A sunlit home outfitted with hurricane windows for protection as opposed to shutters or plywood boards

Shutters, Plywood, or Impact Windows?

Impact Windows, Shutters, or Plywood: Exploring Hurricane Protection Options

In the state of Florida, choosing a suitable method for safeguarding homes against hurricanes is a critical decision. Residents of Florida are all too familiar with having to get their homes ready as storms approach, and it can be tricky navigating all the options for making a house hurricane-safe. In this guide, we will examine the available options for hurricane protection – plywood, shutters, and impact windows – and analyze the advantages and disadvantages to assist homeowners in making an informed decision.

Preparing for the Storm

For anyone who has lived in Florida for any time, tracking storms on the weather channel, gathering supplies, and preparing for potential impact is all too typical once hurricane season starts. While picking out the proper necessities for you and your loved ones is essential, preparing your home correctly is just as vital before the outer bands land. 

That’s why we’ve taken three of the most common methods of shielding houses from storms and compiled them right here. And if you’re looking for what kind of things you should keep handy in your storm preparedness kit, then be sure to check out our other articles on the matter.

Plywood: A Costly and Unappealing Solution

A worker boarding up a window for a hurricane that doesn't have shutters.

Historically, boarding up windows with plywood has been a common and relatively cost-effective approach. However, the hurricane seasons of years prior saw a dramatic increase in the cost of lumber, namely due to supply shortages from 2020-2021. And while prices may have decreased as of late, homeowners should steer clear of this seemingly cheap option. 

The cost of plywood can accumulate over time, potentially surpassing the investment in more sustainable alternatives. This could become incredibly costly year after year for houses with multiple openings, as many areas of Florida are subject to numerous storms throughout hurricane season. 

Moreover, the aesthetic drawbacks of plywood are undeniable – boards of wood nailed over windows present a less-than-appealing sight. Although safety is a homeowner’s number one concern in the middle of a storm, this choice has practical downsides. The lack of light on site could make it more challenging to determine if it’s safe to go out once the storm subsides. 

One must also consider the labor it takes to build and tear down these boards. This might not be the best course of action for families that might be older or physically unable to board up their homes. 

This is the quickest option for the household that might not have any other means to protect their home. However, quick is not the same as effective, and repeating this process year after year can become tedious and inefficient compared to our other options. 

Hurricane Shutters: A Solid Yet Imperfect Choice

Large metallic hurricane shutters being put up on a home before an upcoming storm.

Another popular method involves hurricane shutters, which can be installed and removed with each storm. While these shutters provide solid protection, they come with their own set of drawbacks. For instance, accordion shutters require an initial setup, which can be challenging for individuals who are mobility impaired.

Aesthetically, shutters may not enhance the visual appeal of a home. Once the dust settles, the shutters remain. Clunky or damaged shutters, especially older ones, might detract from the overall aesthetics. Additionally, the mechanical parts of accordion shutters are prone to rust and wear over time, potentially leading to maintenance issues.

Hurricane shutters are a solid choice, and for the cost-minded household, they are affordable. However, bulky shutters offer few other benefits outside the bare minimum in storm protection. They still require setup before use and offer little aesthetic value once the storm has come and gone. 

Impact Windows: The Ultimate Solution over Shutters and Boards

Regarding hurricane protection, impact windows stand out as the superior choice. Though the initial cost may be higher than plywood or shutters, the long-term benefits far outweigh the investment. Impact windows require no additional effort once installed – no boarding up, setup, or teardown. They provide continuous protection, allowing homeowners to rest easy, no matter how many storms may pass through the region. 

In terms of aesthetics, impact windows excel. Unlike plywood or shutters, impact windows seamlessly blend into the architecture of a home. There are no clunky additions or temporary measures – just a clean, modern look that enhances a home’s appearance.

The lasting benefits of impact products continue! Many insurance companies will offer discounts and breaks to customers who invest in hurricane-resistant windows and doors, something that cannot be said for the other options mentioned above. Should you decide to sell your home, the value of your property will only increase if it’s outfitted with impact products. 

Additional Benefits of Impact Windows

A beachside home outfitted with hurricane impact windows and doors.

Energy Efficiency: If you’ve seen an increase in your energy bill, then impact products can help. Impact windows and doors are created and installed with tight insulation and seals, stopping air flow from getting in or out of the home while shut. This reduces the wear and tear on your HVAC unit and ultimately saves you money on your utilities. 

UV Protection: These windows often come with built-in UV protection. That means in addition to the exterior being safe from the elements, your home interior is also covered from harsh UV rays that can cause interior walls, doors, and furniture to fade. 

Lifetime Warranty: Reputable home improvement companies often offer lifetime warranties on impact windows and doors, delivering added peace of mind. However, unlike other companies, Florida Window & Door goes above and beyond to provide their customers a double lifetime warranty, guaranteed to last the lifetime of the windows and doors and beyond. 

Sound Dampening: Whether it’s harsh winds or noisy neighbors, the thick multi-pane structure of impact windows offers substantial noise reduction from the outside world. 

Making the Right Choice: Impact Windows from Florida Window & Door

The superior choice for homeowners contemplating hurricane protection is clear: impact windows. At Florida Window & Door, we understand the unique challenges of Florida’s weather, leading to a comprehensive solution with our custom-built impact windows and doors.

If your home is in need of impact windows for hurricane season, then click below to contact us and schedule your FREE home assessment:

Contact Florida Window & Door for a free 30-day quote. Let our team guide you through the process – from assessing your home’s needs to the final installation. Our team is committed to quality and customer satisfaction. For over 30 years, we’ve been the go-to for hurricane protective products throughout Florida. Invest in your home’s safety and security and install impact windows and doors. Call Florida Window & Door today!

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