Bulletproof Windows For Home

Kenneth Wilson

In these troubled times, it's understandable that you'd want to consider bulletproof glass for your home, school, place of worship, security shack, or business. The combination of an armored guardhouse and a qualified security guard sounds like exactly what you need to keep everyone under your control secure. But before you spend the money on bullet-proof ticket booth windows or a bullet-proof guardhouse, be sure you understand what bullet-resistant glass is and how it meets your demands, as well as the cost of bullet-resistant glass.

When you think about bulletproof glass, you might think of celebrities and high-ranking government officials who need to be protected. Many regular homeowners, on the other hand, are interested in installing bulletproof windows to protect their homes from everything from storm damage to forceful entry.

Before we go any further, keep in mind that while there is no such thing as bulletproof glass, there are bullet-resistant materials that can be used to strengthen windows against ballistic attacks and other high-force impacts.

These materials can stop a certain number of bullets of various calibers fired from different firearms at varied velocities, depending on the exact composition and thickness of the bullet-resistant window.

The Myth Of Bulletproof Glass Windows

Let's start by stating the obvious: there is no such thing as bulletproof glass or a bulletproof security booth.

I know you're surprised. However, it is the term "proof" that causes the problem.

There is bullet-resistant glass, which is rated to stop most projectiles, but given the incredible and ever-changing weapons that humans can invent, anyone who claims to offer bulletproof glass for sale is lying. No such thing as bulletproof glass exists.

However, there are glasses designed to endure extremely high impacts and can certainly protect your building from anything that comes it's way, including most bullets.

When it comes to home exterior designs, safety is paramount. It is not just the primary concern of celebrities and high-ranking executives, but also for the general population, security comes first. Well-known individuals go to great lengths to ensure that their homes are safe from harm. Due to rising security issues such as crimes, accidents, and robbery, bulletproof glass doors, windows, and reinforcements are becoming increasingly popular with all households.

Breaking through glass can happen anywhere and at any time. There's a chance that a flying golf ball will shatter your glass door or window. A landscaping accident might also break the glass on your homes exterior. High-risk areas and buildings, such as courtrooms, hospitals, financial institutions, and, of course, retail checkouts, require bulletproof glass reinforcements. For general buildings and houses, such reinforcements are ideal.

Is Bulletproof Glass An Effective Home Security Measure?

Home security is a must-have for all homeowners. The idea of a protected home can come true with bulletproof windows and ballistic material-covered walls. The same windows that we look out of to see the world are the same windows that burglars can use to gain access to our homes.

Bulletproof windows and doors can provide:

  • Security
  • Elegance
  • Variety
  • It is a wise investment to have bulletproof glass installed in your home. After all, safety is paramount.

     Most of us spend a few minutes Googling before buying a big-ticket item to get an idea of the pricing range. This is simple with ovens and cars, but it's more difficult with bullet-resistant glass systems-largely because these systems are customized, and their costs can vary widely.

    Different Kinds Of Bulletproof Glass And Their Cost Estimation

    Before adding an expensive item to your cart, take a moment to do some research and get an idea of current market values. However, this is difficult to achieve, especially in the case of a tailored product such as bullet-resistant glass reinforcements, because the cost of such a system may differ from home to home.

    Minimal Bullet Proof Glass System

    A simple, straightforward system on one end of the spectrum is suitable for a stand-alone ticket window, small shop setting, or after-hours transactions. A bullet-resistant glass transaction window with an integrated communication system and cash tray, ballistic fiberglass to reinforce the surrounding walls, and possibly a simple, all-steel bullet-resistant door and frame would all be part of such a system. These are delivered as prefabricated, made-to-order components that must be placed on-site. Although most bulletproof firms will send their installation team for an extra price, such work can often be done by local contractors.

    Including shipping and handling, this sort of minimal system will cost at least $7,000 to $10,000 (not including installation).

    Mid-Range Bullet Resistant Barrier System

    More complex barrier systems, such as those used in retail or banking, require a higher level of customization. Consider a 24-hour petrol station, which is sometimes combined with a well-stocked convenience shop to create a "truck-stop oasis." These stores typically have at least two registers and must consider bullet-resistant glass on both the exterior and interior.

    The cost of such a system varies greatly based on the materials required for their security demands and the degree of flexibility they desire. Each register should be protected by a bulletproof glass booth, with ballistic fiberglass reinforcing the counters and deep steel deal trays built into the counters. Each bulletproof point of sale will be accessed by a bulletproof door. Business owners may opt for an electronic keypad/buzz-through entry system, which eliminates the risks associated with keeping track of physical keys.

    Instead of using electronic intercoms, most gas stations and convenience businesses choose to use natural voice communication (at least for interior applications). Many people also choose to install "sliders." These windows can be opened during times of low crime and heavy traffic, then locked once the sun sets or in an emergency.

    A mid-tier system (like this hypothetical truck stop, a small bank branch, or a corner business) will cost between $15,000 and $25,000.

