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How Much Does Bulletproof Glass Cost?

Last Updated on February 21, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

If you came here to find out about the bulletproof glass you see in the movies and TV shows, then we’re here to hit you right in your childhood.

The reality is that genuine bulletproof glass is a myth, although bullet-resistant glass can protect you from the majority of projectiles. So although this glass is meant to catch the first bullet or even bullets, it will slow down the next ones but don’t hope you will stand a shootout behind bulletproof windows (or even drywall for that matter) as this is a really false premise.

How Much Do Bulletproof Windows Cost?

The bulletproof window glass cost is somewhere between $150 and $1,000 per square foot, depending on several factors.

You might be wondering what causes this big range in price. It’s a really good thing to ask, and the next part of the article should give you somewhat of an understanding of why there is a big disparity between bulletproof glass types.

Basic Bullet-Resistant Window System

  • If you’re looking for just a basic system, then you can go for a level 1 graded bullet-resistant glass. This shouldn’t cost you more than $25 to $125 per square foot.
  • The size of the window will influence the cost of the basic system to quite a big extent, which is why the cost range is still considerably big. Adding a simple sliding glass door will cost $100 or more.
  • The installation cost should also be added, and this will vary based on several factors. Get in touch with a couple of contractors, as most of them will be able to offer you a free quote, to give you an idea of what to expect.

Moving away from the basic bullet-resistant window system to better setups

  • We move forward, to level 2 and 3 graded glass. This would generally be used for banks, as well as other places that better use security window systems.
  • This level of quality for glass is likely never used for homes in the US. Of course, as long as you can afford it, there is no reason not to get a better level of glass security.
  • Complete systems of level 2 to 3 bulletproof glass will likely cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

Higher Level Bullet-Resistant Window Systems

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.

The Bullet Proof Window is A Myth, But there are Bullet Resistant Windows

Bulletproof glass is a term used in the entertainment world, although it is hardly ever used by professionals or window glass industry experts. When shopping for glass, if a certain salesperson or contractor promises bulletproof solutions, this should be a rather big red flag. Although we might use this term in this article, as this is the word a lot of people use to refer to bullet resistant windows.

Bullet Resistant Windows

Some window glass specialists make bullet-resistant glass that people call bulletproof, with the help of multiple layers of polycarbonate material. This is actually made of plastic polymers. This material is inserted between the layers of regular glass or even acrylic.

You might also like our articles on the cost of home security systems, driveway security gates, or car alarm systems.

Bullet-resistant windows aren’t something you’re likely to see most American homes being equipped with. These are mostly found in pharmacies, governmental agencies, and bigger businesses. Of course, if you have the necessary funds for such an investment, it might be a great idea to get some of the windows strong enough to take a beating.

This is because bullet-resistant windows aren’t made just to keep the robbers away and protect you from the occasional shootout. They might be able to protect you against a lot of other bad things that might or might never happen.

  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Bad Children
  • Small caliber weapons
  • Landscaping accidents
  • Burglars
  • Wind storms with flying debris
  • Angry mobs

They actually work really well with roll-down shutters to protect you from hurricanes.

The Levels of Provided Protection

Bullet-resistant glass, or bulletproof glass as some people call it, offers different levels of protection depending on its type. When it comes to these types of glass, the lower its level, the more expensive the material will be.

So let’s try to sum it up as well as possible

Level 1

This is the least resistant type of glass. The Level 1 bullet-resistant glass is known to be used in buildings for:

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

Level 2 

Banks of different sizes will need to be protected by different levels of bulletproof glass. For example, although large financial institutions will have Level 2 resistant glass, often, your corner bank won’t need more than Level 1 glass on its windows.

Level 3

This is where things start to become expensive, as you’re reaching industrial level glass at level 3.

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

Level 4-8

Levels 4 to 8 are probably out of your budget and an overkill, unless you’re a very important person or you have something really valuable to protect. And of course, this strong glass should be combined with other types of protection, which will really increase the price outside of normal people’s budgets.

Homeland Security, the NSA, and other Governmental agencies as well as courts, and the military will generally use this level of bullet resistance.

Pros and Cons of Bullet-Resistant Glass

How better to find out whether this type of system is a great investment or not unless you know its pros and cons? So let’s go over the most important pros and cons of bullet-resistant glass so that you understand what you’re getting for your money.


  • Depending on your specific case, it might decrease your home insurance costs.
  • It is not only better but also cooler than regular window glass.
  • It won’t shatter. Instead, it will break into chunks.
  • Polycarbonate, which is the material used to build bullet-resistant glass, is much more robust than the other materials available on the market that are used for glazing.
  • People with bad intentions have a harder time getting inside your property.
  • Protects your family in the event of an industrial or natural disaster.
  • Offers amazing protection for your family against extreme weather.


  • You’re likely to need a professional contractor for the installation.
  • Although the bullet-resistant glass is pretty strong, inventive criminals might still manage to get inside your home. This is why it is vital that you also increase the overall interior security of your home.
  • Powerful blasts might still go through it.
  • Your expectations are bound to be crushed, as Bulletproof windows are never what people were made to believe by movies and TV shows.
  • It’s a lot harder to install Bullet-resistant glass than regular windows.
  • Bullet-resistant glass is a lot heavier, which means it should be considered right from the start of the architectural project.
  • It gets more expensive as its quality rises.

Another Important Aspect of Bullet Proof Windows

Bullet Proof Window ExamplePeople don’t just get bullet-resistant glass so that they are protected from civil unrest or different flying objects. These windows are also designed to protect your family and home in a few other ways as well.

For example, it regulates the temperature inside your home. It will add a bit of insulation and block the sun’s rays. This means that your children will be able to look outside through the window without the sun slowly damaging their cornea.

The decor inside the house will also be protected from taking damage from the sun, as the ballistic glass will reduce the level of UV rays. And this includes wood furniture and family pictures, that won’t take the same wear and tear damage as they are facing the sun daily.

Bulletproof Window Glass for Cars

As cars get more expensive and their features get better and better, it’s no wonder that ballistic glass has started to be added to increase the security of the driver.

Of course, it won’t save you from any type of projective, but it will surely help more than normal glass. It will also slow most projectiles. Of course, in case of an accident, you are more likely to survive behind bullet-resistant glass than in a car with normal windows.

Bulletproof window glass for cars likely costs between $3,000 and $20,000 depending on the protection level it provides.

Other ways to protect windows aside from bulletproof windows

Of course, there are more ways to protect the entrances in your home aside from Ballistic glass. So until you get the necessary funds to go for the dream window system, here are some other protection methods for the windows.

Type of Security Average Cost
Security cameras $22-$440
Thorny bushes $1.09 – $100
Upgrade window locks $7.7-$220
Security film $6.6 – $8.8 per square foot
Window sensors $16.5 – $66
Window bars $605 – $1,540

Can you install bulletproof windows yourself?

You can surely try, although you risk doing more harm than good if you aren’t a professional. You might also cause the security measures to not work as intended, which is the whole point of installing these windows. So a professional is hired to make sure that the investment will work as intended.

You will also spend a considerable amount of money on the supplies needed to install the ballistic window system on your own. Buying glass from sources that are unreliable can be rather dangerous. A contractor that knows what he’s doing will ensure that the glass meets all of the standards and passes all the needed checks and balance processes.

You’ll be working with very heavy glass, so the installation itself will surely be far from easy, even if you know what you are doing. All of these factors should be considered before you go ahead and do all of the work yourself.

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