How much does it cost to install hurricane shutters?
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Hurricane Shutters Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Homeowners who live in hurricane zones must take extra precautions to protect their homes. One way they do this is by installing hurricane shutters over all openings. They protect a residence from damage due to high winds and flying debris. In some cases, they may also safeguard against the looting that often happens just after a hurricane. The cost of hurricane shutters depends on the type of material and the number and size of the windows and glass doors.
The average cost of hurricane shutters runs between $2,500 and $8,000. Most homeowners pay around $5,200 for accordion style shutters in a 2,500 sq.ft., single-story home with 18 to 22 windows of various sizes and a sliding glass door. Prices can run as low as $575 for plywood shutters in a 1,200 sq.ft., single-story home with 8 to 10 windows of various sizes, to as high as $15,000 for high-quality roll down custom shutters in a two-story, 3,000 sq.ft. home with 22 to 28 windows of various sizes, a large picture window, and a sliding glass door.
Hurricane Shutters Cost
|Hurricane Shutters Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$5,200|
Hurricane Shutters Cost by Type
The cost to install your hurricane shutters will be determined by the size and type. Some materials are made for temporary solutions such as plywood and storm panels, while others are permanent fixtures such as roll down ones, which can be deployed at a moment's notice. Different types will also have different hardware, with some having electronic mechanisms and others simply being drilled into the house. Below you will see the average installation cost based on the square foot and for a 24" x 42" window.
|Type||Average Hurricane Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)||Hurricane Shutter Cost per Window (Installed)|
|Plywood||$2 - $6||$15 - $40|
|Storm Panels||$10 - $20||$70 - $140|
|Clamshell||$12 - $28||$85 - $200|
|Accordion||$15 - $30||$100 - $200|
|Bahama||$20 - $35||$150 - $250|
|Colonial||$25 - $35||$175 - $250|
|Roll Down||$25 - $60||$175 - $420|
Plywood Hurricane Shutters
Plywood panels usually cost between $2 and $6 per sq.ft. or between $15 and $40 per window. Though plywood is considered a material, it is often classified as its own type when it comes to hurricane shutters. These are drilled into the side of the home and require additional hardware for installation, often running between $15 and $30. Plywood is cheap and can be easily customized to any size. The main drawbacks are its heavy weight and the fact that it can warp or rot when stored.
Homeowners with no formal hurricane shutters in place may use plywood panels instead. However, they should be at least ⅝” thick and overlap the glass by at least four inches all the way around to provide adequate protection. They need to be attached to your exterior walls using ¼” screws or three-to-four-inch barrel bolts. The most basic material for this type of window protection is plywood.
Storm Panel Hurricane Shutters
Storm panels cost between $10 and $20 per sq.ft. installed or $70 to $140 for a 24” x 42” window. Made from corrugated steel or aluminum, storm panels consist of multiple overlapping panels. The overlapping panel design ensures that the various pieces reinforce one another to provide maximum protection during a hurricane. The cost of these panels is lower than other options and they are the least expensive permanent option.
They also can withstand winds in category 5 hurricanes and are easily removable. The main drawback is that they are more difficult to install.
Clamshell Hurricane Shutters
You can expect to pay an average of $12 to $28 per sq.ft. or $85 to $200 per window for clamshell shutters. These are considered a more old-fashioned model that are better quality than plywood and function and look similar to accordion options. They can be cut to fit any window. However, they are heavy, making them difficult to install. These are preinstalled and permanent. When they are not being used as protection from a hurricane, they provide shade. The main drawback to these models is the fact that they are not hurricane-rated yet.
Accordion Hurricane Shutters
The average cost of accordion shutters is $15 to $30 per sq.ft. installed. The price for a 24” x 42” window is about $100 to $200. These fold up accordion-style when not in use and are permanently attached to the home. They may consist of a single panel attached to one side of the window or two separate pieces, one on either side. Most of them are made from aluminum. Installed using a track-and-wheel system, these are easy for one person to unfold. Available in one or two-section designs, they provide a low-cost option for homeowners who do not want to remove and store seasonal protection.
