant glass. In comparison, French entryway doors are often more affordable because of the reduction in glass installation necessary.

In most cases, material costs start at $1,000 but can go far beyond the $2,000 threshold based on glass, wood, and metal components

Labor

The process of installing hurricane-resistant doors is similar if not identical to installing traditional front entryways. In these situations, homeowners can plan to spend anywhere from $75 to $500 per door.

A big factor that can cause installation costs to rise is the complexity of the door design. Here are two examples where costs can increase.

  • If an installer has to work under complex and labor-intensive circumstances, then you will be charged for that extra time.
  • If your home improvement project requires an architect or someone with special qualifications, you will be charged for that extra personnel and expertise.

Scheduling

How quickly do you want to install impact doors in your home? Depending on how short your timeline is, it can impact labor costs.

For example, a South Florida homeowner is looking to install impact doors before hurricane season. However, they don't call their local installer until August 1st. With hurricane season kicking off in mid-August, they will be chasing the clock to finish the project.

As an added caveat, this is a very busy time for impact product installers. As a result, their team will have to work overtime to meet the customer's short deadline.

In this situation, the homeowner would have to pay inflated labor costs to expedite the installation. And herein lies the importance of planning ahead so you can get the best deal on your impact doors.

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6. Who are the top Impact Door Manufacturers?

While many South Florida homeowners are interested in impact doors for safety and security reasons, they are pleasantly surprised by the abundance of style options. Here are a few of our favorite brands.

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6. Who are the top Impact Door Manufacturers?

While many South Florida homeowners are interested in impact doors for safety and security reasons, they are pleasantly surprised by the abundance of style options. Here are a few of our favorite brands.

PGT
Our team loves the line of PGT impact doors as they are modern, stylish, and energy-efficient. Better yet, PGT works with building officials in Miami-Dade to ensure their products meet all local requirements.

Homeowners can choose from a wide variety of impact products, including aluminum or vinyl French doors, sliding glass doors, cabana doors, and more.
CGI

As a Florida-based hurricane impact resistant door manufacturer, CGI guarantees its products are up to code and meet local pressure requirements. In addition, CGI offers various product lines for those who love a modern look and feel or for others that prefer a luxury home exterior.

Mr. Glass

Mr. Glass is an excellent option for both residential and business customers. Their commercial doors, French doors, and sliding glass doors are all well recognized in the industry. Additionally, Mr. Glass doors meet HVHZ testing requirements that give many property owners peace of mind.

Echo

Similar to the impact resistant door manufacturers above, Echo specializes in doors and windows. However, Echo is also known for offering a quality line of garage doors with multi-layered glass that contains a PVB layer. They offer a variety of colors, frames, and patterns available to meet almost any homeowner's style.

For more recommendations, read our blog post What Are the Most Popular Hurricane Impact Door Brands?

PGT Custom Windows + Doors

PGT Custom Windows + Doors

has a solid reputation in the industry for keeping homes well-protected against extreme weather conditions. Eco Window Systems is another popular manufacturer, as they offer a vast selection of impact windows. Others prefer ESWindows due to their variety of styles that can further boost the value of your home

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Mr. Glass Doors & Windows

Mr. Glass is another premium impact window manufacturer providing the highest quality of protection against hurricane-force winds. You can choose from an almost countless variety of styles and sizes, as Mr. Glass is a trusted supplier for Alco Windows and Doors.

Mr. Glass is known for producing top-quality windows, which is why they are the manufacturer of choice at Alco for installing impact windows in Miami.

