Monday, September 4, 2017

Impact Windows and Building Permits

Do I need to pull a permit if I am only changing one window in my house and installing an impact window? Do I need to pull a permit even though I am not changing the location or the size of the opening? We have several clients asking these questions when they are thinking about replacing one or more of their existing windows. The answer is yes, you must pull a permit if you are replacing any exterior window or door.

Impact Windows and Wind Engineering
The Florida Building Code requires you to obtain a building permit to replace an existing window for an impact window (this rule also applies if you install a non-impact window). To obtain the building permit, you will need a wind engineering report, specifying what the wind loads are for each opening in the house. The impact window or door that you are purchasing MUST have a design pressure that exceeds the wind loads calculated by the engineer. Otherwise, installing impact windows and doors is pointless.

Do Impact Windows Have Different Ratings?
The impact windows that we install in Miami must have the Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance, or NOA. To check impact windows ratings, you could review the NOA of the specific window or door. NOAs will have a table showing the corresponding maximum design pressures for an impact window depending on the size and glazing makeup option used. So, properly evaluating whether or not an impact window meets all the requirements is not so simple.  Important factors must be evaluated.

For full service assistance on successfully moving through the entire process of replacing existing windows for impact windows, contact Astor Windows.

Designing Structures to Provide Full Support to 3-Track Impact-Resistant Door Systems

This post is intended for design professionals who plan to specify impact-resistant sliding glass doors with three moving panels on three independent tracks. A three-track system allows for wide openings with unobstructed views when all panels stack on one end behind each other. It is important, though, to understand that the new generation of approved por impact, heavy-duty, three-track configurations could measure more than 8 inches in depth. As a result, door tracks can extend beyond tie beams' and columns' depths, which presents a problem: Miami-Dade County and State of Florida approvals require that structural substrates must provide full support to the door tracks. The table below provides dimensions for four impact-resistant sliding glass door systems rated for hurricane protection and approved by Miami-Dade County. On one column we show the nominal track width, assuming no screen rail tracks are desired. On the other column, we present our estimated jamb support and tie beam minimum depth to appropriately offer full support to the sliding glass door system.

It is important that architects and structural engineers learn about these track dimensions before they finalize their designs for new structures. 

If you are in the market looking for to purchase new impact-resistant sliding glass door systems and need a professionals with proven track records to help you design and properly install these doors, you can learn more about us at Astor Windows.