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Hurricane Impact Windows Requirement and The Importance of the Buck Frame:

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Installing hurricane impact windows to code requires you to replace the Buck Frame of the opening. The Notice of Acceptance in Miami (product approval) is very clear on this. The impact windows must be installed the same way they were tested by the manufacturer. In most South Florida homes, the existing Buck

Frame is often thinner than the one the product was tested with.

The Buck Frame serves as an “energy load transfer”. This means it transfers the impact of a projectile from the glass of the window to the frame of the window, and then to the concrete wall the window is installed to. This ripple effect needs to be continuous and sound for the windows to perform against a hurricane or tropical system.


The Buck Frame is the wood that sits between a window and the structure. Its main purpose is to transfer the load from the window to the structure. Impact windows require a different sized Buck Frame than regular non-impact windows. Many impact windows companies in South Florida attempt to skirt the issue by not changing the Buck Frame or simply reinforcing it when installing impact windows. Some companies even have an addendum to their contract warning that if they have to change the Buck Frame there will be an additional charge. To install impact windows correctly, you must always change the Buck Frame unless of course the pre-existing Buck Frame is made out of concrete.

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