Other benefits are that they can be locked to provide extra home security and require only one person to close them. Drawbacks to this type of shutter are that they are not as aesthetically pleasing, and the wheels may wear out over time.
The Bahama hurricane shutter cost for a 24” x 42” window runs $150 to $250, or $20 to $35 per sq.ft. installed. This type resembles traditional models, with the exception being that they are all one piece. These models attach to the top of your window and are propped up via a rod that extends from the window frame. In that way, they provide partial shade for your windows when not in use. They are similar to the window awnings used in many warm climate areas and they also offer top-of-the-line beauty and protection. These permanently affixed models do not require additional storage space but may require a ladder to reach and provide less protection than other types of shutters.
Colonial Hurricane Shutters
Colonial hurricane shutters, also known as board and batten, cost an average of $25 to $35 per sq.ft. installed. For a 24” x 42” window, you can expect to pay an average of $175 to $250 installed.
These are designed to look much like conventional models and even have the same louvered texture. One shutter is placed on either side of a window and is approximately one-half its width. The two pieces can then be folded together to cover the pane completely during a storm.
The pros of this option are that they are permanent, quickly prepared, and look like regular home shutters. The main drawbacks to this type are that they may require a locking bar, which runs from $20 to $45 and must be carefully fitted to provide the right protection.
Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
Roll-down hurricane shutters cost an average of $25 to $60 per sq.ft. installed. That makes the average cost for a 24” x 42” window $175 to $420. This type somewhat resembles a roll-down garage door, just on a much smaller scale. These sit in a storage box affixed to the top of your window when not in use. You may roll them down manually or have an electronic closing device attached so that they descend automatically at the touch of a button. The electronic closing can be run by an electrical cord or can be battery-operated. The pros of these models are that they are easy to use and act as a theft deterrent. Drawbacks are the cost and the fact that they are not as aesthetically pleasing. Below you will see the average cost per sq.ft. for each type of roll-down shutter.
|Type||Average Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)||Average Cost per Window (Installed)|
|Manual||$25 - $35||$175 - $245|
|Electric||$40 - $55||$280 - $385|
|Battery-Operated||$45 - $60||$315 - $420|
Roll-down hurricane shutter prices run an average of $25 to $35 per sq.ft. installed or $175 to $245 for a standard 24” x 42” window. Manual models require you to pull down or crank them down and then retract them when they are done being used. They are the least expensive roll-down option and provide the same great durability, but it can take hours to deploy all of them on a home and sometimes requires the assistance of another person. A pro of these units is that they are cheaper to repair since they do not rely on electronics.
Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters Cost
Electric or motorized hurricane shutters cost an average of $40 to $55 per sq.ft. to have installed. This makes the average cost for a 24” x 42” window $280 to $385. These consist on louver panels that are hinged and permanently attached to the opening. Often used to cover large areas, such as a pool house or outdoor recreation area, this type of protection can also be used for any size covering. They provide ease of use and are always ready without installing them before a storm.
Battery-operated roll-down hurricane shutters are the most expensive type of shutter, running an average of $45 to $60 per sq.ft. or $315 to $420 for a 24” x 42” window installed. They are more costly. However, they can be the better option if you do not have a generator, and the area you live in sees frequent power outages, especially during hurricane season. They work in the same manner as electric roll-down options but do not require a dedicated power source.
