The Screen Shop Inc.

1133 Old Dixie Highway

Lake Park, FL 33403

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Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday 8 a.m.-noon

Email

thescreenshopinc@comcast.net

Lake Park, FL 33403

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561-842-0788

Storm Panels vs. Accordion Shutters for Hurricane Protection

Because of the risk of hurricanes in Florida, certain precautions are required by law in many areas of the state. These precautions include either having windows made of impact-resistant glass or having some type of hurricane shutters.

Even in areas where it isn't legally required, taking precautions can be a good idea to protect yourself and your home in case of a hurricane.

Two of the less expensive options available for hurricane shutters are storm panels (which can be made out of metal or clear polycarbonate) and accordion shutters. Understanding the pros and cons of each can make the decision a bit easier.

Installation and Use

It's always a good idea to have hurricane shutters professionally installed to make sure this is done properly and the shutters will work as intended, whether you choose storm panels or accordion shutters.

With storm panels, steel channels need to be bolted to the side of the home on the top and bottom of each window, and then the homeowner slides each panel into place when a storm is coming. Sliding the panels into place can be difficult, especially in high winds, and may require two people.

Accordion shutters are permanently attached to the house with boxes bolted on each side of the window. When a storm is expected, the homeowner simply pulls out the shutters and bolts them either to the opposite side or in the middle. This task is easy enough for one person to handle.

Timing Considerations

Sometimes there isn't a lot of warning before a storm comes, so it's important to understand how long it takes to deploy each type of shutter.

It takes about 30 minutes for one person to deploy a storm panel over a single first-floor whereas an accordion shutter would only take about 2 minutes to deploy. Second-floor windows take even longer to put up panels. Choosing accordion shutters that latch from the inside is best for second-floor windows to keep the deployment time to a minimum.

Cost Considerations

The cost for storm panels or accordion shutters will vary depending on the size of the windows, the type of the panels and where they are purchased. However, accordion shutters typically cost between $15 and $25 per square foot of window space. Storm panels often cost somewhere between $7 and $15 each.

Appearance 

Because storm panels are removed when not in use, they don't have much of an adverse effect on a home's appearance. Accordion shutters can sometimes look unattractive because the storage boxes on the side can be a bit bulky. 

Visibility Considerations

Some retailers sell storm panels and accordion shutters that consist of clear materials. This allows for more light to enter the home when the shutters or panels are in use, although these clear materials may still somewhat distort visibility.

The traditional metal panels and shutters block out all light when in use, making the house dark. When this type of panels are in place, people will not be able to see out the windows.

Other Storm Panel Considerations

Because storm panels are only installed when a storm is coming, you need to find a place to store them when they aren't being used. They can take up a significant amount of space.

You will also need to make sure to label each panel so it's clear which window it goes to and which side is the top to make installation easier.

The panels are heavy and bulky and in some cases have sharp edges, making them harder to install.

Other Accordion Shutters Considerations

Accordion panels have more moving parts because they slide along the track on wheels and need to latch either open or closed. Because of these moving parts, accordion shutters tend to break and need more maintenance than storm panels.

Check each year before hurricane season to make sure that your shutters are working properly. Some accordion shutters come with a key, making it possible to lock them closed to help prevent thefts of items in the home.

Both accordion shutters and storm panels offer advantages and disadvantages. Whichever you choose, The Screen Shot Inc. can help you choose the solution you need to help protect your home from hurricanes. 

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