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Window Replacement in St. Petersburg, FL
Window replacing is a small job, but one that comes with a lot of responsibility. The wrong kind of window makes a home vulnerable to structural damage and injury–especially in storm-prone areas like St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, older inefficient windows models allow heat from the sun to leak in, bumping up cooling costs and making your home less comfortable. When considering a window replacement project in St. Petersburg, one of the most important factors is selecting a window that fits the climate’s proclivities toward sun and storms. You’ll have to check wind-resistance and energy-efficiency ratings in order to keep your home legal and safe.
This replacement guide will help you ensure you’re choosing a model with the proper ratings–as well as meeting permitting and contractor requirements. And we’ll cover incentives that will make energy efficient windows a lot easier on the budget as well.
Window Requirements in St. Petersburg
It may be known as the Sunshine City, but that doesn’t mean that St. Pete doesn’t see its share of wind and weather. Tropical storms and hurricanes are known to trouble the area, so local building codes have been adapted accordingly–especially when it comes to window installation. When you’re shopping for new windows here, look for glass that can withstand wind speeds of up to 145 mph. Ideally, you’ll also want to invest in impact-resistant models. These are made with extra protection to keep flying debris from storms from shattering the glass. Generally, there are two types of impact-resistant windows–double paned and filmed windows, double-paned being the sturdiest of the two.
If, for some reason, you just can’t spring for impact-resistant windows, you’ll need to, at the very least, install hurricane shutters to protect the glass. And your non-impact windows still need to meet the 145-mph wind load requirement.
Window Contractor Requirements in St. Petersburg
According to St. Petersburg’s Construction Services and Permitting Office, all window installations must be performed by a licensed contractor. In addition to the permits and other forms you’ll submit, your contractor will have to complete a signed affidavit attesting that they possess the required certifications. You can also verify your contractor’s status using the Pinellas County Contractor Licensing Board’s database.
Applying for Window Permits in St. Petersburg
Although Florida is governed by statewide building codes, when it comes to smaller projects, permitting is left to the discretion of individual cities and municipalities. The City of St. Petersburg does require permits for window replacements, and dictates that residents install high-impact glass, necessitating the completion of an additional Window and Door Residential Compliance Form. You can access that form here.
Most of St. Petersburg’s permit applications and forms are available online at the Construction Services Forms section of the city’s website. From there you can download and complete the forms and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to (727) 892-5447. Or, you can visit the Construction Services & Permitting office in person at Municipal Services Center, One 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Their hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 8 am to 3 pm Wednesdays–but be aware, they stop calling customers half an hour before closing.
Inspections for Window Replacement in St. Petersburg
According to Florida’s residential building codes, all windows must be installed and anchored according to the manufacturer’s published guidelines. This is especially important when you’re dealing with impact-resistant models–a misstep in the installation process obviously makes your window less safe. The City of St. Petersburg may require inspections for major window alterations. Schedule inspections online here.
Energy-Efficiency Rebates and Incentives for St. Petersburg
In 2014, The St. Petersburg City Council approved the Rebates for Residential Rehab program (RRR), which allocated $400,000 in funding toward energy-efficient and hurricane-proofing home upgrades. Individual residents looking to take advantage of the program can receive a rebate worth up to 20 percent of the cost of specific improvements–including the installation of energy-efficient and impact-resistant windows. However, to qualify for the incentive, homeowners must apply the upgrades to all the windows in their residence–a single replacement does not count. You can access the application here, but be aware: your application must be submitted and approved before you even begin the work. Additionally, qualified applicants are limited by location–residents living north of 2nd Avenue or east of 4th Street generally cannot receive this rebate.
Additionally, energy-efficient window upgrades may net you more savings through your utility provider. Duke Energy, St. Petersburg’s main electricity company, offers a rebate of two dollars for every square foot of upgraded window you install, with a maximum return of 400 dollars. To qualify for this incentive, you’ll also have to have central air installed in your home, and use windows that have a solar heat gain coefficient of, at the most, 0.25 and a U-factor no greater than 0.35. You can find the coefficient and U-factor on any window with National Fenestration Rating Council labeling.
Additionally, if your windows are ENERGY STAR certified, they qualify for a federal rebate with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, as well–netting you up to 10 percent of the cost of your new windows, up to 200 dollars. To get the rebate, file form 5695 with your taxes.