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How Much Does It Cost To Install Hurricane Shutters?

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On This Page:

  1. Popular Hurricane Shutter Types & Costs
  2. Another Option to Consider
  3. Installation Considerations

Caring for your home and maintaining its beauty and function involve different tasks in every state and environment. In states at regular risk for hurricanes, this means taking direct steps to minimize wind and rain damage during particularly violent storms by installing permanent and temporary physical protections on windows and doors. Doing so will not only reduce the risk of injury from broken glass and flying objects, but it will also fortify and protect the interior of the home, too.

While protecting your home from a direct hit by a Category 5 hurricane is nearly impossible, those living in "Hurricane Alley" can both reduce insurance premiums and the costs associated with hurricane damage by installing hurricane shutters. These specialized window coverings are designed to keep homes safe and secure in some of the most dangerous weather conditions. Furthermore, they provide homeowners with attractive and functional additions to their home exteriors.

Popular Hurricane Shutter Types & Costs

The types of hurricane shutters available are as diverse as the homes that require them. This includes permanent mounts that add a design element to your home and the less-attractive, though equally functional, temporary additions. In fact, each type of hurricane shutter offers homeowners solid protection with individual benefits and drawbacks designed to meet diverse budgetary and aesthetic needs.

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Storm Panel

Constructed of polycarbonate, steel, or aluminum, storm panel shutters are only put onto windows when there is a threat of a hurricane, leaving windows open and plain during the rest of the year. To install them, there must be a steel channel bolted to the facade of the home, at the top and bottom of the window, that can be unbolted when not in use.

Storm panel shutters generally cost $7-$15 each, depending on size and material quality, making them some of the most economical shutters available.

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Roll Down/Roll Up

Roll down hurricane shutters, also called rolling shutters, are a more permanent addition to the facade of the home. Made of high-quality metal or polycarbonate, these are some of the strongest and most effective hurricane shutters on the market. They operate via a hinge or louver. To open them, users trigger a mechanical or automatic cranking mechanism that unrolls the shutters from a contained box bolted above each window. The shutters travel along tracks mounted on either side of the window and bolt down at the bottom.

Roll down hurricane shutters can be an incredibly attractive addition to any home, providing many more functions than hurricane protection alone including adding insulation and increasing privacy. Quality styles are customized to each home and priced according to every window’s size, with average prices ranging from $20-$30 per square foot of window area.

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Another permanent home addition, accordion-style hurricane shutters are hinged panels housed in a box bolted to either side of a window. Made of metal or polycarbonate, these shutters operate via homeowners unfolding them and locking them either in the middle or on the opposite end of the window. Cheaper than roll-down shutters, accordion shutters are manually operated and generally cost $15-$25 per square foot of window space.

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Permanently-mounted Colonial hurricane shutters add a distinct aesthetic design to the exterior of a home while also providing homeowners with storm protection and privacy. Similar to decorative shutters found on homes throughout the country, Colonial-style hurricane shutters mount to either side of a window in a single, bi-fold, or tri-fold design. Available in a variety of materials such as aluminum, polycarbonate, and traditional wood, they add color, texture, and aesthetic details to the exterior of a home.

When a hurricane threat surfaces, users unlatch these shutters from the sides of the windows and bolt them into place. Sold in sets for each window, Colonial-style shutters cost about $200-$500 per window.

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Also known as Bahama awnings, this style of shutter is commonly found in its namesake country. More than just a protective element, Bahama hurricane shutters are well-suited to sunny, hot climates because they serve the dual role of providing shade to the home and protecting it from flying debris during strong storms.

Mounted to the tops of the windows and hinged, hurricane shutters are deployed in the same manner as Colonial-style. Homeowners unlatch them from their awning position and secure them below the windows. These shutters are sold in standard window sizes, costing $200-$1,000 each, or about $15-$20 per square foot.

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Though decidedly unattractive, in a pinch, good old plywood also works as a temporary hurricane shutter. To be effective, plywood shutters should be a minimum of ⅝-inch thick and bolted to each window using lag or barrel bolts. Heavy and difficult to install, plywood is nonetheless an inexpensive, readily available, and effective last-minute hurricane shutter option, costing less than $1 per square foot.

Ready to protect your home? Get a professional to install them today.

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Another Option to Consider

In an effort to maintain the integrity of their houses’ exteriors, some homeowners may look for alternatives to traditional shutters. One budget-friendly option that some homeowners choose is to install fabric storm panels instead of shutters. These reinforced-PVC or mesh sheets attach to windows via grommets, slide brackets, straps and buckles, or rolling screens, and they come in a number of premade sizes that typically cannot be cut to fit unless a screen company customizes them. On average, a screen measuring 44 inches by 72 inches from a home improvement store costs about $75, while larger screens measuring 88 inches by 156 inches and bigger can cost $300 and up. They’re easy to put up and take down and don’t subtract much curb appeal from a home because they’re available in such a wide range of colors, but when it comes to truly fortifying a home against strong winds and flying debris, sturdier shutters provide much more protection. In addition, although the screens are economical, they take much more time to put up when strong winds arrive without much warning.

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Hurricane Glass

Another alternative, hurricane glass or impact-resistant windows, can eliminate the need for hurricane shutters or enhance the protection that lower-cost shutters provide. Designed to withstand "missile-grade" force, these double-paned windows have a sheet of laminate between them that prevents shattering inside or outside the home in the event of flying debris, similarly to a car's windshield. They’re typically three times thicker than standard windows, which, combined with their durably reinforced frames, makes them ideal for limiting hurricane damage, improving energy efficiency, and even deterring theft.

While impact-resistant hurricane windows can be an excellent alternative to shutters in terms of their level of protection, they do present an added level of difficulty when it comes to installation. The windows of a home must be removed completely and refitted with impact-resistant models, which adds to the cost of labor. The windows themselves can cost upwards of $575 apiece depending on size, and with an average labor cost of $4,917 for replacing between five and ten windows, this is a project that can run tens of thousands of dollars depending on a home’s size. Despite this, hurricane glass windows can save on some expenses by reducing homeowner’s insurance costs, and they also eliminate the setup time required to deploy shutters when a storm is imminent.

Although some better options are manufactured by popular companies such as Pella and Andersen, unfortunately, not all hurricane windows are created equally. Any homeowner interested in impact-resistant windows should carefully review the documentation and certifications that come with them in order to ensure they meet state and local codes and qualify for an insurance premium reduction.

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Installation Considerations

Professional installation of hurricane shutters is the best way to ensure that your home is protected and up to state and local building codes once the shutters are installed. Contractors charge by the hour for labor, which is directly impacted by the number of shutters you need as well as the complexity involved in reaching each window. Two-story homes and those with skylights generally have higher installation costs than one-story homes.

If you need more information, get a quote from a pro.

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