Coastal Windows and Doors: Suggestions for a Safe and Stylish Home

Coastal Windows and Doors: Suggestions for a Safe and Stylish Home

Living on the coast can be idyllic, but it comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to home maintenance. Coastal properties are exposed to harsh weather conditions such as heavy winds, salt spray, and high humidity levels that can cause damage to the exterior and interior of homes, including the windows and doors. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right type of windows and doors that can withstand these conditions. In this article, we will provide tips on how to choose coastal windows and doors, considering factors such as materials, wind resistance, energy efficiency, and design.


The materials used for windows and doors in coastal homes must be able to withstand the harsh weather conditions mentioned above. The most common materials used for coastal windows and doors include vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, and wood.

Vinyl windows and doors are a popular choice for coastal homes because they are durable, low-maintenance, and affordable. However, they may not be the best choice for high-wind areas.

Fiberglass windows and doors are also a popular choice for coastal properties. They are strong, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion and warping. Additionally, they have better energy efficiency than vinyl windows and doors.

Aluminum windows and doors are another option for coastal homes. They are strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for coastal areas. However, they are not as energy efficient as fiberglass or vinyl options.

Wooden windows and doors offer a traditional and classic look for coastal properties. However, they require regular maintenance and are not as durable as other materials. In addition, they may not be the best choice for areas with high humidity levels or heavy rain.

Wind Resistance

Coastal homes are often subject to strong winds, especially during hurricane season. Here are some tips for choosing windows and doors that can withstand high winds:

Impact-resistant glass - Impact-resistant glass is a must-have for coastal homes. This type of glass is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and can prevent debris from entering the home during a storm.

Reinforced frames - In addition to impact-resistant glass, the frames of the windows and doors should be reinforced to withstand high winds. Look for frames made from materials like aluminum or fiberglass, which are strong and durable.

Some examples of wind resistance certifications and standards for windows and doors include:

ASTM E1996: This standard specifies the performance requirements for window and door assemblies when subjected to both static and cyclic wind pressures.

AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440: This standard sets the minimum performance levels for windows and doors in buildings located in areas that are prone to high wind speeds and/or hurricanes.

Florida Building Code (FBC): The FBC is a set of regulations for building construction in Florida that includes requirements for windows and doors to withstand wind-borne debris and high wind pressures.

It's important to note that different regions may have different wind resistance requirements, so it's best to consult with a local building code authority or a windows and doors manufacturer to determine the appropriate standards for your area.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is important for any home, but it's especially crucial for coastal homes where the sun's rays can be intense. Here are some tips for choosing energy-efficient windows and doors:

Low-E glass - Low-E glass is coated with a special material that reflects heat while still allowing light to pass through. This can help keep your home cooler and reduce your energy bills.

Insulated frames - Look for windows and doors with insulated frames, which can help keep your home comfortable and reduce your energy costs.

There are several energy efficiency standards and certifications that are recognized globally. Here are a few examples:

ENERGY STAR: This is a program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the environment by promoting energy-efficient products and practices. To earn the ENERGY STAR certification, windows and doors must meet certain energy efficiency requirements based on their geographic location.

National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC): This is a nonprofit organization that establishes energy performance ratings for windows, doors, and skylights. The NFRC ratings take into account various factors such as U-factor (heat loss), solar heat gain coefficient, visible transmittance, and air leakage.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): This is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies buildings for their sustainability and energy efficiency. LEED takes into account a wide range of factors, including the energy performance of windows and doors.


Finally, when choosing coastal windows and doors, it's important to consider the design. You want to choose products that not only perform well but also look great. Here are some tips for choosing stylish coastal windows and doors:

Custom designs - Many window and door manufacturers offer custom designs, so you can choose a look that complements your home's architecture and style.

Color options - Look for manufacturers that offer a wide range of color options, so you can choose a color that complements your home's exterior.

Decorative glass - Decorative glass can add a unique touch to your coastal windows and doors. Consider options like frosted or stained glass to create a beautiful, custom look.

By following these suggestions for coastal windows and doors, you can ensure that your home is both safe and stylish. Remember to choose materials that can withstand the harsh coastal environment, look for products with impact-resistant glass and reinforced frames, and consider energy efficiency and design when making your selections. With the right windows and doors, you can enjoy all the benefits of living by the coast without sacrificing style or safety.