Hurricane Storm Panels for Your Home

Pros and Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the different types of storm shutters.

Plywood

Cost: 50¢-75¢/sq. ft. (Materials Only)

Advantages:

  • Least expensive
  • Readily available
  • DIY installation

Disadvantages:

  • Heavy, may need help putting up
  • Requires storage space
  • May not meet building codes
  • Blocks light

Metal

Cost: $10-$12/sq. ft. (Materials & Installation)

Advantages:

  • Fairly easy to put up once mounted
  • Corrugated design adds strength

Disadvantages:

  • May need help putting up
  • Blocks light
  • Requires storage space

Plastic (Lexan)

Cost: $17-$19/sq. ft. (Materials & Installation)

Advantages:

  • Fairly easy to put up once mounted
  • Lets light in
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • May need help putting up
  • Requires storage space

Fabric

Cost: PVC $12/sq. ft, Kevlar $20-$22sq. ft. (Materials & Installation)

Advantages:

  • Lightweight
  • Very easy to put up once mounted
  • Lets light in
  • Fold for easy storage

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive

Bottom Line

Storm panels are an effective way to protect your windows and doors during a hurricane. No matter which type you choose, plan your project out well in advance of hurricane season and consider professional installation.

Check out our Hurricane Help page for more information.

Further Information

17 COMMENTS

  1. I have a new and proven method of securing plywood over windows and doors that is much easier ans stronger than any method now used with the exception of storm shutters. The stormbrace will be ready for the next Hurricane season 2009. If you are interested please contact me.
    Thank you
    Breck Whitworth

  2. Hi,
    What is that material called that comes in 4×8 sheet of plastic and is about 1/2 thick and can be cut to fit the window size.

    Thanks,
    Gerald

  3. Danny: We enjoy watching you on TV! We also enjoyed reading your article on “Boarding Up”. Trying to take the easy way out of boarding up for a hurricane, we had our handyman install the white plastic cardboard corrugated panels with 3M Velcro dual lock tape. We made a big mistake! First of all, we live in hot and humid LA (Lower Alabama). After waiting a couple of days, we had a hard time taking the panels down, it wasn’t easy. It was harder than taking off the plywood. The velcro tape stuck onto our window trim, but did not stick onto the panel. Our handyman then experimented with another type of velcro tape just on one panel. After raining for three days, the panel started to droop on top and easily came off. Luckily, we were able to get our money back from our installer. It wasn’t that cheap. The cardboard panel kits that are advertised do not work in hot and humid weather. Thank goodness we found this out before we actually went through a hurricane using this method because a hurricane brings in a lot more humidity and moisture and would have caused flying debris and left our windows unprotected.

  4. What can you say about Win-WorX Storm Panels? (good, bad, mediocre, what are they rated to stop re:flying material, etc). Are they available from other vendors/factory sales other than the vendor in Gulf Breeze, FL? One of my neighbors purchased them but they kept falling off. The vendor provided no help because the 1yr warranty time frame was past…

  5. polycarbonate sheets is “the name of the material that comes in 4×8 sheet of plastic and is about 1/2 thick and can be cut to fit the window size.”
    I have questions too. The home store rep said it last longer than plywood and is light weight enough to install yourself. Is there any reason to avoid installing them with hurricane clips as clips? I’d rather not drill into my walls. My use is seasonal hurricane protection in that they’ll be removed as soon as danger has passed.
    Thanks,
    Carole

  6. Do you know any companies in the Houston area, specifically the 77571 area, that can give us a quote for metal storm covers (they drill the holes and put mounting screws in place so that we can just put them on before a hurricane?)

  7. After putting storm panels on our house, we have exposed bolt heads. My question is: Do we need to leave rubber washers behind the bolts when we paint over them because of the two metals that may, in time, fuse?

  8. Danny & Co:
    I have a bay-box metal-framed window over my kitchen sink. It’s appx 35″ square, protrudes outward just under a foot, and has an angled, crank-open top window. 5 surfaces in all. Does anyone make a hi-impact similar-shape plastic storm cover? I’m pulling my endangered hair out trying to protect that from wind projectiles!
    Thanks!
    dave

  9. I want a roll down protection for a standard walk thru Patio slide window (72″X72″)and 3 bedroom windows (63″X54″)
    I want something so I dont have to store any items.

  10. My husband and I recently moved to an area that is none for having powerful storms, and we are concerned about how we can protect our new home. I appreciated how you explained the different options of storm proofing, and I liked the plastic storm panel the most because they protect the home while still letting in light. Thank you for the helpful article, I will be sure to take this advice into consideration when installing storm shutters.

  11. My uncle is looking for something to protect his home from a storm. I like how you mention that plastic storm panels protect your home and allow light in your home during a storm. Thank you for the information. I’ll recommend my uncle to install plastic storm panels at his home to protect his family during a storm.

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