Cost of Bulletproof Windows: Are They Worth the Investment?

Bulletproof Windows Cost

The bulletproof glass you see in the movies and television is not reality. 

In reality, bullet-resistant glass will protect you from all sorts of projectiles, but genuinely bulletproof glass is a myth. It might catch a bullet or two, and certainly, it slows them down, but if you’re planning on a shootout, don’t let bullet proof windows (or drywall) give you a false sense of security.

The cost of bulletproof window glass has a range of $150 to $800+ per square foot. 

And, now you’re likely telling yourself, that seems like a big spread in price. You’re right, and we will tell you why and explain the reasons it may just be worth it for you.

Bullet Resistant Windows (Reality) vs. Bullet Proof Windows (Fantasy)

Professionals and window glass industry experts will never, ever use the words bulletproof glass. When glass shopping, a huge red flag is if a contractor or salesperson promises bulletproof. And, that’s the last time we are going to use that word at all.

Bullet Resistant Windows

Window glass specialists create bullet-resistant glass by layering polycarbonate material (which basically are plastic polymers) between sheets of regular glass or acrylic. Now, the boring part is out of the way.

Most American homes aren’t sporting bullet-resistant windows. You find them mainly in various businesses, governmental agencies, and pharmacies. However, if you have the means to invest, it never hurts to have a few windows that can take a good beating.

Because bullet-resistant windows are not just for staving off robbers and protecting against old-fashioned shootouts. They hold up to so much more that is far more likely to happen.

  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Wind storms with flying debris
  • Burglars
  • Landscaping accidents
  • Bad Children
  • Zombies, probably
  • Pistol caliber handguns
  • Sometimes small-caliber other firearms, but don’t rely on it.
  • Angry mobs

In the case of hurricanes, they can complement roll down shutters.

The Levels of Provided Protection

Bullet-resistant glass has different levels of protection. In this case, the lower the number, the more expensive it becomes.

But, I can sum it up while not missing any of the highlights.

Level 1

You commonly find level 1 bullet-resistant glass in the following places:

  • Gas stations 
  • Pharmacies
  • Credit Unions
  • Some Retail Stores
  • Pawn Shops
  • Gold and Fine Metal Buyers
  • Check Cashing Services

Level 2 

The larger financial institutions and banks tend to have better window glass than your corner bank.

Level 3

You are starting to look at the industrial level glass at level 3. 

  • Utility Offices
  • Police Stations
  • Courthouses
  • Federal Governmental Buildings
  • Law Enforcement Dispatch Centers

Level 4-8

You likely can’t afford it, and it is overkill unless you’re afraid of being killed, and well, strong glass is one layer of protection for sure. 

Governmental agencies like the NSA, Homeland Security, courts, and the military most commonly use this level of bullet resistance.

Pros and Cons of Bullet-Resistant Glass

You can’t make a sound decision about an investment unless you know if it’s worth it. Weighing the pros and cons of bullet-resistant glass gets you one step closer to knowing if they’re for you.


  • Protects your family from extreme weather.
  • Provides a barrier between your family and an industrial disaster. 
  • It makes it harder for a bad actor to gain access to your property.
  • The material used to make bullet-resistant glass (polycarbonate) is more robust than all other materials used for glazing. 
  • It breaks into chunks rather than shatter.
  • It is just way better than regular window glass.
  • In some cases, it can reduce your home insurance costs.


  • The higher the quality, the more expensive it is.
  • Bullet-resistant glass is heavy.
  • Bullet-resistant glass is more complicated to install than regular windows.
  • Bulletproof windows aren’t what most people expect, which crushes expectations.
  • Does not protect from a bomb blast.
  • If a criminal wants inside, they will still find a way to get through the bullet-resistant glass. It’s not the glass’ fault, though. Better to increase overall window security and interior security.
  • It probably will require a professional contractor.

Another Cool Benefit of Bullet Proof Windows

Bullet-resistant glass does more than just protect you from flying objects and civil unrest. They secure your home and family in other neat ways, too.

The cool benefit is it helps you control the temperature of your home. It helps block the sun and adds a bit of insulation. And, your little one can enjoy looking outside without the sun trying to kill their cornea.

Because ballistic glass does reduce UV rays, it saves decor from taking on sun damage. Your family pictures and wood furniture won’t take on the wear and tear damage that the sun tends to provide.

How Much Do Bulletproof Windows Cost?

We started with the price range. Then the information was laid out. Now, we will dig into exactly how much a complete bullet-resistant window system costs.

