Guide to Florida Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane season in Florida can be a headache and source of anxiety for many homeowners. Not having adequate storm protection can have severe consequences. Hurricane wind speeds can reach up to 150 mph, sending debris flying into anything in its path. If this happens to be your window, and it breaks, the sudden change in pressure could rip the roof off your home, or water could flood your house—both of which can cause substantial damage to you or a family member.

One of the best safeguards for your home and family are hurricane shutters. They remain the most economical solution for most homeowners to protect window openings in a storm. With so many varieties that differ in cost, material, and effectiveness, it’s hard to know which window shutter is the best.

This blog will showcase all the different types of hurricane shutters, average cost, pros and cons, and average storm preparation time. After that, this guide will highlight some ways to save money while protecting your home.

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters

Cost: $7-$8 per square foot

Storm preparation time: 15 minutes per window

  • These are commonly seen covering windows and doors on homes in Florida.
  • They are made from metal, aluminum or plastic, and are budget-friendly.
  • Storm panels attach to the walls around windows and doors on bolts or tracks.
  • They are corrugated, meaning each piece overlaps the next for maximum strength.
  • Styles of storm panels:
    • The first style incorporates both tracks and bolts. The top of the panel is slipped into a track above the window, and the bottom of the panel is secured to bolts that are permanently attached beneath the window.
    • The second style uses a set of C-shaped tracks above and below the windows and doors.
    • The third style uses only bolts permanently set into the wall beside the windows and doors.

The Pros of Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters

  • Most cost-efficient of the permanent shutter systems
  • Removable and don’t change the look of the house when not in use
  • Strong, and provide excellent protection for both doors and windows

The Cons of Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters

  • Require storage
  • Difficult to handle and requires more than one person
  • Sharp edges and sometimes don’t line up properly

Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Cost: $16-$20 per square foot

Storm preparation time: 15-30 minutes for an entire house

  • They are a type of permanently installed shutter
  • These can cover and protect during a storm.
  • Accordion shutters are stored beside the windows or doors when not in use

The Pros of Accordion Hurricane Shutters

  • They are popular in Florida because they are easy to use, strong, reasonably priced, and have high functionality.
  • Permanent and don’t require any extra storage space
  • They can be made storm-ready by one person
  • Some models can be locked with a key and may be used as a theft deterrent.

The Cons of Accordion Hurricane Shutters

  • Can look bulky and out-of-place on some houses
  • Glide on wheels that could break easily 

Colonial Hurricane Shutters

Cost: $18-$30 per square foot

Storm preparation time: At least 45 minutes to an hour for an entire house

  • These shutters are a permanently installed hurricane shutter
  • They are two-piece louvered (parallel, horizontal slats) shutters that attach to the wall beside each window.
  • Colonial shutters fold together to protect the window.

The Pros of Colonial Hurricane Shutters

  • They are permanently fixed beside the windows and don’t require any extra storage space.
  • One person can quickly make them storm-ready.
  • They can beautify your home as well as protect it.

The Cons of Colonial Hurricane Shutters

  • Some colonial shutters require a storm bar or center rod to lock the shutters in place.
  • Can’t be used to protect doors

Bahama Hurricane Shutters

Cost: $18-$30 per square foot

Storm preparation time: 15-30 minutes for an entire house

  • This is a permanently installed hurricane shutter
  • They are a one-piece louvered (parallel, horizontal slat) shutter, attached above the windows.
  • Bahama shutters are storm-ready when lowered and secured to the wall.

The Pros of Bahama Hurricane Shutters

  • Permanently fixed above the windows, don’t require any extra storage space
  • Can easily be made storm-ready by one person.
  • Even in an open position, they can provide the home with shade and UV protection.
  • Aesthetically pleasing

The Cons of Bahama Hurricane Shutters

  • They have traditionally been weaker than other storm shutters, but the newest models protect well.
  • May block too much light
  • Design limits
  • Can’t be used to protect doors

Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

Cost: $30-$55 per square foot

Storm preparation time: Minimal; probably the easiest shutter to operate

  • Roll-downs are permanently installed hurricane shutters.
  • These shutters attach above the window.
  • They can be rolled up and stored in an enclosed box when not in use.
  • These shutters come in both manual and electric options.
  • They can be locked in place for storm protection.

The Pros of Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

  • Don’t require any extra storage space
  • Can be neatly tucked away when not in use
  • Can easily be made storm-ready by one person
  • Can be used for shade and light control
  • Offer some of the best storm and security protection

The Cons of Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

  • Most expensive of the popular shutter systems
  • If automatic, shutters require a battery backup system 

Hurricane Fabric Shutters

Cost: $10 – $15 per square foot

Storm preparation time: 15 minutes per window

  • Hurricane fabric is a type of non-permanent hurricane protection.
  • It’s usually made from a type of reinforced Kevlar.
  • Kevlar is an extremely tough yet flexible, light-weight and impact resistant fabric.

The Pros of Hurricane Fabric Shutters

  • Strong and absorb the shock of fast-moving projectiles
  • Reduce the pressure exerted on your home
  • Fabric panels are hurricane rated, lightweight and flexible
  • Affordable and similar in price to metal and aluminum storm panels

The Cons of Hurricane Fabric Shutters

  • Need to be installed and uninstalled for every storm
  • Compact, but still require storage
  • Limited in color choice

Hurricane Glass

Cost: $35-$50 per square foot, including new window frames and layered hurricane glass

Storm preparation time: None

  • Hurricane glass is similar to a car windshield.
  • It has a durable plastic-like layer sandwiched between glasses.
  • The outside layer will break, but the center prevents any holes.

The Pros of Hurricane Glass 

  • Eliminates need for hurricane shutters
  • Can withstand hurricane debris
  • Impact windows come with a homeowners insurance discount.

The Cons of ​​Hurricane Glass

  • Expensive
  • Must be installed by a special window contractor
  • The frame must be replaced along with the panes to meet code

Protect Your Greatest Investments

Homeowners insurance combines coverage for your dwelling, structures, personal property and loss of use as well as personal liability protection for you and your family.

The Homeowners Insurance Policy is a broad package at a lower premium. It covers:

  • Damage or theft of your personal property at home or away from home.
  • Additional living expenses if you must leave your home after it has been damaged by an insured peril.
  • Medical payments to others for injuries obtained while on the premises, regardless of fault.
  • Personal liability for you or your family members who reside with you because of negligence on or away from your property.

There are other coverage features provided in the policy, and as you would expect, some limitations and exclusions apply as well. Coverage is not available in all areas of the state due to exposure restrictions.

Florida Farm Bureau Insurance is a trusted company with over 60 years of service to policyholders. For more information on homeowner insurance, contact a local agent near you using Agent Finder.