Hurricane Shutters Prices by Material
Another factor that plays a role in the overall cost of your hurricane shutter installation is the material you choose. While all materials provide a layer of protection against the winds and debris that come with a hurricane, certain ones provide greater protection than others. Aside from the level of protection, each material provides a different aesthetic for your home. Below you will see the average price per sq.ft. and per window based on a 24” x 42” window, depending on the chosen material.
|Type||Average Cost per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Average Cost per Window (Materials Only)|
|Wood||$5 - $15||$35 - $100|
|Anti-Impact Film||$10 - $12||$70 - $85|
|Fabric||$12 - $28||$85 - $200|
|Plastic||$15 - $30||$100 - $200|
|Metal||$20 - $60||$150 - $425|
Wood hurricane shutters are one of the least expensive options, running an average of $5 to $15 per sq.ft. or $35 to $100 for a 24” x 42” window. Wood can be used in standard plywood temporary panels and permanent fixed options like clamshell shutters. These are fairly durable and can hold up against strong winds, but they can rot or warp if not properly treated or stored. They are most effective for hurricane categories 1 through 4.
Though not exactly a type of hurricane shutter, anti-impact film can be used alone or in conjunction with them. Without shutters, it will only prevent shattering and do little to reduce the window from actually becoming damaged. Anti-impact film runs an average of $10 to $12 per sq.ft., which would cost an average of $70 to $85 to cover a 24” x 42” window. The film adheres to the window, strengthens the window, and remains attached to the window glass in case it breaks to prevent it from shattering into your home. If used alone, anti-impact film is best for hurricane categories 1 or 2.
Fabric Hurricane Shutters
If you choose to go with fabric, you can expect to pay an average of $85 to $200 for a 24” x 42” window or $12 to $28 per sq.ft. installed. Fabric storm panels or wind abatement screens offer an alternative to using cumbersome plywood or expensive permanent models. The panels are made of a layer of thick material coated on each side with a tough resin or a synthetic PVC coating. Panels attach with grommets and bolts, straps and buckles, or a rolling screen system. Drawbacks to fabric panels are they are not as strong as other options and need to be removed and installed each hurricane season. You can expect good protection from fabric shutters in category 3 hurricanes or less.
Plastic Hurricane Shutters
Clear plastic polycarbonate or clear panels cost from $15 to $30 per sq.ft. or $100 to $200 for a 24” x 42” window. Each panel contains a wavy design to help it deflect debris and covers approximately one foot in width. Unlike metal and polycarbonate panels, the clear ones can stay in place without blocking your view. They are installed in a steel channel that runs along the façade of the house. Many clear plastic penls have been certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Florida building codes. The main drawback to clear panels is that they can become cracked when hit with large debris. These should be effective for all categories of hurricanes.
Metal Hurricane Shutters
Metal models are the most expensive material option, running an average of $20 to $60 per sq.ft. or $140 to $420 for a 24” x 42” window. They are one of the most durable options and can withstand up to Category 5 winds and even hits from heavy debris. Below you can see the average cost per sq.ft. and per window for a 24” x 42” window, depending on the metal option you choose.
|Type of Metal||Average Cost per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)||Average Cost per Window (Materials Only)|
|Aluminum||$20 - $40||$140 - $280|
|Steel||$35 - $60||$245 - $420|
Aluminum Hurricane Shutters Price
Aluminum hurricane panels cost $140 to $280 for a standard 24” x 42” window or $20 to $40 per sq.ft. The aluminum material provides strong protection against wind and damage, though not as much as steel. It can be prone to denting and cracking when hit under heavy force but should protect your underlying windows. They are lighter weight than steel, making them easier to install. However, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other options.
Steel models typically cost more than those made from aluminum, running from $35 to $60 per sq.ft. installed. This makes a steel shutter for a window 24” x 42” cost an average of $245 to $420 installed. Steel is the most durable shutter option and can withstand significant force without incurring any damage. While they provide the greatest protection, they are extremely heavy and costly to install. They also have a more industrial appearance.
