It’s Spring in South Florida, which means hurricane season is looming quietly around the corner. While in Boca we’ve been lucky for the past few years to avoid any major hurricanes, it can still provide protection and peace of mind to know you have either shutters or impact windows at the ready in the event of severe weather.
If you’re looking for a home and deciding which you need, or looking to add either to your current home, we’re here to help you decide which is the best for you.
If you’re planning on buying a house in South Florida, the best option is to search for a home that already has impact windows, or at the very least, shutters of some sort (be they accordion shutters, roll down shutters, or the storm panel kind you can store elsewhere).
Storm panel shutters are usually made of steel or aluminum (although you can find clear ones so you can see through them lately) and attach to your home via bolts and/or tracks. If your home comes with these shutters, either ask the previous owner about which go where ahead of time, or do a test run to make sure they all fit where they’re supposed to. No one enjoys running out for plywood last minute when a storm is headed their way. These can be less costly than other types of shutters, but do require a few hours of manual labor putting them up on your doors and windows, depending on how many windows your home has, and where they’re located in your house.
Accordion shutters are permanently attached to a home, and while they can look bulky from the exterior, they require zero manual labor for you besides shutting and locking each set of shutters around your home. Make sure you test these each season before storms start to come your way, you want to make sure each shutter works without issue, and if you do run into a problem with them, you can get them serviced well before you might need to use them.
Bahama shutters are the kind that look like permanent blinds over each window. These are permanently affixed to the wall like accordion shutters are, and while they provide shade for the window while not being used as a protective covering, they might not really be the look you’re going for with your home. Bahama shutters only have to be lowered and secured to the wall in order to be used. Check out how old your shutters are if you have these on your home/are looking at a home that has them, because older models are not as protective as more current ones.
Roll down shutters are much like accordion shutters, in that they are permanently affixed to the wall, and roll up and are stored in a box above the window when not in use. These are quickly rolled out via crank, push-button, or by hand, and can easily be done by one person. If you have or are looking into a push-button system for these kinds of shutters, know that you’ll need a battery backup of some sort in order to raise the shutters in a post-storm power outage.
The gold standard comes in the form of impact glass. While this may be a costly investment, for many Floridians it is more than worth it with the peace of mind knowing they won’t have to deal with the stress or manual labor of putting up shutters when a storm is on the way. These allow you to keep the outside of your home looking sleek and beautiful year-round (with the possibility of giving you a lower electric bill as well) while providing protection and a source of light during and after storms. Impact glass is designed to break when hit but stay in one piece without shattering, similar to a car windshield.
Impact glass is also a wonderful investment for your home, as many buyers in South Florida consider impact glass a top-tier amenity, considering the safety and ease they bring during hurricane season. So if you’re looking to sell your home, you have a better chance of getting top dollar if you have impact windows/doors.
If you’re looking to buy a set of shutters/impact glass for your home, consider the costs based on how many windows/doors you need to cover during a hurricane, the physical limitations of the person who will primarily be setting them up in the event of a storm, what your budget is, and what will give you the most peace of mind, as well as a return on your investment in terms of time spent putting them up and taking them down.
If you’re looking for a South Florida home that can withstand severe weather and looks amazing, give us a call! You can reach us at (561) 843-0918 or email us at [email protected].