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No one likes to think about how to survive a worst case scenario like a hurricane. Unfortunately, this is a real concern for anyone living in coastal areas susceptible to the power of these major storms. When a hurricane or tropical storm hits, it is important to have the right protection to keep your house intact and your family safe. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there to match your home and budget.
01 of 08
Best Fabric Hurricane Shutter: Astroguard Fabric Hurricane Panel
Since metal hurricane shutters can be cost prohibitive for some people depending on their budget and home size, some people turn to more affordable hurricane paneling. Fabric might not seem like a logical choice at first, but one look at the ballistic-resistant, flexible material of the Astroguard Fabric Hurricane Paneling may change your mind. Fabric can be quicker to install than plywood while allowing more light into the windows. Keep in mind, proper anchoring is required for heavy winds.
For temporary or budget storm paneling, this hurricane paneling offers good storm protection without the need for professional installation. The fabric material is high strength and translucent with a UV-resistant coating to allow light to come in. Secured with clips and building anchors, the fabric paneling can be installed or taken down quickly to match changing weather conditions.
02 of 08
Best Plastic Hurricane Shutter: Multiwall Hurricane Panel
While most permanent hurricane shutters are made of metal, other materials are available to consider to save some money. Plastic paneling, for example, offers some of the same protection as metal options with less preparation and installation time. Best of all, flexible plastic panels like the Multiwall Hurricane Panel can roll up out of sight when not in use, preserving the looks of your home’s exterior.
These hurricane panels offer an affordable roll-up hurricane shutter alternative. Similar to metal hurricane shutters, the plastic paneling can hang or slide down to provide basic protection for windows during a storm. The plastic is tear-resistant and treated with a UV coating for sunlight protection. Each panel can also be cut down to fit the window it protects. Since these freely hang, however, they are not suitable for high winds without additional anchoring.
03 of 08
Best Temporary Hurricane Shutter: Bertha Hurricane Panels
Sometimes, you may only think of hurricane shutters and protection when it's nearly too late. If a storm is on the horizon, you will not have the time to install permanent hurricane shutters. Instead, you need to go with a temporary solution to cover up any windows and doors. While plywood is a common and affordable temporary solution, there are better alternatives out there to really give your home the protection it needs in bad weather.
When you need to get solid paneling up quickly, the Bertha Hurricane Panels are the way to go. Made of high strength corrugated aluminum sheets, the paneling is angled to offer better wind and debris resistance than flat sheets of plywood. Installation requires setting up the additional mounting hardware/fasteners to secure the sheets to window and door openings. When not in use, these panels can stack up for convenient, out-of-the-way storage.
04 of 08
Best Accordion Hurricane Shutter: Empire Construction Accordion Shutters
Accordion hurricane shutters are a great choice for anyone wanting to protect larger windows and even doors or entryways during a storm. Fastened to long tracks running above and/or below the opening, these shutters fold in and out to give you protection when it's needed and a clean look when it’s not. These shutters are permanently fixed to the side of the house, drastically reducing the preparation time before a storm.
The Empire Construction Accordion Shutters are the type of storm panel protection to choose when you want the paneling to be out of the way most of the time. Built from extruded aluminum slats, these shutters include a locking mechanism and optional key for extra protection. The extra space between the shutter and windows also provide extra insulation for keeping the house warmer or cooler in the summer and winter respectively.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Roll Up Hurricane Shutter: Stormwise Roll-Up Shutters
Homeowners concerned about the exterior looks of their home in addition to protecting it in a storm often choose roll-up hurricane shutters. Much like window blinds, these shutters roll in and out of a permanent storage bay attached above a window on the outside of the house. Using either a hand-operated crank or electric motor, the shutter rolls down into place, covering and protecting windows during a storm.
The Stormwise Roll-Up Shutters conveniently hide away into top storage containers when not in use. When it comes time to protect your home, the shutters can slide down manually or electrically with an optional central control system available. The shutters come in four different colors to match a wide variety of exterior styles as well. The heavy-duty construction also provides additional home security if desired.
06 of 08
Best Bahama-Style Hurricane Shutter: Empire Construction Bahama Shutters
Having great storm protection for your home does not mean you have to sacrifice on the exterior looks. Bahama-style hurricane shutters are a popular choice of storm protection in Europe and tropical areas for their unique looks and stellar protection. Mounted above a window at an angle, these panels act like sun shades during sunny days. When a storm comes, you can fold them down to cover an entire window from debris.
The Empire Construction Bahama Shutters are a great option of hurricane shutter to choose if you want the shutter to enhance the look of your home. Made from heavy extruded aluminum for a strong and lightweight construction, each panel is custom made to cover the entire window for complete protection. Mounted at a 45-degree angle, the shutter provides plenty of shade as well, eliminating the need for window shades.
07 of 08
Best Colonial-Style Hurricane Shutter: Stormwise Colonial Shutters
Preserving the looks of a home’s exterior and saving some money in the process, colonial-style hurricane shutters are perfect for homeowners who want their storm paneling to blend in with the rest of the home. Similar to normal colonial shutters, these panels are often made of steel or aluminum sheets with heavy-duty fasteners and locks to withstand the abuse of high winds, heavy rain, and flying debris.
The Stormwise Colonial Shutters go well with many traditional and tropical exterior styles while providing excellent storm protection. More affordable than other permanent shutters, they pivot manually into place when it is time to protect the home. Different colors and styles such as angled and curved tops are available to match the existing exterior decor of the home as well.
08 of 08
Best Polycarbonate: Evolution Hurricane Shutters
If you live in a hurricane prone area you might want to think about switching out your glass windows for polycarbonate ones that can withstand high winds, falling, debris, and vandalism. These high impact windows not only help you weather Category 5 storms, they also help insulate your home and add another level of security to your home because thieves can't break in.
The company is based in Palmetto, Florida but you can reach out and see if they have any distributors in your area. These windows are custom to your home so will be costly, but you will reap the savings with little storm damage and energy savings over the year.