Cost to Install Hurricane Shutters
The cost to put up hurricane shutters runs an average of $45 to $100 per hour. The cost depends on the type of shutter, the material, and the location of the windows being covered. Fabric-styled models take 15 to 30 minutes per window for installation, while accordion or Bahama styles can take 30 to 45 minutes per window. Most homeowners pay around $5,200 for accordion-style panels to be installed in a 2,500 sq.ft., single-story home with 18 to 22 windows and a sliding glass door of various sizes. Electric rollup options can take as long as two hours for each shutter to be installed. Your installer will affix the necessary hardware and then hang or install the shutter, making sure to test it before leaving. If you have temporary models, you will have to remove them yourself at the end of the season or pay an additional $5 to $20 each to have them removed.
After the installation process is complete, the installer will test the shutter to make sure it is fully operational. This is included in the installation cost. There are different ways to install them, and the method you choose will be a matter of preference. It is advisable to check with local and state requirements as well as suggestions by your insurance agent before deciding on an installation option.
Choosing a professional for the installation process is important to ensure they function properly when you need them to and installed properly to keep water and debris out of your home.
Hurricane Shutter Repair
You can pay an average of $60 to $300 per window for this kind of repair, depending on the type of damage. While they are designed to stand up to the high winds, a barrage of debris, heavy rains, significant storms, or storms that run for a long duration may damage your shutters. While cosmetic repairs may be necessary, the repairs are often needed due to damaged electrical components. If you have electrical damage to units that utilize a remote control, you will find that those repair costs are on the high end. If they get really damaged, they should be replaced, costing $15 to $425 per window.
Hurricane Shutters for Sliding Glass Doors Cost
If you have a sliding glass door out to your deck or patio, you will want to have that glass protected as well. The installation process for sliding glass doors is similar to the installation on a long or wide window. You can expect to pay an average of $12 to $60 per sq.ft. for materials and installation on a sliding glass door, with the price depending on the type. While almost any type can be used for sliding glass doors, the most common are accordion and roll-up.
Mobile Home Hurricane Shutters
If you live in a mobile home, you will want to hurricane-proof your home. Hurricane shutters are a great way to protect your windows and keep debris, rain, and wind out of your home. Installing them on your mobile home is the same as installing them on a traditional home. You will have the same options available. There is no cost difference between installing these structures on a mobile home versus a traditional home. The cost primarily depends on the type chosen and the size of the windows they cover.
How to Measure for Hurricane Shutters
It is important to measure for your hurricane shutters accurately because they will not provide the needed protection if they fit poorly. Always measure from just outside the opening. Start with the width and then measure the height, rounding upward to the next inch. When measuring, take into account where the mounting hardware will need to be. If you have decorative molding or other obstructions, you may need to adjust the measurements so that the shutter can reach the hardware. If you choose to install your panels horizontally, adding two inches is recommended to secure them properly to the mount.
Hurricane Screen Cost
Hurricane screens are used in place of regular screens as a tougher alternative that can stand up to the high winds and flying debris that comes with hurricanes. The screens are designed to handle wind speeds of up to 276 mph. They can be the perfect option for large openings such as balconies and picture windows. You can expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $100 per hour to have a screen like this installed and may pay an average of $5 to $15 per sq.ft. for materials or $7 to $20 installed. This would make a 24” x 42” window screen cost $50 to $140 installed. Material options include PVC-coated fabric, Kevlar, stainless steel, and polypropylene.
PVC-coated fabric is made of 100% polyester and a smooth coating made of chloride, providing greater density and higher tensile strength. Kevlar fibers are extremely rigid and resistant to extreme impact and chemicals. They are one of the options that remain most stable during a hurricane. Stainless steel fabric is corrosion and chemical resistant. It is durable, though not as much in Kevlar, and tends to be less expensive. Polypropylene fabric is much lighter than the other options but still withstands an impact.
At What Category Should You Put Up Hurricane Shutters?
Hurricane shutters can prevent damage no matter what category of hurricane you experience. In most cases, category 1 hurricanes create minimal damage. However, without them, you are still at risk for cracked windows if the winds force debris into them. They should be deployed when a hurricane watch is in effect. If you live in an area that sees category 2 hurricanes or higher, these are strongly recommended. Some states may have laws in place that require them on new builds, no matter the category the area sees.
