Comparison Chart

Shutter Selection Matrix

PLYWOOD

CORRUGATED STEEL PANELS

CORRUGATED ALUMINUM PANELS

CORRUGATED CLEAR POLYCARBONATE PANELS

CELLULAR POLYCARBONATE SHEET (4' X &)

PRICE (PER SQUARE FOOT)

$1-$2 for DlY$3-$5 for installation by a carpenter or contractor $3-$5 for DIY$6-$12 for professional installation $6-$8 for DIY$9-$16 for professional installation $6-$8 for DlY$15-$20 for professional installation $10-$15 for DIY$20-$30 for professional installation

DESCRIPTION

1/2" to 3/4" CDX plywood available in 4'x8' sheets: OSB not recommended, Use two layers of 3/8' material to obtain the same effect as one layer of 3/4" material. Panels are available in widths from 13" to 16" and various lengths. They are typically overlapped to cover small to large openings. Available in 28 to 18 gauge thickness. Panels are available in widths from 13" to 14" and are overlapped to cover small to large openings. Panels are available from most manufacturers, but some require metal panels to be installed on each side to support edges. Usually sold in 4' x 8' sheets: honeycomb construction that is 5/8" thick.

PRO'S

Lowest cost protection you can purchase available from many sources in all markets. Does not have to be custom ordered. Inexpensive system with good protection. Easy to deploy when used with track systems. Lighter weight metal panel option than steel with good protection. Corrosion-resistant when stored dry and separated from concrete floor. Corrosion-resistant; allows fight inside: lighter than steel or aluminum. Corrosion-resistant; allows light inside; lighter than plywood, steel or aluminum panels.

CON'S

Heavy and hard to handle. Will warp when wet and during storage and may need to be replaced after a few storms. Should not be used for an opening larger than a 4'x8' unless extra framing is added - see APA guidelines. Panels are difficult to install on upper stories unless openings face onto a porch or balcony. 1/2" and 5/8" panels can be penetrated by 9lb. test missile allowing glass to break. The thinner gauge panels are easily bent by impacts and will allow the glass to break unless there is significant distance (3-4 inches) between the panel and glass. The heavier weight panels offer better protection, but can be hard to handle in longer lengths or if trying to carry several panels at one time. Panels may corrode if improperly stored. The old style, thinner panels are easily bent by impacts and will allow the glass to break unless there is a separation of 3 to 4 inches between the panel and glass. The current panels offer better protection. Panels can stick together and corrode if improperly stored. This flexible system can allow glass to break, if hit by a heavy object, unless there is 3 to 4 inches of separation between the panel and the glass. The strength of the product may be significantly reduced by storing or subjecting the product to prolonged exposed to UV rays and chemicals, unless the product is rated UV resistant. This flexible system can allow glass to break if hit by a heavy object, unless there is 3 to 4 inches of separation between the panel and the glass. Fasten on all four sides. The strength of the product may be significantly reduced by storing or subjecting the product to prolonged exposed to UV rays and chemicals.

ADVANCE DEPLOYMENT TIME NEEDED

Initial Installation: 1 hour per opening to cut plywood and install anchors at all 4 sides of opening into the framing. After permanent anchors are installed may take as little as 15 minutes per window to install. Initial installation: 1 1/2 hour per opening to cut metal panels and install anchors into the framing. After permanent anchors or tracks are installed may take as little as 10 minutes per window to install. 1 hour per opening to cut the tracks and install anchors into the framing. Initial Installation: 1 hour per opening to cut the panel and install anchors into the framing. After permanent anchors are installed, it could take as little as 10 minutes per opening to install. Initial Installation: 1 hour per opening to cut the panel and install anchors into the framing. After permanent anchors are installed, it could take as little as 10 minutes per opening to install.

WATER PENETRATION RESISTANCE

May reduce water intrusion depending on installation - attaching weather stripping to top and sides of panels, where they come into contact with a wall may provide extra protection. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against window or door. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors.

POROUS OR NON-POROUS

Generally non-porous if the sheet covers the entire opening. Required to be attached on all four sides of the opening. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on windows or doors. Non-porous if installed with track systems and using side and end closures. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on window or door. Non-porous if installed with track systems and using side and end closures. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on window or door. Non-porous if installed with track systems and using side and end closures. Generally non-porous if the sheet covers the entire opening. Attach on all four sides.

