Choosing The Right Storm Shutters To Protect Your Home
In areas that aren't very prone to storms with high winds and flying debris, many homes only have decorative shutters rather than storm shutters. However, those living in areas prone to hurricanes and other severe storms should look into purchasing storm shutters to protect their homes. These shutters can greatly minimize the potential damage to the home due to storms.
Type of Protection
The first thing to consider is the type of protection you're looking for. Some storm shutters are designed to protect against high winds or debris, but not both. Your best bet is to opt for one that protects against both and is made to the tough Dade County, FL standard.
Ease of Use
The easiest types of shutters to use when a storm is coming are those that are permanently affixed to the house, such as Bahama shutters, colonial shutters, rolling shutters or accordion shutters. Storm panels that are removable can be difficult to work with and too heavy for one person to install on their own, especially if it is already getting windy. Roll-down shutters can be ready at the push of a button, while a house with accordion or Bahama shutters can take up to 30 minutes to prep and a house with colonial shutters can take up to an hour. Storm panels can take 15 minutes per window, which means getting the entire house ready can take a significant amount of time compared to the other types of available storm shutters.
Storm panels are one of the less expensive options, costing only about $7 to $8 per square foot. Roll-down shutters tend to be the most expensive, averaging a cost of about $30 to $55 per square foot, but are one of the easiest types to use in case of a storm. Colonial and Bahama shutters tend to cost somewhere in between these two options, with typical prices ranging from $18 to $30 per square foot. Accordion shutters run between $16 and $20 per square foot, but are more likely to break than most of the other shutter options.
Some people find that Bahama storm shutters block out too much incoming light, even when they're propped open. Accordion shutters can look a bit unsightly on some types of homes, but they sometimes come with locks to help deter potential thieves from breaking into the home after the storm. Some newer options available in some areas for storm protection include special fabric or plastic panels, which can be light and easy to install.