Barrel-bolt plywood shutters
Use on concrete-block stucco homes that have windows inset at least two inches from the exterior wall.
Buy plywood ahead of time, before the rush. Make sure it is at least 5/8 of an inch thick.
Buy 3- or 4-inch barrel bolts, enough for one bolt for a minimum of every 12 inches of plywood.
Cut the plywood sheets to size for each window, allowing for a snug fit in the inset.
For larger windows or sliding doors, attach two pieces of plywood with 2-by-4s or a piano hinge.
Attach bolts to plywood, mark where you need the holes to be drilled in the concrete stucco.
Drill holes, in marked spots in concrete stucco.
Overlapping plywood shutters
If your windows do not have a 2-inch inset, plywood shutters can overlap.
Buy plywood ahead of time, before the rush.
Make sure it is at least 5/8 of an inch thick.
Cut the plywood sheets to size for each window, allowing for an overlap of at least 4 inches. Label each panel.
Drill corresponding holes in the plywood and walls. Use a 1/4-inch drill bit for the wood. Use a masonry or carbide-tipped bit for concrete or stucco walls.
Hammer 1/4-inch lead sleeve anchors not plastic into the holes in the wall. The anchors should be at least 2 inches long.
When a hurricane threatens, use tapping screws at least 2 inches long to bolt the plywood in place.
Average cost: $1 - $5 per square foot
Preparation time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours per window.