Basic Bullet-Resistant Window System

  • The basic system consists of level 1 graded bullet-resistant glass. It will cost you between $25 to $100 per square foot. 
  • The range still is broad because the cost rises depending on the size of the window. For example, a sliding glass door is going to be $100+.
  • You now have to calculate the installation cost. It varies even more than the glass cost.
  • Most contractors give free quotes, and you should take full advantage.
  • If a window professional does provide free quotes, don’t use them.

One Step Up From Basic Bullet-Resistant Window System

  • The category consists of level 2 and 3 graded glass. Gas stations and check cashing businesses most commonly utilize these security window systems. 
  • Most homes in the US don’t have window systems that include this quality glass. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it if you can afford it.
  • You’re looking at a price range of $15,000 to $20,000.

Fortress Level Bullet-Resistant Window System

If you want CIA-level bullet-resistant window glass, get ready to take out a second and third mortgage. It’s beyond the scope of this article.

You probably have no reason to even research above level 3 glass.

Bulletproof Window Glass for Cars

Of course, people get ballistic glass in their cars. Have you seen the rate of shootings in the US?

Sure, it doesn’t protect from every bullet or flying projectile, but it can try. Also, it can slow it down. Either way, you are more likely to survive if you have bullet-resistant glass than regular car window glass.

The price for bulletproof window glass for cars ranges from $3,000 – $20,000.

Further Reading

I can’t afford bullet proof windows. How else can I protect my windows?

Ballistic glass certainly isn’t the only way to protect precious portals that lead into your home. You can find other ways to layer your security until you can afford your dream window system.

Type of SecurityAverage Cost
Upgrade window locks$7-$200
Window sensors$15 – $60
Security cameras$20-$400
Security film$6 – $8 per square foot
Window bars$550 – $1,400
Thorny bushes$.99 – 3 million

If you want to know what a 3 million dollar thorny bush looks like, take a look at the Juliet Rose.

I love DIY home improvement projects. Can I install bulletproof windows myself?

Sure, you can, but you can do more harm than good unless you know what you’re doing. You want your security measures to work and protect you as intended. When you hire a professional, you’re securing that your investment will perform.

The supplies to install your own ballistic window system is expensive. And, you take a chance buying quality glass from unreliable sources. Using a contractor in the industry ensures that the glass meets the proper standards and goes through a check and balance process.

The actual installation is not easy, and you’re working with heavy, heavy glass. Take it all into consideration before you try going this alone.

FAQs about Bulletproof Window Costs

How much does bulletproof windows cost?

The cost of a bulletproof window can range from $350 to $800+ per square foot, depending on factors such as the type of bullets it needs to stop, whether it is an opening window, the complexity of the design, and the window’s size.

How much does bulletproof glass cost for house?

The cost of bulletproof glass for a house can range from $30 to $100 per square foot, depending on factors such as the type of glass, thickness, level of safety, and labor expenses. For quality bulletproof glass, one can expect to pay approximately $1200 to $20,000.

Is bulletproof glass soundproof?

Bulletproof glass is not soundproof, as there is no practical glass that can completely eliminate sound transmission. However, certain glass assemblies can significantly reduce the amount of sound that passes through them.

Can you bulletproof a house?

In order to bulletproof a house, BallistiCrete is considered the most effective protection available for ensuring the safety of yourself and your family, especially in areas where bomb blasts are a common occurrence outside residential doors, although the United States has been fortunate in this regard.

Are there bullet proof tires?

There are no bulletproof tires, but there are tires that are resistant due to the inclusion of a rubber or metal band inside. Additionally, some tires have an insert around the inside of the rim to offer control and traction even when the tire is damaged.

Why is bulletproof glass so expensive?

Bulletproof glass is expensive due to the correlation between the level of protection it provides and its weight and cost.

Can civilians have bulletproof windows?

Civilians can indeed have bulletproof windows. The installation of bulletproof glass in private cars is completely legal, allowing anyone to enhance their vehicle’s protection. It is advisable to seek the assistance of professionals who are skilled in properly sealing and installing Armormax® materials. If you require further information on installing bulletproof glass, please feel free to contact us.

Do bullet proof car windows roll down?

Bulletproof car windows can roll down, depending on the type of armored car. Civilian armored cars usually have at least one window, usually the driver’s seat window, with roll-down capabilities. However, specialty vehicles may not have this feature.

Can bullet proof windows break?

Bullet proof windows can break if they are repeatedly shot at, which is why the term bullet-resistant glass is more accurate. Another common misconception is that ballistic glass is lightweight due to its plastic composition. However, the weight of a small sheet of ballistic glass can actually be quite heavy, depending on its UL Level, weighing dozens of pounds.

Can you put bulletproof glass in your house?

Yes, it is possible to install bulletproof glass in your house. Acrylic, also known as plexiglass, is frequently used to make ballistic windows for residential properties. It is lighter than traditional glass and can achieve a UL 752 Level 2 rating with a thickness of approximately 1.25 inches.

