Installing Hurricane Shutters
Whether you're new to Florida or just need a refresher, here are the most popular types of hurricane shutters. Check them out to determine what will best suit your home.
Storm Panel Shutters:
Shutters attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks. Storm panels are corrugated,
and each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength. These are the least expensive of the permanent
shutter systems, but time consuming to install.
These one or two-piece hurricane shutters are housed beside the windows or doors when not in use.
They unfold accordion-style to cover and protect during a storm. Accordions are very easy to close in the
event of a storm, but much more expensive than panel shutters.
These are two-piece louvered shutters that attach to the wall beside each window. They fold together to
protect the window and can easily be made storm ready by one person, but are expensive.
These one-piece louvered shutters attach directly above the windows and prop open to provide shade
for the window. Bahama shutters are storm ready when lowered and secured to the wall. Bahamas can
easily be made storm ready by one person, but are expensive and have traditionally been weaker than
These shutters attach above the window. They roll up and store in an enclosed box when not in use.
They are lowered either manually by a hand crank or automatically by push button, and lock in place for
storm protection. Roll-downs offer some of the best protection and can easily be made storm ready by
one person, but are the most expensive shutter system.
Plywood panels do not meet most building codes, yet many homeowners who lack more permanent storm shutter systems cover their homes with them. If you decide to use this system, it is important to install the plywood correctly:
• Buy plywood ahead of time, before the rush.
• A minimum thickness of 5/8-inch is recommended.
• Buy three-inch or four-inch barrel bolts, enough for one bolt for a minimum of every 12 inches of plywood.
• Don't nail down the plywood, as frantic homeowners are often shown doing during televised news broadcasts of approaching storms. Fasten plywood panels with screws or lag bolts long enough to penetrate the wall studs around the window, not just the siding or wall covering.
• Ensure a safe exit route in the event of a fire during or after the storm or other situation requiring safe exit.
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