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Old 07-09-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


Hello, my 21 year old home has original windows...time for new windows ! Have decided to go with impact windows since we are in south florida. There are several reasons I want impact :

1.SECURITY....that is probably more important that hurricane protection as I will be putting up shutters anyhow so the glass does not break. I want my wife and I to be protected against break in's

2.NOISE REDUCTION....my master bedroom window faces the street. I want a super quiet masterbedroom that most impact windows afford


So....I have the choice between Lawson or PGT. I have 9 openings and one of those openings will have a french door replacing a current patio slider. Total price including permits is 7,800 for the Lawson and 9,700 for the PGT.

Is PGT really that much better ? Is Lawson just as good ? Again, I want SILENCE in my home from outside noise and maximum security. So should I do the Lawson or the PGT ? I noticed the Lawsom is only 5/16 inch glass. What is the thickness of PGT ? Also...PGT states that annealed laminated glass is not as good as just pure laminated glass. Lawson has annealed laminated glass.

Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks !

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Old 07-10-2009, 12:20 PM   #2
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


I will answer my own question since nobody here knows SQUAT ! I was able to talk to someone that installs these for a living and he told me that Lawson and PGT are built identical as far as thickness and quality goes. He told me the more expensive PGT windows are EASY to break into with a butter knife and to avoid PGT at all costs ! So there you go....PGT sucks for the money.

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


Actually, I saw your message this morning and I was planning to answer it this afternoon - however, since no one here knows squat, I imagine that my answer wouldn't be any help anyway.



But, what the heck, so....

Laminated glass is made up of two sheets of glass and a plastic interlayer. The two primary types of plastic interlayers most used in laminated glass are PVB or polyvinyl butyral and SGP or Sentry Glass Plus. PVB is a relatively soft and pliable plastic and it is the same material that is used in the windshield of your car; however when used in an impact product it is three times thicker than it is in your car's windshield.

SGP is a much more rigid interlayer that was designed specifically for the impact application.

Since your primary concern is sound-blocking you want to use PVB. SGP does little in sound blocking application versus PVB.

Glass for your home is available in three "states"; annealed, heat strengthened, and tempered. Glass used for laminated glass in impact windows can be made using annealed, heat strengthened, and tempered.

The salesman who told you that "annealed laminated glass is not as good as just pure laminated glass. Lawson has annealed laminated glass." either doesn't know glass very well or else wasn't good at explaining - resulting in a misunderstanding. The term "pure laminated glass" has no meaning.

Annealed glass used in laminated make up will meet your specifications. There is no sound control advantage to using either heat strengthened or tempered laminated glass. There can be windload advantages to using heat strengthened or tempered when laminating, but it isn't as common (by a good bit) versus using annealed glass.

Impact glass comes in thicknesses ranging from a bit under 1/4" up to 3/4" or more. Generally, thicker impact glass is going to be an improvement in sound blocking ability - it also can be a good bit more expensive for several reasons.

From a security standpoint, laminated glass using SGP is a superior product to using PVB. However, both products will stop a 2x4 at 50fps from passing thru the glass. The same 2x4 will punch thru 3/4" plywood more times than not and 1/4" impact glass will stop it better than 95% of the time depending on a few other factors.

Few break-ins occur when the windows are in some ways stronger than the walls.

Last edited by oberon; 07-10-2009 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


If this is a big investment it might be worth your time to call a couple of manufactures and/or suppliers and form your own opinion.

True, I don't know Squat and I'm just a "Stiller" fan from "Picksburgh". So now you know I don't live in an area that requires impact windows therefor I don't know anything about impact windows either. I do have experience with contractors (installers) and I would be cautious of his/her recommendation unless we had a really good relationship. While most contractors I have worked with have great integrity often they are biased to a particular product because it is: all they use, all they know about, the best wholesale price (most markup) or lots of other reasons unrelated to quality. Sometimes they simply have been influenced by a particular manufacture and often truly believe they are giving good advice when they have been misinformed.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RegeSullivan View Post
If this is a big investment it might be worth your time to call a couple of manufactures and/or suppliers and form your own opinion.

True, I don't know Squat and I'm just a "Stiller" fan from "Picksburgh". So now you know I don't live in an area that requires impact windows therefor I don't know anything about impact windows either. I do have experience with contractors (installers) and I would be cautious of his/her recommendation unless we had a really good relationship. While most contractors I have worked with have great integrity often they are biased to a particular product because it is: all they use, all they know about, the best wholesale price (most markup) or lots of other reasons unrelated to quality. Sometimes they simply have been influenced by a particular manufacture and often truly believe they are giving good advice when they have been misinformed.

Thanks Rege ! I will look more into it. I found another home improvement forum where I have been receiving a lot of excellent responses. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


Are these installed prices?
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:05 PM   #7
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Getting impact windows ! Have two to choose from, which is best ?


Here's something no one has mentioned but that's probably because none of us here know squat and in fact you really don't deserve this information anyway.

But, If you were smart (and that's fairly questionable right now) you should first check to see that those window products you are looking to buy are products that qualify for the Federal Income Tax Credit of fifteen hundred dollars for anyone upgrading windows on their homes this year.

If they don't qualify for the tax credit, and not all windows do, then keep looking. Didja get that news from the other forum?

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