Hurricane season is just around the corner, beginning in June, and running through November. If you live in an area that is affected by hurricanes, you may be considering installing hurricane shutters to your house for added protection. Shutters are affixed to the outside of your home or building with screws or a tracking system.
There are several types available. If you purchase them from a dealer, installation may possibly be included in the price of the shutters, or available for an extra fee. This is probably the easiest, quickest way, but will cost more.
Types of hurricane shutters are as follows:
Vinyl, wood, panel shutters, pleated shades,roller shutters, plantation shutters, and door shutters.
The following explains the least expensive type of shutters available, which are ones you construct and install yourself. They require a good deal of physical labor, so it’s best to have as many helpers as possible. They are a temporary type of shutter, that you would want to remove as soon as the danger of the storm had passed. Not overly pretty, but at least as effective as the more expensive “store-bought” types.
You will need the following equipment to build this type of hurricane shutter. (Note, this is to cover a typical window in a residential, wood frame home. You will have to make adjustments for larger windows, or odd shapes).
One 4 X 8 sheet of 5/8″ CDX grade plywood.
Electric or cordless drill
Phillips head driver bit for drill
Screws- # 8 or # 10 Phillips head wood screws, 2″ – 2-1/2″ long.
To begin construction, measure your window. Cut the plywood 7 ” wider and 7″ taller then the size of the window. (You want to have at least 3″ – 4″ overhang).
Locate the studs near your window. Measure carefully so that you know you will hit the stud when applying the plywood. Drill screws into the center of the studs, above, below and at the sides of the window. Usually about 7/8″ outside the window frame.
The screws must hit the studs to adequately hold the plywood shutter.
If you don’t own a drill, you can use hammer and nails. Follow the same instructions as above, but note that nails do not hold plywood as well as screws, and will be harder to remove when the time comes.
For shutter installation on a concrete block house, you will need the following:
4 X 8 sheet of 5/8″ thick CDX plywood.
Ten 5/16″ wing nuts
Ten 5. 16″ washers
Ten 5/16″ X 3 hanger bolts
Using the concrete bit, drill 10 holes in the concrete wall all around your window. Each hole should be 2″-3″ from the edge of the window, to prevent the concrete from cracking.
Insert the hanger bolts into the ten holes.
Measure carefully, and drill ten 5/16″ holes in your plywood shutter, to match as closely as possible to the ten bolts you just installed.
Slide plywood over the protruding ends of the bolts, place a washer on each, and fasten the ten wing nuts tightly.