WINDSTORM INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

Insurance companies do not provide discounts for plywood shutters. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system.

OPERATION

Must be taken out of storage and carried to each opening. Deploy well before tropical storm-force winds arrive. Must be taken out of storage and carried to each opening. Deploy well before tropical storm-force winds arrive. Must be taken out of storage and carried to each opening. Deploy well before tropical storm-force winds arrive. Must be taken out of storage and carried to each opening. Deploy well before tropical storm-force winds arrive. Must be taken out of storage and carried to each opening. Deploy well before tropical storm-force winds arrive.

DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY)

YES
Home improvement centers
YES
Home improvement centers
YES
Home improvement centers
YES
Home improvement centers
YES
Home improvement centers

Shutter Selection Matrix

MONOLITHIC POLYCARBONATE SHEET (4' X 8')

FLEXIBLE WIND ABATEMENT SCREEN SYSTEMS

ALUMINUM ACCORDION SHUTTERS

FABRIC PULL-DOWN SHUTTERS

ROLL-UP SHUTTERS EXTRUDED ALUMINUM SLATS

PRICE (PER SQUARE FOOT)

$10-$20.00 for DIY$30-$50 for professional installation Not Available for DIY$10-$20 for professional installation Not Available for DIY$18-$28 for professional installation Not Available for DIY$28-$35 for professional installation Not Available for DIY$28-$50 for professional installation

DESCRIPTION

Usually sold in 4' x 8' sheets, but also available in sizes up to 5' x 10'. Thickness for hurricane protection is generally 1/4" with 3/8" recommended for larger openings. Lightweight flexible screen. Attached with straps and buckles to the wall, eave, or beams using large eye-bolts or ground anchor screws. Some systems also use clips, carabineers or grommets. Aluminum slat folding shutter system that moves horizontally and folds out of the way on either side of the opening. Fabric shutter system that uses a counter balance spring and hood to store the shutter when not in use. Similar to a Roll-Up Shutter system. Blades have a wall thickness ranging from .040 to 060 inches. Extruded aluminum slats are the strongest and most impact-resistant available.

PRO'S

Corrosion and UV resistant (XL-10 and MR-10); optically clear allows light inside. Can be left in place year round, except on bedroom windows unless there are two ways to get out in the event of an emergency. Lightest weight protection product on the market. Capable of easily covering large areas at a relatively low cost. Easily folds/rolls up for storage: some manufacturers provide storage bags with orders. Some systems have a Miami-Dade approval. The systems will prevent wind and water intrusion, even in the event of glass breakage from flying debris. Moderate priced, easily covers large openings; offers excellent protection from flying debris. Can be closed in seconds, deploys faster than most other systems. Offers increased security by providing locks. Can be used for upper windows & operated from the inside, if the building has single/double hung or sliding windows or in-swing or sliding glass doors. Commonly used to enclose entire balconies. Build-Out tracks reduce the need for unsightly frames & additional tubes. Moderate price very low profie hood system, which can be hidden in soffits or by decorative trims. Can be closed in seconds and deploys faster that any other operable system. Provides excellent protection from water intrusion. Can be used for upper windows and operated from the inside, if the building has single/double hung or sliding windows or in-swing or sliding glass doors. Motorized systems can be automated by using anemometers, timers, remote controls, or even telephone or computer-operated systems. Offer good security for absentee owners or properties that are in evacuation zones. One of the better systems for resisting water intrusion, when using unvented slats. Can be manually operated from inside, so is suitable for all styles of operable or fixed windows and in-swing or out-swing doors.

CON'S

This product has limited availability and can be quite expensive; orders may only be placed through wholesale account and may be available exclusively to commercial contractors. The reinforcing in the screen is sewn; stitching can break down from long UV exposure weakening the system. Large Screens may require 2 or more persons to deploy. Not easy to install for openings above the first floor. Not recommended for installation on the edges of cantilevered concrete decks or balconies, unless the design is inspected by an engineer. Adds material around openings that is sometimes viewed as unattractive. Needs regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the system from seizing or freezing up. Flexible material allows contact with the door or glass when impacted by missiles. Size is limited. Moderate design pressure limits used in coastal areas. The reinforcing in the screen is sewn; stitching can break down from long UV exposure weakening the system. Heaviest slat on the market and will require motors at around 45 sq. ft., which increases the cost. Requires vertical storm bars to keep the slats from being pulled out of the track system for large spans or high design pressures. Large hoods are not easy to hide and can be unattractive. Must be build-out to prevent contact with doors or glass.

