Another hurricane season is here! If you don’t have hurricane shutters already you might be motivated to install some to protect your home or business in Southwest Florida. Storm shutters are a critical part of storm preparedness. They protect your home and family from severe storms, such as hurricanes. But like any home improvement project shutters can be difficult and time consuming to install.
You probably know its not easy, and have a ton of questions. Well then this article should be helpful. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get about installing hurricane shutters.
Hopefully the answers to these questions will help you decide the best way to do your hurricane shutter installation.
We get this question a lot. A lot of folks want to install their shutters themselves, either to save money or because they think they may enjoy it.
The quick answer is yes, but with a caveat. If you have the knowledge, tools, and physical capabilities then yes it is possible to install them yourself. However, here are some reasons you may decide against installing them yourself:
The installation of all shutters requires power tools, which you may not have and can be pretty costly
The majority of hurricane shutters are fairly heavy, which means you will need a team of physically capable individuals to help with the heavy lifting
Some styles of storm shutters, such as roll-down shutters can be operated with motors and complex engineering, which means you need to be familiar with these systems and know exactly how to install them to limit issues down the road
You need a building permit to install them, which is another reason why its important to have a licensed contractor install your shutters
So aside from the storm panels, which need to be installed every storm, we recommended that a professional install your shutters.
Front doors can be a bit tricky and how the hurricane shutter are installed on your home’s exterior depends on if your front door swings in or out. Our company, for example, can make the shutter operate from both the inside or outside. For instance, if your home’s exterior door swings out then accordion shutters and storm panels would need to be installed and closed from the outside (outside the door). On the other hand, roll-down shutters could possibly be operated from the inside of your property.
Clear hurricane shutters are available in many styles of hurricane shutters. But regardless of the type of shutter they are installed the same way as aluminum and steel shutters. In other words, it doesn’t matter what material the shutters are made from. The installation is the same.
Similarly clear storm panels are installed just like steel storm panels. They are installed to your home’s exterior with either a track system or a direct screw in the wall method.
Storm shutters are installed through the exterior stucco of your house or building. In other words, they are installed into the existing substructure, which could be block, wood, or solid concrete.
You have probably seen many storm panels installed on houses in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and throughout the rest of Southwest Florida. Some storm panel installations include tracks. For these installations the tracks are anchored into the wall, and the panels are secured to the tracks.
Storm panels can also be installed without tracks. In this case they are anchored directly into the exterior wall with a variety of anchors. The anchors have an attachment point for either sidewalk bolts or wing nuts.
The short answer is yes. You do need a permit to install hurricane shutters in Southwest Florida. You can search for your county or city online to confirm. The city of Fort Myers, for example, states that a permit is required for the installation of both residential and commercial shutters.
The cost to install storm shutters varies widely depending on your specific property, the style of shutter (ie. storm panels vs. Bahama shutters), the materials, and many other things. In general you can expect to pay anywhere from $10/SQFT – $50 SQFT for shutters and installation. Review our Hurricane Shutter Cost Guide for costs for the different types of shutters.
Are you looking for local professionals to help you install your storm shutters in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Naples/Marco Island, or anywhere in Southwest Florida? If so, we would love to work with you. We have been manufacturing and installing hurricane shutters and impact windows and doors for 35 years in Southwest Florida. Call us at 239-369-8600 or fill out our form for an in-home consultation and estimate.
Whether you do your own hurricane shutter installation is up to you. This is really dependent on your time and ability to install your panels. This type of protection does take longer and requires more physical effort than other types. If you do prefer to hire someone to install them there are panel installation services in the area, such as us.