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  • Nova Homes of South FL

Protect Your Home From Storms - Protect Your Windows

There are many types of shutter systems are available on the market. When building a new home be sure to check with the builder and find out if shutters are included. Nova Homes of South Florida does include Storm Panels with every home at no additional charge. They are a great way to protect your windows, and inside your home.

Storm Panels

Corrugated steel or aluminum shutters bolted to your windows may not look too attractive when they're up, but they are one of the best ways to protect a home from flying debris. Storm panels vary in thickness and attach to window exteriors with a system of tracks and bolts. With prefitted panels and tracks permanently installed around the house, the shutters can be attached quickly and easily with wing nuts when a storm is approaching.

Cost: Costs vary depending on thickness and vendor but typically run between $7 and $8 per square foot.

Effect on insurance: Can be significant depending on state and carrier.

Pros: One of the most inexpensive permanent shutter systems, it is strong and can protect from almost any flying debris. Can be quickly deployed and removed before and after a storm.

Cons: Requires a large spot for storage somewhere in the house or property. Depending on size of windows and stories on home, they can be difficult to handle and may require more than one person. Some shutters have sharp edges.

Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

With the ability to be rolled down with the push of a button or the crank of a handle, roll-down hurricane shutters are the easiest to deploy in the event of a storm. Made of double-walled aluminum slats that interlock, these shutters roll up into a narrow box that sits above the window or doorway. Available in all types of sizes and colors, they are usually custom-fitted to your home and require professional installation.

Cost: While they are the easiest and most convenient to deploy come storm time, roll-down shutters are the most expensive window defense option and average $30 to $50 per square foot.

Effect on insurance: Can be significant depending on state and carrier.

Pros: easily raised and lowered with a crank handle or the push of a button. They also have an insulating factor and can serve other purposes besides wind protection.

Cons: Prohibitively expensive for most average homeowners. Push-button systems need a battery backup or manual override so they can be raised or lowered during a power outage. It usually requires professional installation.

Hurricane Glass

For those who want to skip the shutters altogether and install a permanent solution in the first place, hurricane glass -- or hurricane-impact windows -- provide the defensive advantages of shutters in an invisible fashion. The glass is usually 3/8-inch thick and features a film coating similar to safety glass products like windshields: If the windows crack or are smashed, the glass will stay embedded in the frame. In some areas, such as Miami-Dade County where building codes require protection on every opening, hurricane glass is becoming a popular option with new construction.

Cost: Approximately $13,000 (KeepSafe Maximum brand) to install on a typical 1,600-square-foot home.

Effect on insurance: Possible discount depending on state and carrier.

Pros: Eliminates the need for shutters. With hurricane glass, there is nothing to install or remove when a hurricane comes; it's always in place and allows for visibility outside of home. They are also effective in eliminating outside noise, protecting from intruders and shielding from UV rays.

Cons: Lots of labor costs involved and can be prohibitively expensive. The solution is permanent and must be installed by a contractor. The installation can cause other costs and work depending on the style of the home, thickness of the walls and window sizes.

Bahama Shutters

Bahama shutters are hinged at the top and move away from the wall at the bottom with the help of telescoping arms. Support arms are typically adjustable from 60- to 90-degree angles. The shutters not only provide defense from winds but also provide convenient light, ventilation and privacy control in everyday use. Bahama shutters often are used in sunny and coastal environments and can give a home a distinct, tropical appearance.

Cost: $15 to $20 per square foot.

Effect on insurance: possible discount depending on state and carrier.

Pros: Permanently attached to the home and can be quickly deployed. They are made of wood and can easily be painted to complement or match the home.

Cons: Almost permanently block full vision from windows and can make a home much darker. Some brands and styles have been noted to be weaker than other shutter products.

Colonial Shutters

As a traditional style of window protection, colonial shutters attach to the wall beside each window then fold inward to close. Permanently fixed to the window, they can quickly and easily be closed when a storm is approaching. Held open by a clip system, they are closed and secured during a storm with a brace bar. With double hung windows, these shutters can also be closed from inside the home, reducing the need for a ladder.

Cost: Moderately priced when compared to other window protection products, roughly $18 to $30 per square foot.

Effect on insurance: Possible discount depending on state and carrier.

Pros: Can be easily closed by one person. They are decorative and can actually add curb appeal to a home.

Cons: Must be permanently installed on the home. They can be expensive and time-consuming for initial installation and may require professional installation.

Garage Door Braces

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has identified the loss of the garage door as one of four major factors in homes damaged in Hurricane Andrew. And, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes reports that 80% of residential wind damage starts with entry through the garage door. Failure of a garage door can allow the full force of hurricane winds to enter the home and compromise the roof or walls. While some newer garage doors are rated for winds of up to 150 mph, many older ones should be braced. Vertical bracing systems are typically made of aluminum and are anchored above the garage door and to the floor to provide a backbone of extra support.

Nova Homes of South Florida includes Paneled Hurricane Shutters with each home. For more information regarding shutters and keeping your home safe, call Nova Homes at 239.307.6116 or visit

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