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5 Features Your Home's New Impact Windows Should Have

When replacing your home's windows with storm-resistant impact options, it's important to hire an experienced contractor to avoid improper installation and the loss of energy efficiency as time goes on due to air leaks. And if you don't hire a contractor to install the new windows, there is a chance that your manufacturer's warranty will become void. But before consulting with prospective contractors, it is a good idea to figure out which impact windows you want to install. This will allow you to narrow down your contractor options quickly from the get-go, by considering only those who are experienced with your chosen windows. Here are a few features to look for when picking out your new impact windows to ensure that they meet your needs and expectations as time goes on:

Noise Reduction

Your new set of impact windows should feature an extra layer of lamination designed to reduce outdoor noise pollution so you're less likely to notice the vehicles driving by or dogs barking in the distance. Look for windows with lamination that not only reduces unwanted noise from outside, but also reflects harmful UV rays to minimize the chance that your furniture, walls, and floors will fade due to weather damage. Each set of windows should come with a rating for noise reduction and UV protection so you can compare performance expectations side-by-side.

A Metal-Backed Frame

Another feature your impact windows should have is a metal-backed frame for optimal support if you face a severe storm such as a hurricane at some point in the future. The frames should be welded together as one piece as opposed to being screwed together at the corners to minimize the chance that it will break apart during a storm. You should be able to request any color frame you want even if it's metal, as most manufacturers offer a variety of options.

Large Customizable Locks

Dinky locks won't do much to keep your windows in place in case of a storm or attempted burglary, so your new impact windows should feature large sturdy locks that don't feel flimsy or loose when you use them. The locks should also be customizable so you can add an after-market padlock or other security accessory to them if you feel the need as time goes on. For example, the locks should have large holes in them to accommodate a second lock or have a base that's large enough for you to drill your own custom holes in them.

Extended Warranty Options

While your impact windows will most likely come with some type of manufacturer's warranty, it's a good idea to choose a set that offers extended warranty options too. Your manufacturer's warranty will cover things like malfunctions, but won't do much to protect you financially if a window cracks or gets damaged due to exterior elements in the years to come. However, a comprehensive extended warranty will cover major repairs for the next several years so you have the peace of mind in knowing that you won't have to pay out of pocket for many of the things that can go wrong with age and time.

Ease of Maintenance

If you're like most homeowners, you have enough household tasks on your plate at any given time without having to worry about extensive maintenance tasks for your new impact windows. So, make sure that your new windows have smooth edges and a basic design that's easy to keep clean. The windows themselves should be scratch-proof, and the overall setup should be free of embellishments that can't be easily removed for a thorough cleaning.

Make your own list of preferred features to add to the ones outlined here so you have a guide that can be used to keep you on track while comparing your impact window options to one another.