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Types of Hurricane Shutters to Protect Your Home

Types of Hurricane Shutters to Protect Your Home

When the storm hits, your level of preparation makes all the difference between surviving unscathed and sustaining huge financial losses. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, you know storms are inevitable. But even if storms are unavoidable, damage to your property is not unavoidable. With some vital information and a little effort, you can make your home more hurricane-proof.


A critical area of the property to focus on to minimize hurricane damage are the windows. After the roof, Advantage Realty Services in Tampa explains, openings in the home are the second most vulnerable part of a property during a storm. Knowing how to protect your home's windows will save you from anxiety when the storms eventually come. But more importantly, it will protect you and your family.


One of the most practical and cost-effective ways to secure your windows during a storm is with hurricane shutters. But hurricane shutters come in a variety of designs with their specific pros and cons. Homeowners often have difficulties deciding which shutters are best for their home. Today we discuss various hurricane shutters and what makes them good or not-so-good.

Types of hurricane shutters

1. Accordion hurricane shutters


Accordion Shutters

As the name suggests, these shutters look somewhat like an accordion. They have shutters that roll across tracks that are installed at the top and bottom parts of a window. When closed, the shutters are stored in boxes located by each side of the windows.

To open them, the two sides are drawn together and snapped into place. Most accordion shutters are made of metal or polycarbonate and cost $15-$25 per square foot. They take less than five minutes to open.


  • Installation is easy and can be done by one person
  • They are permanently installed and require no storage
  • Some models come with locks for additional security


  • They may not be aesthetically appealing for some house styles due to the external storage boxes
  • Their external parts are susceptible to damage


2. Automatic roll-down hurricane shutters


Roll Down Shutters

These are contained inside a box which is installed above the window. They operate the same way as some garage doors; when needed, the shutter rolls out of the box and over the window. After use, it retracts into the box where it is hidden from view.

They are made of metal or polycarbonate and can be manually-operated or battery-operated. In addition to their primary function of protecting the home's windows, they serve to regulate the home's temperature and as privacy screens. They cost $20-$30 per square foot and requires 3-5 minutes to open, per window.


  • Does not need additional storage
  • Is permanently installed
  • Is an effective barrier against break-ins


  • They may need power or they won't operate during a power outage
  • Requires professional installation


3. Bahama hurricane shutters


Bahama Shutters


This louvered shutter comes with horizontal slats - set at a 45-degree angle - to keep out rain and direct light while allowing ventilation during a storm. It is installed at the top of the window and propped over it, when not in use.

Before a storm, the shutter is lowered over the window to cover it. They are usually made of aluminum, composite wood, or fiberglass and costs around $15-$25 per square foot. Closing each window before a storm takes three minutes at most.


  • They are permanently installed
  • They can be opened or closed from inside the home
  • They also give shade and some privacy


  • Depending on the material, they are not as strong as other shutters
  • They block out too much light
  • They cannot be used for doors and large openings


4. Colonial hurricane shutters


Colonial Shutters


Colonial hurricane shutters come in two louvered pieces that are installed on the wall by the two sides of a window. Before a storm, they are unfolded and swing inwards to close over the window, and are then secured on either side of the window.

They are usually made of fiberglass, wood, or metal and come in a color or designs that let them blend with the home's design. They cost $200-$500 per window and take 3-5 minutes to close or open.


  • They are permanently installed and don’t need additional storage
  • Are aesthetically pleasing and won't disfigure the home's exterior


  • During a storm, may require extra bracing to keep them in place
  • Not so easy to install
  • Cannot be used for doors


5. Storm panel hurricane shutters

These are three different types of shutters which comprise of overlapping steel, polycarbonate or, aluminum panels. They come with tracks and bolts that are installed above, beside, or at the bottom of the window. Their method of operation depends on the type of track that the shutter comes with.

There are three types of tracks: bolts & tracks, C-shaped tracks, and permanent bolts. They cost $5-$15 per square foot and may take up to 30 minutes to prepare per window.


  • They are inexpensive
  • They are very durable
  • Can be used for doors too


  • They are not permanent and require additional storage
  • They are hard to install
  • Often don’t line up properly
  • May have sharp edges


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