Choosing the Right Motorized Hurricane Shutters

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Be Prepared With Hurricane Shutters

There are many different types of hurricane window shutters on the market. When you live on an island, it’s a big concern when inclement weather is heading your way. You want to make sure your windows on your home or rental home are protected as well as your family inside of the home. This article weighs in on the different types of hurricane shutters and allows you to make an educated choice as to which is best for your situation.


Choosing the Right Motorized Hurricane Shutters

The maximum width on Maui is only about 26 miles across. This means when storms approach just about the entire island should be on lookout–especially in the case of tropical storms or hurricanes. These types of storms with high winds and incredible amounts of rainfall can easily damage windows on your home. Hurricane shutters also can be an incentive to have a reduction on your home insurance because you will need fewer home repairs after a storm.


Types of Hurricane Shutters

Even though the terminology states hurricane “shutters” there are protective layers you can use which are made differently and with different types of materials. Each type will give you great protection although the metal type is more sturdy and lasts much longer than the other types. Metal hurricane shutters are also a bit more pricey because they are made to be very durable and tough for years to come.


Roll Up Hurricane Shutters

Roll up hurricane shutters are installed permanently on the exterior of your house and they roll in and out of a permanent storage bay above your windows and sliding glass doors. They work similar to a Roman shade so that when you are not using them they are at the top of each window and look neat and tidy. This is the type of metal hurricane shutters that you can have motorized window treatments so you can simply push a button to lower or raise them. If you choose roll up hurricane shutters with a manual crank on them, it really only takes a few turns of the crank to lower them on each window. Another important thing to keep in mind is that if you have a power outage, you will need a backup battery system for motorized units or you can secure a unit that is motorized but has a slot for you to use a hand crank in the event that you have no electricity.


Bahama Style Hurricane Shutters

These shutters also mount at the top of each window on your home and they appear very nice. These are common in tropical areas due to their unique looks and fantastic protection. They mount at an angle above the window and do dual duty of acting as a sun shade on sunny days. Bahama style hurricane shutters open at a 45 degree angle from a hinge at the top where it’s mounted. They are manufactured from heavy extruded aluminum for a strong but lightweight construction.


Colonial Style Hurricane Shutters

This may be your favorite choice in hurricane shutters if you want to preserve the outer appearance of your home and you want your shutters to blend in with your exterior architectural design. Colonial style hurricane shutters look much like colonial shutters that are made of wood, except these are made of steel or aluminum sheets, have heavy duty fasteners and locks to withstand heavy rain, high winds and flying debris. This type of shutter is mounted on both sides of a window and they pivot manually into place when it’s time to protect your home. You can also find many styles of these with curved or angled tops to match the existing exterior decor of your home or rental property.


Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Am the name implies, accordion style hurricane shutters work really well for larger windows, sliding glass doors and entryways during a storm. They are fastened to long tracks at either the top of the area you are protecting or the bottom or they may be fastened at both the top and the bottom. The shutters fold in and out to give you protection when you need it and when they are closed, they make a small stack on one side of the window or door. This type of shutter usually is made from aluminum slats with a locking mechanism and an optional key to provide your home with added security at all times and not just when a storm is imminent. The accordion construction also gives you added insulation to keep the warm air out of your home in the summer and the cold air out of your spaces in winter.


Fabric Hurricane Paneling

This is one of the least expensive methods to protect your home. You may not think a fabric can work as well as boarding up your windows with plywood, but it has been proven that it does as long as it is anchored properly. The fabric is flexible and not rigid and it does allow some light between the tight weave into your home so you are not in total darkness when you lose power. This paneling secures with building anchors and clips and is usually removed when not in use. It can be put up very quickly when you do need it and then you can remove it and store it, as you need to.


Plantation Shutters

Many people confuse plantation shutters with colonial style shutters. In fact, plantation shutters are mounted inside your home over the windows and not outside as the colonial style are. Plantation shutters do have some great qualities all in their own even if they are not considered an actual hurricane shutter. Plantation shutters can be sealed tightly over your windows on the inside of them and with the slats all closed. If high winds occur they won’t keep your windows from being broken by flying debris, but they can in fact keep the shattered glass from entering into your home and harming your family members.

In some cases, plantation shutters are primarily used for window protection, especially if your home is close to your neighbors on all sides as the other homes can protect your home from excessive wind and rain.


Plantation Shutter Benefits

Plantation shutters are a great insulating factor to trap the warm air next to your windows in the summer and the cool air next to them in the winter. This makes them energy efficient to save money all year round on your heating and cooling costs.


Indoor shutters are a beautiful sight to behold. You can see the lovely wood grain which is accented by the stain or paint that you choose for them. They are timeless and classic and fit with any style decor you may have.


You also get great light control as you can open and close the shutters fully or you can tilt the slats to get the perfect amount of natural sunlight in your home.


You also have many choices in how they appear when opened and closed by different configurations in mounting them. You may have one set of two shutters per window that open to the sides or a tier on tier appearance where the top half of the window is covered by a set of two shutters and the bottom half is covered by a set of two shutters and all of them open and close independently of each other.


You have many choices in your search to keep your home safe during tropical storm and hurricane season. Some are easier to operate than others and some have added features you may be interested in. Motorization is a great way to go so if a storm pops up suddenly, you won’t get taken by surprise and get soaking wet in the rain outside while trying to close your hurricane shutters.

Picture of Bobby Nakamura

Bobby Nakamura

Third-generation of Naka's legacy, Bobby brings over 30 years of industry experience, a passion for design, and a love for food and travel.

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