Pros and Cons
Installing these shutters on your home can be a difficult decision. Everyone wants to protect their home, but opinions differ on whether they are worth the expense and hassle. These panels are designed to keep wind, water, and debris out of your home. Most styles are simple to keep clean and looking fresh. They come in a range of prices and can be custom-tailored to your home.
However, there are also disadvantages. In some situations, they can fail and shatter in severe storms, sending water and debris into the home, although reported incidents of hurricane shutter failure are low. Storm bars are required to lock them in place for some models, increasing the installation time and the costs for the initial setup. In addition, the cost of purchasing and installing them is quite expensive.
Homeowners should regularly clean the tracks of their roll-down or accordion shutters. This ensures they are free of debris and do not “lock up” whenever you need to lower them quickly. Locking rods and thumbscrews should also be lubricated using a spray silicone at least once annually. These are easy tasks that anyone can perform without needing any special tools or equipment. Colonial or Bahama panels are permanently attached and may, therefore, suffer UV damage.
You should also keep the exterior clean and free of debris. You can use warm soapy water and a microfiber cloth. You also want to operate them at least once or twice a year to prevent them from sticking. To keep them looking new, homeowners need to paint them every three to five years. Having your shutters painted costs $40 to $70 per shutter.
Permanent Hurricane Shutters vs Temporary Paneling
Hurricane shutters fall into one of two main categories, temporary and permanent shutters. Temporary panels will be deployed when a storm is expected and then removed and stored until the next storm comes. The only thing that will remain after removal is the mounting mechanisms left on to make installation quicker. Storm screens, fabric panels, and storm panels are all forms of temporary options and can be deployed in a couple of hours. On the other hand, Accordion, Bahama, Colonial, and Roll-Down are forms of permanent shutters. These remain attached to your home at all times and can be deployed in a few moments. They can be operated manually or by a motor. Some types remain partially hidden when not in use, like roll-down options, which will roll into a storage box when not in use. Below you will see the average cost per window installed depending on whether you choose a temporary or permanent option.
|Type||Cost per Window (Installed)|
|Temporary||$50 - $140|
|Permanent||$105 - $420|
Hurricane Shutters vs Impact Windows Cost
Impact-resistant windows consist of thick glass panes with an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). They are designed with the same technology used in automobile windshields so that when impacted, the glass will only shatter and not break through into the home, where shards can cause injury. They can be used along with shutters or on their own. Hurricane shutters often do a good job of protecting debris from getting into the home. However, if they are breached and regular glass is beneath them, the glass could shatter into the home.
Below you can see the cost difference between impact windows and hurricane shutters based on a 2,500 sq.ft., single-story home with 18 to 22 windows and a sliding glass door.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Hurricane Shutters||$2,500 - $8,000|
|Hurricane Impact Windows||$3,500 - $10,500|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Custom Hurricane Shutters
Though custom hurricane shutters are not very common, if you have windows that will not work with any of the normally available sizes, you may need custom ones to fit odd-shaped or custom-sized windows. If you find yourself having to have custom made protections, you can expect to pay between 10% and 20% more. The same hardware may be used with standard and custom shutters, but installation may take a little longer if they are significantly larger than standard-sized windows.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Hurricane alley. If you live in “Hurricane Alley,” you can save money on your homeowner's insurance by installing hurricane shutters. Studies have shown that homes with these installed sustain fewer damages during a storm and may be less prone to having their roofs lifted.
- Return on investment. Those looking to sell their home in the near future should consider the Return on Investment (ROI). In general, the ROI for most types of hurricane shutters is around 50%, while the ROI for impact windows is anywhere from 80% to 86%. So, while impact windows may cost more initially, they may pay greater dividends in the long run.