    A High-End Bullet Resistant Glass System

    Bullet-resistant glass and security systems can go far beyond what you'd find at a bank or a ticket counter. For example, many government buildings have high-level forced entry blasts and bullet-resistant glass in every external window, as well as ballistic fiberglass in every interior and exterior wall. Some corporate entranceways are fully made of bulletproof glass and framing, and their charming vestibules are essentially man traps ready to shut at a moment's notice. These systems, which are frequently completely invisible to the casual onlooker, start around $30,000 and go up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    But that isn’t to say that every bullet-resistant barrier for a corporate or municipal building is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Most of these parameters also have more limited applications that fall outside the Minimal and Mid-Range categories (a single lobby open late, a transaction window for paying utility bills, etc.).

    Bulletproof glass is made by using alternating layers of thermoplastic, polycarbonate, and laminated glass. These layers are separated by ultra-thin plastic films. There are three different types of bullet-resistant glass.

    Acrylic Plastic:

    Acrylic is half the weight of traditional glass, but it diffuses the impact more effectively. Acrylic, despite its hardness and toughness, can be drilled, sliced, or used in bullet-resistant systems for stability. Most acrylic is used indoors. Acrylic is less expensive to produce than glass. A single acrylic panel can cost anything from $30 to $50.

    Bulletproof and bullet-resistant windows are usually made of acrylic. Acrylic glass, sometimes known as plexiglass, is a synthetic polymer that is half the weight of glass and effectively diffuses impact.

    Acrylic glass is tough but stable enough to cut and drill, making it a popular choice for a variety of bullet-resistant applications. It can normally reach a UL rating of 2 with thicknesses of somewhat more than 1.25 inches.

    The pros

    Easy to cut, work with, and install.

    Lighter weight than glass

    Excellent visual clarity

    Acrylic is resistant to UV rays and water damage, so it does not yellow or turns brittle over time, giving it great durability.


    The acrylic glass needs to be much thicker than a standard home window to be bulletproof.

    Bottom line:

    Acrylic is simple to get, work with, and install, and it is shatter-resistant and long-lasting. It retains optical clarity, is scratch-resistant, and is lightweight. While most home windows are made of acrylic glass, which isn't bulletproof, it's still a good alternative for home security.

    Poly Carbonate

    Polycarbonates are strong, robust, and optically clear thermoplastic polymers. The layers of polycarbonate are soft and flexible, and it is a third the weight of acrylic. Rather than resisting hits, they absorb and spread the energy.

    Polycarbonate is most commonly seen in "theft-proof" product packaging that is difficult to open by hand, safety glasses, and windscreens in smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. A UL rating of 3 can be achieved using polycarbonate that is 1.25 inches thick, while a UL rating of 1 can be achieved with the only ¾ of an inch.

    Different layers of acrylic and other materials are used to make polycarbonate. It has 200 times the strength of ordinary glass. It is 70% to 80% lighter than glass. When compared to acrylic, it provides more visibility. Polycarbonate functions as a catcher's mitt, intercepting bullets and laminating the impact. It's also used in enclosed spaces. With all the above advantages, polycarbonate is more expensive than glass and acrylic.

    The pros

    • It is extremely tough and strong for the weight.

    Lightweight and easy to work with


    • Will scratch, tint, or show wear over time.
    • Will degrade over time without UV protection.

    Bottom line:

    Because it is light, thin, and easy to work with, polycarbonate is an excellent choice for bulletproof glass. However, it is not a particularly long-lasting material, and the likelihood that it would tint and degrade in UV light, as well as display scratches and wear with time, makes it unsuitable for use in a home.

    Glass-clad Polycarbonate

    Glass-clad polycarbonate, sometimes known as "ballistic glass," is a multi-layered material. Because glass resists wear and scratching, the exterior or threat side of the material is usually made of a layer of glass.

    Polycarbonate is used on the interior side, with PVB and/or TPU layers sandwiched in between. Although glass-clad polycarbonate is significantly thicker than polycarbonate alone, the glass layer helps to increase durability. The highest grade of bullet-resistant glass is glass-clad polycarbonate, which has a UL rating of 8.

    Different layers of polycarbonate sandwiched between glass make up glass wrapped polycarbonate. Glass-clad polycarbonate is a long-lasting material. In comparison to acrylic and polycarbonate, it provides better visibility and strength. Glass-clad polycarbonate is so strong that it can withstand M16 and AK47 gunfire because of its dense layers. For extremely sensitive outdoor conditions, glass-coated polycarbonate is ideal. For places prone to harmful climates or explosions, it is the ideal security-resistant system material. Glass clad polycarbonate price is much higher than normal glass and other bullet-resistant materials.

    Depending on the factors like size and type of bulletproof glass, its cost can range between $25 to $100 per sq. foot.

    The pros:

    More long-lasting than polycarbonate alone

    Excellent bullet resistance


    It is difficult to fabricate and work with.

    Poor light transmission

    Bottom line:

    The most bullet-resistant window material is glass-clad polycarbonate, which also has the added benefit of improving aesthetics and durability. It's also pricey because of the difficulties of manufacturing it and dealing with it.


    If you want bulletproof windows in your home, there are many solutions available in a variety of materials and price ranges for various threat levels. Over time, as technology advances, we should expect even more improvements in bulletproof glass.

    Kenneth Wilson
    September 30, 2021

    Kenneth Wilson

    Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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