The Best and Most Affordable Options for Hurricane Protection

Keeping your home well prepared for storms is a good investment in order to keep your family safe and reduce repair costs. There are many different options when it comes to hurricane protection for your home, but there are some options that are more affordable than others.

Spending money to protect your home from hurricanes may seem unnecessary but investing upfront on protection can save you money in the long run, especially on costlier window repairs. Depending on the location of your home, there may even be state or municipal mandates regarding hurricane protection in order to protect against storm damage. Here’s a list of Home Safety Solutions’ top recommendations for affordable protection!

Hurricane Panels

Hurricane panels are removable coverings that offer storm protection and are affordable. These panels are usually made from polycarbonate or aluminum. They are removable and low maintenance. You only need to deploy them when a hurricane is coming, and they can be neatly stored when not in use.

Hurricane Screens

Hurricane screens are the most affordable option for hurricane protection. They are also easy to store, which can be a good choice for many homeowners. These screens are fabric panel systems, can be used for small and large spaces, and allow light through. They are attached with an easy to use strap and buckle system. Some people like to choose hurricane screens because they are mostly transparent, similar to insect screens, so you don’t feel closed off during a storm.

Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are the most common option when it comes to hurricane protection. Most manufacturers use aluminum to attain hurricane-rated strengths. They can come in the most familiar rolldown variety, but they can also be molded into functional Colonial or Bahama Shutters available in a full palette of colors which look attractive on a home year-round.

Factors That Determine Hurricane Shutter Costs

There are many different factors that can play a role in the affordability of hurricane shutters. When choosing the right shutters for your home, you will want to consider the following:

Shutter Style, Composition, and Type

There are different shapes, sizes, and types of hurricane shutters. This can be helpful for homeowners that want to choose a shutter that doesn’t interfere with their home style. Some popular choices include fabric, Colonial, roll-up/roll-down, accordion, and Bahamas shutters. Some shutters can be permanent fixtures that are kept in place and are aesthetically pleasing, such as Colonial and Bahama shutters. Other shutters can be folded away or removed entirely when not needed. Permanent shutters installed on the home are typically more expensive than temporary options. If you are looking for special mounting hardware or any particular finish, this can also increase the cost.

Materials

There are several different materials that you can choose to protect your windows. Plywood is the least expensive, do-it-yourself option as wood can be cut and picked up at a local hardware or home improvement store, but it’s not recommended. Hurricane-rated fabric that can be stored when not needed to be deployed is the least expensive of professionally-offered options. Electric-powered roll-down shutters made from metal are typically the most expensive.

Design and Size of Windows and Doors

The cost of your hurricane shutters will depend on the number of windows and doors your home has, as all openings need hardened protection to keep your home from being breached during a storm. The cost of hurricane protection is usually priced on a square-footage basis, so larger openings have higher costs. Additionally, if your home has unique architecture or extensive molding and trim, your costs could be higher due to necessary customization.

Installation Location

Some windows and doors may be more difficult to access, so the location of the openings may also affect the price to install shutters. You will likely pay more to cover windows on the third or second floor versus on the ground floor. Additionally, openings that are very close to perpendicular walls, drainage gutters, and electrical equipment can require additional customization and labor costs to protect.

Permits and Labor

Labor and permits can play a large role. Most states and municipalities affected by hurricanes require a permit in order to install hurricane shutters. In certain neighborhoods, you may also need approval from the homeowner’s association (HOA) in order to make sure the shutters you choose meet the neighborhood requirements. Permits can range from $50 to $400.

Making Hurricane Protection More Affordable

If you are looking to make hurricane protection more affordable, there are a few things you can do. In many cases, it will be less expensive to have temporary, deployable paneling than permanently installed shutters. This is why fabric panels are a good choice – they have laboratory-tested effectiveness records for protecting windows, and you are able to put up the fabric yourself when a storm is forecasted. More permanent structures, such as roll-down aluminum shutters that remain attached year-round and are easy to operate, will be more expensive. When it comes to customization, you will need to have a custom quote for any features that require custom fittings, such as skylights, in order to remain fully protected.

Homeowners insurance may offer you an incentive to outfit your home with hurricane protection. This is because insurance companies would prefer to help you protect your home than pay claims for home repairs caused by hurricanes. Before making a decision on hurricane protection, speak with your insurance provider to learn how you may be able to save on premiums after installing hurricane protection for your home.

Maintaining Your Hurricane Protection

You should factor in maintenance to the cost of your hurricane shutters. You want to make sure they are in working order, especially ahead of hurricane season, so when needed they will protect your home. Tracks can get stuck if not properly lubricated and cleaned. Permanent shutters may start to look worn over time so they may need to be repainted every few years. Also, hardware that is needed to attach deployable shutters can be misplaced. All of this can add to the cost of your hurricane protection.

Hurricane Shutters vs. Impact Windows

Hurricane shutters are some of the most popular options to protect your home. But another protection option is to install impact windows. These are great options if your focus is on not altering your home’s aesthetics. These windows are built using a combination of laminate, tempered glass, and regular glass. Tempered glass is the same glass that is used for a car windshield that avoids breaking into shards on impact. Though the regular glass layer may break, the layer of resin laminate or clear plastic will prevent the tempered glass from being penetrated if it’s hit by debris. However, these windows have a much higher price tag than regular windows and are almost double the typical cost of shutters so they may not be as affordable.

Why Plywood Is Not the Best Hurricane Protection Option

Plywood is a cheap and affordable option but it’s not the best form of hurricane protection. Plywood can actually become flying debris during a storm since it can be easily penetrated by large projectiles. This debris may damage your home instead of protecting it. If you want proper hurricane protection, you should probably choose panels, screens, or shutters.

Contact Home Safety Solutions

No matter which option you choose, having hurricane protection professionally installed can give you peace of mind and help avoid the risks of inadequately attached protection. At Home Safety Solutions, we have all the options you need for hurricane protection, as well as installation services to get your home ready before the next storm hits. Contact us today!