Large sliding glass doors and French doors are a great way to capture natural light and open your Florida home up to nature. No wonder these doors are popular in beautiful, sunny Florida. While they do add to the enjoyment of your home sliding glass and French doors also create large areas of glass that need to be protected during hurricanes. Hurricane shutters offer a great way to enjoy your sliding glass and French doors while also protecting them when necessary. Wondering what kind of storm shutters work best for sliding glass doors and French doors? We are here to help! We’ll discuss different options of hurricane shutters that are a good fit for your large glass patio doors.
You may also like our Guide on Exterior Shutters for Florida Homeowners.
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What are sliding glass doors?
Sliding glass doors are common on both homes and condominiums. You will usually see them on the back of homes opening to a backyard, patio or porch. On condos they usually open up to a patio or balcony. With that being said sliding glass doors can be located anywhere. As more and more homes are incorporating more and more glass these doors will continue to grow in popularity.
Sliding glass doors consist of sliding panels made of glass. One panel may be stationary or both may open and close. Unlike a normal door that swings in and out, these slide side to side.
These doors allow you to access the outside and allow a large amount of natural light inside. Because they don’t swing open and closed they are also great for tight spaces.
What are French doors?
French doors may be located on the back of a home or used as an entry on the front or side of a home. They consist of two doors that open and close by swinging in and out. They are typically glass, but this is not always the case.
Like sliding glass doors French doors allow you to access the outside and also bring in a large amount of natural light inside your home.
Both French doors and sliding glass doors are functional and beautiful. But if you live in a storm prone area like Florida you will need to protect these big sections of glass from hurricanes. Below we talk about hurricane protection for sliding glass and French doors.
Hurricane protection for sliding glass and French doors
You have some options for protecting your glass patio doors. First, you can opt to buy impact sliding glass doors or French doors. If you don’t want to pay a premium for impact glass you can opt to cover the exterior of the doors instead. This is the focus of this article. We discuss how to effectively protect your patio door glass in more detail below.
Hurricane shutters are the most effective, long-term solution for covering your sliding glass door for a hurricane. Some folks cover their glass doors and windows with plywood before a hurricane. While this may be your only solution if you are in a pinch it is not an ideal long-term solution. Hurricane shutters are durable, more reliable and easier to install. They also look better and cause less damage to the trim of your doors (and windows) or your home’s siding.
Yes. There are hurricane shutters that work well with sliding glass doors. The style you choose will depend on your budget and preferences. Read on to find out the different options.
Types of hurricane shutters for sliding glass and French doors
If you are looking to protect your glass doors there are some options. First, you can choose permanent hurricane shutters or non-permanent shutters. Non-permanent ones, like corrugated storm panels and fabric hurricane panels will need to be installed and uninstalled before each storm. On the flip side permanent storm shutters, like accordion shutters and roll down shutters are always on your home. You just need to lower and lock them vs. install and uninstall them. We discuss each below.
You may feel overwhelmed with all of the choices. If so, you can check out our guide on how to choose the best hurricane shutters for your needs.
If you want to see pricing of different shutter types you can read our hurricane shutters cost guide.
Storm panels are sometimes called hurricane panels. They are a basic, cost effective, non-permanent type of hurricane shutter option for your glass patio doors. If you live in Florida you have definitely seen these a lot. They are corrugated panels that are installed either vertically or horizontally and they can be used to protect your doors.
You can buy metal, aluminum or clear plastic panels. They attach to your home by screwing them into your home’s exterior walls with specialized fasteners. They sometimes have a track to hold them as well.
Because they are non-permanent you do have to install and uninstall them before each storm. This can be time consuming if you are doing it yourself. Or you could hire a storm panel installation company for the FL storm season.
You may like: Accordion Hurricane Shutters vs Storm Panels
Eurex Armor Panel hurricane fabric panels are similar to storm panels. They are a type of non-permanent protection. These panels need to be installed and uninstalled before and after each storm. They are different from traditional storm panels in that they are made of light-weight fabric instead of heavier aluminum or metal. Our Eurex Shutter’s Armor Panel hurricane fabric, for instance is made of DuPont KEVLAR® reinforced soft-sided fabric. It offers the same protection for your sliding glass doors and French doors, but it is easier to install than storm panels.
Learn more about our Armor Panel Fabric Hurricane Panels.
Accordion shutters are permanently installed to protect your sliding glass doors or French doors. They open and close (expand and compress) horizontally (from side to side) along a track. When a storm approaches you just slide them closed and lock them in place.
See an example of a finished installation of accordion shutters on French doors that we did for a client’s home in Clewiston, FL. In the picture above you can see what they look like in the open and closed positions.
When open (not in use), the accordion fins tuck away neatly in a housing on the side of the door. This reduces their appearance when not in use, which reduces any negative aesthetic of the shutters on your home.
Learn more about Accordion Shutters.
Roll down shutters
Roll down shutters are a premium, permanent type of shutter that can be used to protect your glass patio doors.
They are very fast and easy to deploy. They open and close vertically (up and down). You can choose how to operate them as well, namely motorized vs non-motorized hurricane shutters.
They have a sleek design intended to minimize their appearance. When not in use they tuck away nicely in a housing above the door. You can choose several colors to match your home as well. They can be made to flow seamlessly into your home’s style and appearance.
When it comes to protecting your home or condo’s glass doors roll down shutters are the best of the best. But they have many benefits in addition to storm protection, including added privacy, shade and keeping out intruders.
Learn more about Roll Down Shutters.
You may also like: Roll Down vs Accordion Hurricane Shutters
Sliding glass doors and French doors are popular for homes and condominiums in Florida. They can help you get more natural light and open your home up to the beautiful nature outside. As beautiful and beneficial as they are these doors have large panes of glass. And if you live in a storm prone area like South Florida you will need to protect the glass from wind and flying objects. One great way to do that is by using hurricane shutters for sliding glass doors and French doors. There are many options and styles of hurricane shutters to pick from. These include both non-permanent options like panels and premium options like roll down shutters.