This is a controversial topic, if you go to your local shutters dealer he will swear to you that there is no need to invest all that money on costly impact windows when shutters are so much cheaper and protect your home better. On the other hand if you ask your friendly sales rep at your local window dealer they will counter the argument, and you will yet again be back at ground zero not knowing where to spend your money. We will try to give you an unbiased point of view, and let you decide for yourself at the end.
Protection: Shutters only work hen you have them down, if they are not down at all times you are at risk of the glass shattering. When it comes to hurricane protection they do help and are more ideal then plywood or duct taping your glass.
Cost: shutters are a fraction of the cost compared to impact windows.
Aesthetics: Shutters have a wide collection of colors and models to choose from and you are sure to find a model that will conform to you, but they are bulky and not quite pleasing to the eye.
Energy efficiency: NONE
Noise Reduction: NONE
durability: dents and scratches are usually not a problem being that your shutters more time than not will be rolled up
Protection: Impact windows proect your home 24/7, there is no hassle in having to lower or re-install shutters.
Cost: Impact windows are more expensive than shutters, that is un-debatable. But there are alot of financing and rebates available, as well as insurance discounts for installing impact windows.
Aesthetics: Impact windows are slimmer and more appealing to the eye giving your home a more modernized look.
Energy efficiency: Impact windows aid in energy efficiency, depending on the configuration is the amount of of heat radiation blocked. (See our guide to energy efficiency for more info)
Noise Reduction: Impact windows aid in noise reduction, again depending on the configuration that you choose is how efficiently it reduces noise but without a doubt a standard 5/16 glass will reduce noise better than shutters or a regular tempered glass.
durability: impact glass does crack but it does not shatter, glass repairs and minor hardware adjustments are at times necesarry, but not always the case. But that is the case for any window being non-impact or impact.
are impact windows worth the investment? we leave you to examine the pros and cons of both products. The above info only scratches the surface on all the possibilities. are personal opinion on the subject is that if your looking for superior protection go with impact windows, they offer protection all year round as well as aiding your home in energy efficiancy, noise redcuction and at the end of the day it looks better. shutters have been fading away from the hurricane protection market for a reason and we believe sooner than later they will be non existent, especially wih all the technological advancements that are making impact windows more affordable.