Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Give windows hurricane-proof treatment

Homeowners have a number of choices to protect their windows in a storm. The prices are as varied as the products.

All prices given are approximate. They may vary depending on where the protection is to be installed (more expensive on higher floors that require ladders or scaffolding, for example), and anything custom-made will be expensive. The figures quoted here are an average of those cited by three independent dealers.

But dealers also say they've been told by their wholesale suppliers that the price of aluminum will rise sharply in mid-April, and again in the summer. So prepare yourself for a price adjustment.

Consumer demand has driven the move to see-through shutters. After living in boarded-up houses for six weeks in the late summer of 2004, buyers want protection that admits light. Retailers, too, want to protect their windows yet let customers see that they're open for business.

Ask to see documentation that products meet Miami-Dade certification tests. Window film does not. It won't prevent your windows from shattering; it may hold the pieces in place. For that matter, plywood does not meet the impact certification test. Neither do corrugated plastic panels.

Window protection options


Colonial shutters

These decorative shutters add to the home's appearance. When a storm threatens, they close, like old-fashioned shutters, and lock across the window. $50 per square foot.


Full-view Bahamas

This aluminum product has moving louvers, open to the view, that can be snapped shut to provide hurricane protection. No backing plate is required, hence better light and air circulation. Around $50 per square foot. See them at www.tc-alum.com or call toll-free 1-866-220-5019.


Steel or aluminum panels

Older styles mount in tracks around the windows. Newer ones are direct-mounted and attached with bolts or screws. Steel panels are around $9 per square foot; aluminum is around $12 per square foot. Aluminum is lighter. To admit light and avoid claustrophobia, many homeowners use at least one see-through Lexan panel, corrugated or flat, per room ($15 to $17 per square foot).


Roll-down shutters

These aluminum or PVC shutters operate by a pull strap or can be hand-cranked or motorized. Made to order for each window. About $55 to $65 per square foot.


Accordion shutters

These are typically used to cover sliding-glass doors. $25 to $35 per square foot.


Mesh wind screen

Transparent polypropylene mesh wind screen — Force 12 is one brand — is attached at top and bottom with removable stainless steel eye bolts. It cuts wind speed and slows objects that strike it. It is mainly used on large expanses of glass – sliders opening onto a lanai, for example — and in commercial applications; $13 to $15 per square foot. A related product is Diamond Screen, a mesh with reinforced corners for small or large windows. $12 per square foot.


Impact-resistant glass

Two panes of heavy glass form a sandwich with a middle layer of heavy, clear polyvinyl. Estimate $60-plus per square foot; figure $800 to $1,000 per opening.


Plastic panels

Made of corrugated plastic, these panels mount with 3M Dual Lock Fasteners. They come in translucent, opaque or clear; $4 to $9 per square foot. They're marketed as a plywood alternative. www.storm-stoppers.com; toll-free 1-877-253-8371.


Fabric panels

Fabric-Shield panels from Wayne Dalton are made of PVC-coated woven fabric and attached to a stud or track with grommets and wing nuts. The shield is translucent, lightweight and easy to store. The material will flex, so it's possible a direct hit could break a window, but the interior is protected from rain. Stock and custom sizes. About $12 to $15 per square foot.


Fabric panels

Another variation: Storm-a-Rest panels made of Spectra, a polyethylene fiber that manufacturer Honeywell claims is 30 percent stronger than Kevlar. The panels, attached with simple fasteners, admit daylight and stop wind-driven rain. An accent band of striped Sunbrella fabric gives a festive tropical look when the shade is rolled up in fair weather. About $21 a square foot installed; www.honeywell.com/spectra.

Give windows hurricane-proof treatment 05/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 2:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  2. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look

    Blogs

    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  4. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  5. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game

    Crime

    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.