For geographic areas prone to hurricanes, the highly volatile weather patterns from June through November can be an anxiety-inducing time. Fortunately, there are many types of hurricane shutters on the market today that can protect against these violent storms and minimize damages to your home and belongings.

Taking the important step to protect your home with hurricane shutters can be a worthwhile investment. Not only will you save yourself the hassle of costly repairs, but you’ll likely also qualify for a discount on your homeowners insurance premiums.

In COVID-19 times, hurricane shutters may also help keep your family safe at home instead of evacuating during inclement weather. With the current pandemic, staying in a hotel or a shelter where others may be evacuating constitutes an unsafe situation if you have an immunocompromised family member. While for others that might be jobless at the moment, leaving their homes for an extended period is complex and might even be impossible. 

So now more than ever, you need to find a solution to protect your home and family that is easy-to-install and affordable.

Types of Hurricane Shutters

Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters

Storm panels are removable shutters made from aluminum or polycarbonate. These tend to be a favorite because they’re one of the most cost-effective types of shutters, but they can be time consuming to install, must be set up well in advance of the storm, and should be removed and properly stored after the storm has passed.

Pros

  • One of the most economical types of hurricane shutters
  • Not permanent; can be removed if not in use
  • Can be ordered quickly; many manufactures keep standard sizes in stock

Cons

  • Time consuming to prepare for a storm
  • Must store properly when not in use
  • Not many upgrades available

Average cost: $5-$15 per square foot

Average storm preparation time: Up to 30 minutes per window

Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Accordion shutters are permanently installed and fold up like an accordion when not in use. These durable shutters are made from metal or polycarbonate and are conveniently stored in a box installed on the side of each window, making it simple to open and protect your windows when needed.

Pros

  • Less expensive than some other shutter types
  • No storage required; permanent installation
  • Fast and easy to open before a storm

Cons

  • Boxy fixtures can detract from the home’s exterior
  • More expensive than storm panels

Average cost: $15-$20 per square foot

Average storm preparation time: 3-5 minutes per window

Colonial Hurricane Shutters

For homeowners concerned about curbside appeal, colonial hurricane shutters blend nicely into the side of the house and look much like regular shutters. As a hurricane approaches, you simply unfold and secure the panel on either side of the window from the center to provide protection during the storm.

Pros

  • More aesthetically pleasing than many other shutter types
  • No storage required; permanent installation

Cons

  • Very expensive compared to most other types of hurricane shutters
  • Can be time consuming to set up before a storm

Average cost: $200-$500 per window

Average storm preparation time: 3-5 minutes per window

Bahama Hurricane Shutters

For access to your hurricane shutters from inside your home, Bahama shutters provide an affordable and stylish option and are made from aluminum, composite wood, or fiberglass. These shutters affix to the top of each window and can be vented from the bottom at a 45-degree angle to allow light and breeze into the home.

Pros

  • Offer shade protection
  • Stylish appeal with multiple color options

Cons

  • More expensive than many other types of hurricane shutters
  • Can’t be used to protect doorways or other large openings
  • May block out too much light

Average cost: $20-$32 per square foot

Average storm preparation time: 2-3 minutes per window

Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

Roll-down hurricane shutters resemble a roll-down garage door. They store in a compartment above each window when not in use, and then lower either manually or electronically when needed. Made of metal or polycarbonate, these shutters provide temperature regulation and privacy screening in addition to protection during hurricanes.

Pros

  • Multipurpose; can add insulation and privacy to your home
  • Great for larger areas like patios or doorways
  • More durable and provide greater protection than some other shutter options

Cons

  • More expensive than many other options
  • Requires professional installation, which can be pricey

Average cost: $25-$35 per square foot

Average storm preparation time: 3-5 minutes per window

Hurricane Glass

When installed in your home’s windows, hurricane class can withstand a 9-pound 2-by-4 at hurricane-force speeds. These impact-resistant windows are made of multiple layers of specially treated glass that won’t shatter into glass fragments, even if broken during a storm.

Pros

  • Once installed, no storm preparation time required
  • Clear glass doesn’t impair view like shutters
  • Can also protect against water damage and sudden air pressure changes

Cons

  • Expensive option for hurricane protection
  • May still crack under extreme stress, requiring replacement at an additional cost

Average cost: $40-$55 per square foot

Average storm preparation time: N/A

Plywood

If ordering and installing other types of hurricane protection is cost or time prohibitive, plywood can help protect window and door openings during a storm. While not as effective as other methods on this list, plywood is the least expensive option for DIY storm protection.

Pros

  • Can be obtained at any hardware store
  • Least expensive option

Cons

Average cost: $1 per square foot

Average storm preparation time: Up to 1 hour per window

Hurricane Shutters Frequently Asked Questions

How much do hurricane shutters cost?

The price of hurricane shutters can vary greatly depending on the type and materials used. On average, hurricane shutters cost:

  • Storm Panel: $5-$15 per square foot
  • Accordion: $15-$20 per square foot
  • Colonial: $200-$500 per window
  • Bahama: $20-$32 per square foot
  • Roll-down: $25-$35 per square foot
  • Hurricane Glass: $40-$55 per square foot
  • Plywood: $1 per square foot

Where can I buy hurricane shutters?

The best time to purchase hurricane shutters is before hurricane season begins, which is typically in late winter or early spring. In areas that are highly prone to hurricanes, you can purchase shutters, hurricane glass, and other products from dealers who specialize in hurricane protection or from window and door manufacturers.

How do I install hurricane shutters?

Some types of hurricane shutters are easy to self-install, while others require professional installation in order to ensure proper protection during a storm. Most hurricane shutter manufacturers provide installation instructions at the time of purchase.

What’s Next?

Once installed, many types of hurricane shutters will qualify you for a discount on your homeowners insurance. Since the investment in quality hurricane shutters helps minimize damages to your home, a quality homeowners insurance provider reduces your premiums for having them. To qualify for the discount, you may be required to comply with building codes, get an inspection, or take other important steps, so be sure to check with your insurance company on the proper procedure regarding hurricane shutters.

About the Authors

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós Feature Writer

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós is a feature writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she has covered insurance providers, claims handling, coverage and more. She has been featured in Allconnect.com and holds a Master’s Degree in Theory and Research of Communications from the University of Puerto Rico. Her favorite review is Millennials and Auto Insurance.