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7. CHOOSING THE BEST IMPACT DOORS

 
  • Type of Glass Perhaps the most important component in impact doors is a durable glass option. You'll likely have the option between tempered, laminated & hurricane impact glass. When shopping for hurricane-resistant doors, pay attention to the key features that give glass panels a trustworthy impact-rating.
  • Type of Wood As beautiful as it may be, real wood is subject to erosion and wear. For this reason, it is important to purchase doors made with aluminum or fiberglass. These materials mimic natural wood patterns but can withstand the impact of severe storms and flying debris.
  • Type of Frame The frame is what holds a door into place. Therefore, it must be extremely strong and durable. Similar to the door itself, Alco recommends aluminum framing. It carries three times the strength of vinyl, making it a smart choice for storm doors.
  • Wind Load Requirements Lastly, various regions of Florida have different requirements and residential building codes. For example, windows and doors must be impact-resistant if located within one mile of the coast where wind speed is 110 mph or greater. Before purchasing impact products, make sure it passes local ordinances.
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8. Tips for Getting the Best Price

  • Stick to a Budget

    Everyone has a general budget in mind before investing in impact windows and doors. Before contacting an installer, conduct research to learn what type of impact door you can afford and what styles fit within your budget.

    Doing so will give you a great reference and starting point before vetting different impact product companies. Remember! Don't be afraid to walk away if the installer estimates something outside what you can afford.

  • Receive Quotes from Multiple Impact Product Companies

    The goal is to find an impact door installer who can complete your project perfectly and at a fair price. In most cases, it will take many consultations with different vendors before arriving at that best fit.

    Even if the first impact product team seems intelligent and professional, you don't really know if they are quoting a fair price until you speak with other companies. In some cases, getting a second or third opinion could save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

  • Don't Make a Rushed Investment

    It is always a good idea to make a confident, educated decision before investing in any home improvement projects. Therefore, it is important to leave yourself plenty of time to research and meet with different impact product companies.

    For instance, don't wait until the start of hurricane season to start thinking about installing impact doors. Not only will you be charged for an expedited project timeline, but you have limited options for installers as they are likely fully booked with other customers.

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9. Top Project Financing Options

With impact doors, you are never short of options. Homeowners can choose from an abundance of styles, colors, coatings, insulation types, and more. However, the more elaborate the door, the higher the price point.

Luckily, several payment options are available to lessen the burden of paying for a large expense all at once. Here are a few financing options to choose from.

  • Pay with Cash or Check

    Perhaps the easiest way to pay for impact products is by writing a check or paying with cash. Like Alco, some impact door installers ask only for 50% up-front at the start of the installation.

  • Pay with Credit Card or Automated Clearing
    House (ACH)

    If paying for impact doors with cash or a check isn't an option, consider using a credit card or the automated clearing house (ACH).

    ACH is a popular system that homeowners can use for electronic funds transfer. As a result, money is electronically deposited to financial institutions and payments are conveniently made online.

  • Purchase Impact Doors Through Financing

    Financing can be a great avenue to purchasing impact windows and doors. Many lenders offer unique advantages such as low rates, no upfront fees, and no prepayment penalties.

Here are two alternative financing options:

  • GreenSky.

    Greensky financing offers residential and commercial loans to help property owners pay for impact products. They are not a bank but a credit technology platform supporting many impact door installers.

  • Ygrene

    Ygrene financing is not a loan or discount program but an assessment of your property. In other words, homeowners can pay for their impact doors by repaying annually with their property taxes.

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10. Why Choose Alco Windows & Doors?

Alco Windows and Doors can help transform your home into a safer, more energy efficient space. Our team of certified professionals takes the time to ensure our customers know exactly what they're investing in. It is vital to Alco that customers are both educated and confident in their purchasing decisions.

Still have questions for our South Florida impact product company? We know there is a lot to cover about pricing, project timelines, and warranties.

That's why Alco has created easy-to-read educational resources for property owners interested in investing in impact windows and doors. Each resource is consultant-focused on education, not selling.

  • Your Complete Guide to Impact Windows
  • Financing the Cost of Impact Windows & Doors
  • Impact Door Benefits for Your Property

If you're ready to book a free consultation appointment with the Alco Sales team, click here or call 305-376-7136.

Contact Alco Windows and Doors

To learn more about the importance of hurricane safety and install safe windows and doors in your home today!

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