Friday, June 30, 2017

Impact-Resistant Door Thresholds Approved for the High Velocity Hurricane Zone Requirements

Replacing existing swing doors for hurricane-rated, impact-resistant doors manufactured in Florida for the Florida weather conditions has its peculiarities.  For example, when installing a new impact door, the new door has to come with a threshold (the aluminium assembly part that goes on the bottom of the door frame) that is at least 1.5 inches in height.  For new construction projects, this might not be an issue since conditions can be worked out in advance to accommodate for the new threshold dimensions.  However, when working on existing properties on what we refer to as retrofit projects, then homeowners might find surprising how tall the new threshold is in comparison to the one being replaced for.  

For those potential client out there, we have created a short video with a 3D illustration featuring a scale-sized threshold for a PGT Industries's swing door, the Series FD101 French door. 

We hope you find this video useful.  If you are in the market for replacing your existing windows and doors for impact-resistant windows and doors, please call us at 305-328-9138 or visit us at

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fall Protection and Egress Requirements at Bedrooms When Installing Impact Windows

If you are replacing the existing windows of your property for impact windows, you should know that the new windows must comply with the existing Florida Building Code egress rules. The Code stipulates that bedrooms must have at least two ways of egress in case of emergency. A door to a different room or to the outside counts as one way of egress. To comply, a bedroom has to have a second way of egress through a window or through another door, such as a patio door. If your bedroom does not have a patio door, then at least one window must have egress dimensions determined by the Code. The window must feature a clear opening that must meet all of the following criteria.

Egress Criteria
* Minimum width of 20 inches
* Minimum height of 24 inches
* Minimum net clear opening of 5.0 square feet at grade floor and 5.7 square feet otherwise.

It is very important that your window contractor takes into account this rule to avoid installing a window style that will not pass inspection. For example, a single-hung which is 37 inches wide by 50 5/8 inches tall does NOT pass egress. However, a casement window of the same dimensions does pass egress.

Fall Protection
Based on Section 1013.8 of the Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014), design professionals must take into consideration a minimum window sill height if the opening is located more than 72 inches above the finish grade.  Where this condition exists, the operable part of a window must not be at less than 36 inches above the finished floor surface of the room in which the window is located.  If the operable window sill is less than 36 inches above the finish surface, then design professionals must specify other means of fall protection, such as installing guard rails that do not allow a 4-inch diameter sphere to pass through.

We created an video illustration below to further explain this particular condition.

Visit Astor Impact Windows for information about purchasing impact windows and doors. You can also email us at or call us at 305-328-9138.  If you have any questions or want to share additional information regarding this topic, drop us a comment below.