Florida Building Codes and Your Windows
Life on Florida’s west coast is unique and offers many benefits. However, the area does experience hurricanes and tropical storms from time to time. The Florida Building Codes help reduce storm-related risks for folks living in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Sarasota counties.
Why Was the Florida Building Code Created?
The Sunshine State adopted its first building code in 1974, but cities and counties could create their own code providing it met state minimums. When Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, it highlighted the hazard of lax regulations and poor enforcement. State officials revamped the code and released the first edition of the Florida Building Code, (FBC), in 2002.
Windows are vulnerable to the wind and pressure of hurricanes and other severe storms. To protect people and homes, the FBC requires you to secure your windows. The current version of the building code offers three options: impact-resistant windows, hurricane shutters, or boarding up with plywood.
If you opt for plywood, it must be a minimum of 7/16 inches thick. However, you cannot use plywood for openings larger than a 44-inch span between fasteners or a roof higher than 35 feet. Impact-resistant windows and shutters must meet American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) wind pressure and impact standards.
While our service area —Tampa, Largo, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater — is not in Florida’s High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ), it is designated a wind-borne debris (WBD) area where winds reach 140 miles per hour or higher. We install PGT impact windows that meet ASTM standards, are energy efficient, and add value to your home.
If you are building a home, planning a remodel, or want to replace your current windows, JMI Windows & Doors has the knowledge and skills to ensure a successful installation. Visit our showroom or give us a call to learn why so many homeowners turn to us for their window and door needs.