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.
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!
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