Can any bullet go through bulletproof glass?

Bulletproof glass is specifically engineered to endure multiple rounds of bullets, which varies depending on the firearm used and the glass thickness. By absorbing the energy from the bullets, bulletproof glass diminishes their velocity. Nonetheless, it should be noted that bulletproof glass is not completely impenetrable.

How thick are bulletproof windows?

Bulletproof windows come in varying thicknesses, typically ranging from 3⁄4 to 31⁄2 inches (19 to 89 mm), in order to maintain transparency and provide a clear, undistorted view. This is achieved by ensuring that the index of refraction for all the glass layers used in the bulletproof construction is nearly identical.

Are bulletproof windows heavy?

Bulletproof windows are heavy due to the thickness of the glass. The weight of regular windshield glass is approximately 25 pounds, whereas a B4 windshield, which is typically around 20+mm thick, can weigh between 150 and 250 pounds depending on its design. A B7 windshield, on the other hand, weighs around 500 pounds.

Why aren’t police windows bulletproof?

Police windows aren’t bulletproof because it is costly and many police departments operate within tight budgets. Additionally, reinforcing the windows adds extra weight to the vehicles. Moreover, bulletproof windows that retain power window functionality and can be lowered are even more expensive, but it is crucial for police officers to have the ability to lower their windows when necessary.

How many bullets does it take to break a bulletproof window?

The number of bullets required to break a bulletproof window depends on the type of firearm used. For instance, when using a mid-power handgun such as a 9 mm, it typically takes around 3-5 rounds to penetrate thin bulletproof glass. On the other hand, a high-power handgun like a 44 magnum can often achieve penetration with just 2 shots.

How many inches of glass does it take to stop a bullet?

The amount of glass required to stop a bullet varies depending on the type of firearm being used. To protect against hunting rifle ammunition or a bullet fired from a 9mm Glock, the thickness of the glass can range from 0.25 to 3.5 inches.

Can a brick break a bullet proof window?

A brick cannot break a bulletproof window, which means that intruders are unable to smash and grab through the glass even if they repeatedly strike it with a brick, crowbar, or any other weapon.

What can bulletproof glass stop?

Bulletproof glass can stop a range of weapons, including handguns and powerful rifles, thanks to its polycarbonate material. For instance, B5 level glass with a thickness of 1 inch can withstand bullets from .357 Magnum rifles. However, it is important to note that increasing the thickness and strength of the glass may reduce its ability to let light pass through.

Can bullet proof glass stop a shotgun?

Bulletproof glass can stop a shotgun. This is because 2.5 inches of “bulletproof glass” provides Level 8 protection, which is capable of stopping not only pistol fire but also shots from a deer rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, or bursts from an M16 or AK-47.

Can a sniper rifle penetrate bullet proof glass?

A sniper rifle is capable of penetrating bulletproof glass, especially if it is not of the highest level of protection. Creating glass that can withstand a .50 BMG shot from a long-range sniper rifle, which is considered level 10 protection, is extremely challenging.

Are bullet proof windows worth it?

Bulletproof windows are worth it because they make it more difficult for a malicious individual to enter your property. The polycarbonate material used in bullet-resistant glass is stronger than other glazing materials and breaks into chunks instead of shattering, making it far superior to regular window glass.

What are the disadvantages of bullet proof glass?

The disadvantages of bulletproof glass include its heavyweight nature due to the composition of multiple glass layers and the added weight of the middle sandwich layer. This weight becomes a weakness of bulletproof glass.

Is bullet proof glass easy to break?

Bulletproof glass is not easy to break. Acrylic-made glass, for example, can be shattered by continuously hitting it with a sledgehammer for 5 minutes. Additionally, even a single rifle bullet is capable of breaking this type of glass. On the other hand, polycarbonate glass is stronger than acrylic and can withstand powerful rifles without breaking. Therefore, it is highly resistant to damage from a sledgehammer or rock.

How thick does bulletproof glass need to be?

Bulletproof glass needs to have varying thicknesses, ranging from 0.25 inches to 3.5 inches, depending on the level of protection required. As the thickness increases, the weight of the glass also increases. This aspect is crucial to take into account during the design and construction of structures. The levels of protection provided by bulletproof glass range from UL 1 to 10.

What’s stronger than bullet proof glass?

The strongest bulletproof glass available today is glass-clad polycarbonate, which offers greater ballistic protection with an increase in the number of layers in the sandwich.

Would a bullet shatter a window?

A bullet can create a hole in a pane of window glass, but the glass usually remains mostly intact. However, if a low-speed projectile, like a stone, is thrown into a window, it would likely shatter the glass completely.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.