How to Install Hurricane Shutters

What You'll Need
Local building code and permit
Storm panel shutters
Measuring tape
Marker
Notebook
Electric drill with masonry bits
3 or 4-inch bolts

Hurricane shutters are a vital safety measure for those who live in hurricane prone areas. They can make all the difference in how well your home fairs in the event of a hurricane or other high winds.

When properly installed, shutters can save you and your family from serious injuries, even death. They also significantly reduce the damage a hurricane can cause to your home and belongings. Most shutters are made from aluminum or plywood. Below is a guide on how to install storm panel shutters to keep your home safe.

boy at a window in a storm

Step 1 – Obtain Local Building Code

This can be obtained from your local department of codes and permits. It will give you vital guidelines as to what type of shutters to install, including recommended strength.

Step 2 – Take Frame Measurements

Place the tape measure at one point on the inside of the window frame, stretching it across to the other end. Mark both ends to get accurate shutter measurements. Measure the vertical length of the window as well. The shutters should fit the wall openings for all areas to be covered, rather than being placed over the outside edges.

Proceed to take measurements for all windows and doors in a similar manner. Note all measurements for required panels in a notebook.

measuring window frame

Step 3 – Mark Holes for Drilling

Mark the center points along each window and door frame. Do both horizontal and vertical markings. One marked center point should suffice for small or medium-sized windows. Larger windows and doors will require a couple more markings. These should be made along both the horizontal and vertical lengths of the window casings or door frames.

Step 4 – Drill Holes

Begin with one window and drill holes at all points marked. You’ll also need to drill a hole at each right angled point for all the windows. Do the same for the doors and skylights. Holes drilled should accommodate the bolts to be used.

Step 5 – Place the Shutters

Set the shutter in the frame for each window so that it fits in the opening precisely. This will prevent wind or debris from dislodging the shutters. About one inch should remain between the edge of the window or door frame and shutter surface.

Step 6 – Fit Bolts

Secure the shutters with bolts and tighten them in place. Work in a similar manner for all windows, doors and skylights.

Tips

For the best protection from dangerous storms, look for shutters that can resist wind speeds of at least 120 miles per hour.

Install shutters over all doors, windows and any skylights for maximum protection.

Don’t wait until a hurricane warning before you install shutters. It is best to install well ahead of the hurricane season. A rushed job will probably give you less than satisfactory results.