- Two-story homes. It generally costs more to install hurricane shutters on two-story homes and ones with skylights. That is because it takes more man-hours to carry them up and down ladders. Skylights may also require custom fittings, which increase the cost.
- Home aesthetics. Not everyone enjoys the look of hurricane shutters. Many believe they provide an industrial appearance that detracts from a home’s aesthetics. This is largely due to what is known as “visual pollution,” or the inability to enjoy an unhindered view. Fabric or mesh panels are often seen as a more attractive solution, particularly because they allow people who shelter in place to see outdoors.
- Building permits. Building permits are required throughout Florida and in many other coastal areas. The cost of a building permit is generally between $45 and $140, with the average homeowner paying around $85.
- Hurricane clips. Installation of hurricane clips runs around $850 to $1,350 for shutters in a 2,500 sq.ft. home. This will typically include a wind mitigation inspection in the cost, which would run around $100 alone. If you live in Florida and have hurricane clips installed, your insurance company is required to provide a discount.
- FEMA standards. Not all hurricane windows or shutters are of the same quality. For maximum protection, choose products that meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ICC 500 standards. Doing so helps you achieve the highest discount possible on your homeowners insurance. In addition, some regions require you to install panels with certain ratings. For example, Florida requires ratings of TAS 201, 202, or 203.
- High-velocity hurricane zone. Homeowners in an HVHZ, or high-velocity hurricane zones, will need to select shutters that are approved for this specific type of area. Those that have just achieved ASTM International testing ratings will not provide enough protection.
- Law mandates. Some states have laws in place requiring homes to have sufficient protection from hurricanes. All homes in Florida built after 2001 must have storm protection on their windows. In some cases, like in North Carolina, window protection is required to achieve certain homeowners discounts.
- How much do hurricane shutters save on insurance?
Since they provide significant protection against wind and water during a hurricane, your insurance company rewards you with discounts, often ranging between 8% and 10%.
- Do hurricane shutters increase home value?
While they can be a costly investment, they not only protect your home but also can increase your home’s value. It can also make your home more appealing to buyers, who may be a little nervous about buying in an area that sees hurricanes.
- What to do with old hurricane shutters?
When replacing or getting rid of old hurricane shutters, you need to dispose of them properly. After removal, you should contact a junk hauling service to make sure they are disposed of properly based on the material.
- How much do storm shutters cost?
Storm shutters cost anywhere from $2 to $6 per sq.ft. for inexpensive plywood to as much as $25 to $60 per sq.ft. for roll-down models.
- How much does it cost to hire someone to put up hurricane shutters?
Some types, such as fabric panels or plywood, can be performed as DIY projects. When using a professional contractor, expect to pay anywhere from $45 to 100 per hour. Installation of 18 to 22 accordion-style hurricane panels and one for a sliding door in a 2,500 sq.ft. home would run between $2,500 and $8,000.
- Do you need a permit to install hurricane shutters?
Permits are generally required to install them and may cost anywhere from $45 to $140, depending on your location. Additional approval could also be needed from a Homeowners Association.
- How much do accordion hurricane shutters cost?
Accordion hurricane panels cost between $15 and $30 per square foot for materials. They are popular choices for larger windows as the vertical blades allow you to install them over a variety of lengths and widths easily.
- Do you need hurricane shutters if you have impact windows?
Impact windows will not necessarily remain intact during a hurricane. Instead, heavy debris may cause them to crack in a spider web pattern. While this protects your family from flying shards of glass, you still need to replace the glass. Hurricane shutters on top of impact windows provide maximum protection during a storm.
- Are hurricane shutters worth it?
Hurricane shutters are the best way to prevent water, wind, and debris from entering your home. They are cost-effective and keep you and your property safe during a hurricane.
- Which is better, hurricane windows or shutters?
Both windows and shutters provide an extra layer of protection to your windows and doors. Windows are significantly more expensive and best installed during the initial build. Hurricane panels can be added at any time and are much more affordable. A combination of both would provide the ultimate protection.