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Florida Building Code (FBC): Impact Windows

Florida Building Code Inspector

Impact Windows Requirement

The Florida Building Code (FBC) requires impact-resistant windows on all new residential and commercial construction in Florida. This requirement applies to all buildings located within one mile of the coast where the basic wind speed is 110 mph or greater. The FBC also requires impact-resistant windows on all new construction in high-velocity hurricane zones (HVHZs). HVHZs are areas that are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, such as Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The FBC's impact-resistant window requirement has been credited with helping to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by hurricanes in Florida. It has also helped to reduce the amount of property damage caused by hurricanes.

This requirement is not unique to only Florida; Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas also require impact windows to be installed on new construction. These states are all located in hurricane-prone areas, and impact windows are designed to withstand high winds and flying debris. Impact windows are made with laminated glass that is bonded to a strong inner layer, which helps to prevent the glass from shattering if it is struck by an object.

If you fail to install hurricane-proof windows in a High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) area in Florida, you may face the following consequences:

  • Your building permit may be denied. The Florida Building Code requires impact-resistant windows on all new construction in HVHZs. If you fail to meet this requirement, your building permit may be denied.
  • Your homeowners insurance rates may increase. Homeowners insurance companies typically charge higher rates for homes that are not properly protected against hurricanes.
  • Your home may be more susceptible to damage in the event of a hurricane. Hurricane-proof windows can help to protect your home from high winds and flying debris. If you do not have hurricane-proof windows, your home may be more likely to be damaged in the event of a hurricane.
  • Your home may be more difficult to sell. Many homebuyers in Florida are looking for homes that have hurricane-proof windows. If your home does not have hurricane-proof windows, it may be more difficult to sell.

In addition to these consequences, you may also be liable for any damage that is caused by your home to other homes or property in the event of a hurricane.

If you are living in a HVHZ area in Florida, it is important to make sure that your home has hurricane-proof windows. This is the best way to protect your home and your family from the devastating effects of a hurricane.

The Florida Building Code (FBC) first required impact-resistant windows in new construction in 2002. This requirement was implemented in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Hurricane Andrew showed that traditional windows were vulnerable to shattering during hurricanes, which can lead to serious injuries and property damage.

Permit Requirement

You need to get a permit to install hurricane-proof windows in Florida as hurricane-proof windows are considered an addition to your home and must meet the building codes and safety requirements set by the state. Without a permit, your hurricane window installation could be considered illegal and subject to fines or penalties.

To obtain a permit, you will need to contact your local building department and submit an application (typically we do this for you). The application will typically require you to provide plans for the installation, as well as information about the type of hurricane-proof windows you are planning to install.

Once you have submitted your application, the building department will review it to make sure that it meets all of the requirements. If your application is approved, you will be issued a permit.

It is important to note that the permitting process can vary from one county to another. Be sure to contact your local building department to learn about the specific requirements in your area.

Here are some tips for getting a permit to install hurricane-proof windows in Florida:

  • Start the process early. It can take several weeks or even months to obtain a permit, so it is important to start the process as early as possible.
  • Be prepared to provide all of the required information. When you submit your application, be sure to provide all of the required information, such as plans for the installation and information about the type of hurricane-proof windows you are planning to install.
  • Be patient. The permitting process can be time-consuming, so be patient and work with your installer or local building department to get the permit approved.

Getting a permit to install hurricane-proof windows is an important step in protecting your home from the devastating effects of a hurricane. By taking the time to get a permit, you can ensure that your hurricane window installation meets all of the requirements and that your home is properly protected.


Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning & Building Department
Permit Center
2300 N Jog Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
https://discover.pbcgov.org/pzb/building/pages/permit-center.aspx


Broward County Building Code Services Division
Building Permitting
2307 West Broward Boulevard, Suite #300
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
https://www.broward.org/Building/Pages/default.aspx


Miami-Dade County Building Department
Permitting Customer Service Center
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 1210
Miami, FL 33128
https://www.miamidade.gov/global/economy/building/how-to-apply-for-permit.page


If getting a permit on your own you will likely need to pay a permit fee. The fee amount will vary depending on the county and the scope of the project.

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