ADVANCE DEPLOYMENT TIME NEEDED

Initial installation. 1 hour per opening to cut the panel and install anchors into the framing. After permanent anchors are installed, it could take as little as 5 minutes per opening to install. Must be taken out of storage and carried to each opening. Deploy well before tropical storm-force winds arrive. Since the system is permanently mounted it can be closed very quickly, allowing more time to prepare for evacuation or sheltering in place. Since the system is permanently mounted it can be closed quickly, allowing more time to prepare for evacuation or sheltering in place. Since the system is permanently mounted it can be closed very quickly, allowing more time to prepare for evacuation or sheltering in place.

WATER PENETRATION RESISTANCE

May reduce water intrusion depending on installation; attach weather stripping to tops and sides of panels where they meet the walls will provide extra protection. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors, particularly if installed some distance away. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors. However, may not significantly reduce water penetration under high pressures, unless mounted on the edge of a porch or balcony several feet away from the opening being protected. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors, particularly if installed some distance away. May reduce water penetration by reducing the amount of water being blown against windows or doors. However, may not significantly reduce water penetration under high pressures, unless mounted on the edge of a porch or balcony several feet away from the opening being protected.

POROUS OR NON-POROUS

Generally non-porous if the sheet covers the entire opening. Only the two opposite edges must be attached. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on windows or doors. Generally all systems are considered non-porous since the open weave is less than 10% ventilated. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on windows or doors. Generally all systems are considered non-porous. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on windows or doors. Generally all systems are considered non-porous since the open weave is less than 10% ventilated. Does not keep wind pressures from building up on windows or doors. Generally all systems are considered non-porous.

WINDSTORM INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

Must be a manufactured system with a frame system that has an FBC or Miami-Dade approval to qualify. Sheets attached to the opening without a frame will not qualify. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system.

OPERATION

May be permanently installed over windows that do not provide emergency escape from bedrooms. Removable panels must be stored and carried to each opening for deployment. Loops, buckles, straps, carabineers, clips or grommets secure the system to permanent or removable anchor systems. Pull the shutter sections together to shut and engage either the locking pins, locks or both depending upon the system's design. Pull the shutter down and engage the locking pins. Pull down, manually crank or activate the motor using a switch or remote option.

DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY)

YES
Specialty Suppliers and home improvement centers
NO
Professional installation only
NO
Professional installation only
NO
Professional installation only
NO
Professional installation only

Shutter Selection Matrix

COLONIAL HINGED SHUTTERS

BAHAMA AWNING SHUTTERS

STAINLESS STEEL WOVEN SCREEN BARRIERS

DOUBLE GLAZED IMPACT GLASS LAMINATED WINDOWS (Double Glazed means Insulated Glass or IG)

DOUBLE GLAZED IMPACT GLASS LAMINATED DOORS (Double Glazed means Insulated Glass or IG)

PRICE (PER SQUARE FOOT)

Not Available for DIY$38-$50 for professional installation Not Available for DIY$38-$50 for professional installation Not Available for DIY$28-$50 for professional installation $40-$60 for DIY$50-$70 for professional installation S40-$60 for DIYS50-$80 for professional installation

DESCRIPTION

Authentic swinging shutters fold back to the sides of the windows. Available in louvered and raised panels made of aluminum. The Bahama awning shutter adds a decorative look to hurricane protection. This style is very popular in the islands, where the shutter is used to shade and keep rain out of screened openings. Looks like a heavy insect screen in a heavy duty welded or mechanically assembled frame. Double glazed is insulated glass and is more energy efficient. The laminate is bonded between two pieces of glass on the inside and a regular piece of glass on the outside. Double glazed is insulated glass and is more energy efficient. The laminate is bonded between 2 pieces of glass on the inside and a regular piece of glass on the outside.

