Hurricane Shutters: The Best, Most Affordable Options

You can protect your home from hurricanes and severe weather by covering its most vulnerable areas — windows and doors. Here’s what you should know about hurricane shutters.

The Best Protection for Windows

Hurricane fabric panels, similar to Kevlar, are the best hurricane protection can you can buy. They’re made of a synthetic, heat-resistant fiber that’s about five times stronger than steel.

These panels’ fasteners are pre-installed for aesthetics and to prevent damage. Simply install grommets around the window and attach the fabric panels with screws that drive into the home’s framing.

While keeping wind, rain, and flying debris out, the mesh fabric allows light and some air to come through.

“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford, pictured with Kevlan hurricane fabric covering his home's windows.
“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s favorite way to protect his windows during severe weather is fabric bolted into the home’s framework.

You wouldn’t think that fabric would provide sufficient protection for your windows against hurricane force winds and flying projectiles, but many fabric storm panels meet or exceeded state building codes as well as ASTM standards for hurricane protection.

While most fabric storm panels are installed by the dealer, homeowners may be able to buy the material and install it themselves for around $5 per square foot for PVC fabric.

These panels are easy to install, but they must be ordered to size, so lead time is required. If you’re planning on selling your house, you probably can’t use them for the next house since each panel exactly fits your windows.

However, having pre-installed, aesthetically pleasing fabric panels that are easy to add and remove could be a selling point!


Man prepares to board up a window during a hurricane
Plywood is an affordable, effective solution to protect your windows from hurricane-force wind. (DepositPhotos)

The Best DIY-Friendly Option for Hurricane Shutters

You can’t go wrong with plywood panels. These materials are usually readily available and very affordable — fitting a whole house may cost just $300.

But don’t wait until a hurricane is in your area. You need to get these shutters before they’re in high demand.

Cut them to fit the window’s inside dimensions or include the overlapping trim — depending on the fasteners you choose. Or have the panels cut at your local hardware store or home center.  

Use barrel bolts to attach them and label each panel for quick and easy installation

Adding a handle on the front makes installation that much easier — especially for a two-story home

Other Hurricane Shutters to Consider

  • Corrugated metal panels — they’re lightweight, inexpensive and easy to handle. Simply install them over the windows’ trim with screws.
  • Translucent plastic panels such as polycarbonate — they allow light inside your home, unlike plywood

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