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4 Things to Consider When Deciding Between Hurricane Windows vs. Shutters

Posted by John Lemonakis on Oct 3, 2013 1:33:00 PM

If you live anywhere in Southwest Florida— from Naples to Port Charlotte— you know how important it is to protect your home from a hurricane.
While certain forms of storm protection are mandatory in the sunshine state, hurricane shutters or impact windows both do the job.
Before you make a decision on the best way to protect your home, here are 4 considerations when deciding between installing hurricane windows vs. shutters.

1. Hurricane shutters require prep pre-storm vs. impact glass, which doesn’t.

Hurricane shutters do require some preparation and this prep time can vary from 15 minutes for the whole house to 15 minutes per window. Because of this prep-time, some people choose to keep their shutters closed throughout our SW Florida storm season, but who wants to live in gloom all the time? 

hurricane windows

Impact windows are excellent options for homeowners who want to protect their home, yet still be able to look outside during the storm. Additionally, they require zero prep work, which means you'll be protected on the off-chance that a storm appears out of the blue or shifts directions quickly. This is particularly important for seasonal residents, people that travel often, or those who may be out of the area on vacation when a storm occurs. You might know someone who experienced this and you would never want to be that person. Before making a decision, be sure to check out 5 Things You Need to Know About Hurricane Shutters!

2. Hurricane shutters and impact glass both come in a variety of types.

Homeowners can choose from several types of hurricane shutters, including:

  • Roll down shutters
  • Bahama shutters
  • Accordion shutters

Impact glass will vary by size and type of windows too, including:

  • Single-hung
  • Double-hung
  • Casement
  • Fixed
  • Horizontal roller windows 

Learn more about each type of impact window here.

3. Hurricane shutters are typically cheaper than replacing windows with impact glass.

While costs can vary— depending on the type of hurricane shutters you choose and the number of windows and doors your house has— typically, shutters are most cost-conscious. That’s because shutters don’t require taking out the window frame or measuring and cutting glass to size.hurricane shutters

  • Accordion shutters - $15-20 sq ft
  • Roll down shutters - $25-35 sq ft
  • Bahama shutters - $40-50 sq ft

Check out our hurricane shutter pricing guide here, which compares these window treatments against the cost of storm panels.

Installed hurricane windows cost about $60-70 per square feet, usually a minimum of $1,000 per window. Here is a pricing guide for estimating the cost of your storm windows.

While the initial cost of impact windows is higher, many argue that the ROI pays off in the end.

4. Both storm shutters and windows offer incredible protection.

Hurricane shutters are constructed using high-strength metals and framing to prevent them from coming unhinged or breaking during a storm. They may dent or slightly leak if damaged, but the structure itself remains standing. 

Impact windows combine impact-resistant glass and heavy-duty frames made out of vinyl or aluminum. They work in much the same way as your car windshield. They can withstand the impact from small debris with no damage, and if they sustain a direct hit from a very large, fast-flying object like a tree limb, they may crack but they will not shatter and expose your home to the elements.

Hurricane Windows or Shutters? Really, You Can’t Go Wrong

Both hurricane windows and shutters are seen on homes all across SWFL for their remarkable job protecting against storms. We have happy customers who buy one over the other, even some who opt for both!

Considering impact glass over shutters? In our 12 Things You Need to Know About Impact Windows guide we introduce you to some big perks of replacing your windows with shatter-resistant glass. Read it for free today.

Impact Window FAQs

Topics: Hurricane Shutters, Impact Windows