PRO'S

Due to the decorative look, these shutters are widely accepted where historical or architectural review committees strictly control aesthetics. Permanently mounted and usually only takes a screwdriver to attach the additional locking hardware. Adds a decorative accent to existing structures. Due the decorative look these shutters are widely accepted where historical or architectural review commetees strictly control aesthetics. Permanently mounted and usually only takes a screwdriver to attach the additional locking hardware. Adds a decorative accent to existing structures. One other benefit of this system is shading the window which can significantly reduce energy costs. Always in place so there is no need to deploy the system. Used to reduce or eliminate glass breakage from vandalism for schools and public buildings. Screen reduces solar glare and can aid in reducing energy costs. Stainless steel screen will not rust or corrode even if exposed to salt spray. Screen does not distort or block view like perforated barriers. Hurricane protection is always in place; no deployment necessary. Provides addtional security protection. Low impact to aesthetics of the structure. Hurricane protection is always in place no deployment necessary. Provides additional security protection. Low impact to aesthetics of the structure. Using an impact-glass door instead of a shutter can give you an additional means of escape, and may be cost effective if combined with shutters on other openings.

CON'S

Most of these systems have to be closed and secured from the outside, which makes this an impractical system above the first floor. This is one of the most expensive shutter systems on the market. Needs room on each side of the opening for the shutter to fold back. Multiple folding panels have bulky look when trying to cover triple or larger mulled windows units. System works best on single or twin windows. Most of these systems have to be closed and secured from the outside, which makes this an impractical system above the first floor. This is one of the most expensive shutter systems on the market. The system is bulky when trying to cover triple or larger mulled windows units. Generally requires heavy build out framing structures to mount multiple units. Porous system may allow some intenal pressurization, if a glass opening fails from pressure. The entire insulated glass unit must be replaced, even if only the outer piece of glass breaks. This is quite expensive. It is more expensive to replace older windows with impact glass than to shutter existing windows. The entire insulated glass unit must be replaced, even if only the outer piece of glass breaks. This is quite expensive. Replacing doors with impact-glass doors is more expensive than using shutters to cover existing doors.

ADVANCE DEPLOYMENT TIME NEEDED

After initial installation, it takes 10 to 15 minutes per shutter depending upon the type of system selected. After initial installation, it takes 10 to 15 minutes per shutter depending upon the type of system selected. No deployment necessary, system stays in place. Always in place, none needed Always in place, none needed

WATER PENETRATION RESISTANCE

Does not significantly reduce water penetration. Open louver systems or perforated panel backs will allow water inside, which creates opportunity for window and door leaks. Does not significantly reduce water penetration. Open louver systems or perforated panel backs will allow water inside, which creates opportunity for window and door leaks. TEDoes not reduce water penetration due to the open weave and approximate 40% porosity of the system.XT Does not reduce water penetration in hurricane or tropical storm conditions. Openings will have minor leaks at lower pressures and extensive leaking will occur at higher pressures. Using casement and fixed windows will help to reduce water penetration. Does not reduce water penetration in hurricane or tropical storm conditions. Openings will have minor leaks at lower pressures and extensive leaking will occur at higher pressures. Using casement and fixed windows will help to reduce water penetration.

POROUS OR NON-POROUS

Does not keep wind pressure from building up on windows or doors. Generally all systems are considered non-porous. Does not keep wind pressure from building up on windows or doors. Generally all systems are considered non-porous. Porous; does not reduce pressure on windows or doors. Non-porous Non-porous

WINDSTORM INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system. Qualifies for discounts if all openings are protected with a FBC or Miami-Dade approved system.

OPERATION

Shutters use a spring clip to hold them open. Closures will likely require additional bars, clips, or other types of mechanically fastened hardware that is stored when not in use. Shutters use a telescoping arm with a locking thumb screw to hold them open. May be permanently installed over windows that do not provide emergency escape from bedrooms. Removable panels must be stored and carried to each opening for deployment. Always in place, none needed. Always in place, none needed.

DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY)

NO
Professional installation only
NO
Professional installation only
NO
Professional installation only
YES
Home improvement centers
YES
Home improvement centers