Living in areas prone to hurricanes can be challenging, and protecting your home from potential damages caused by natural disasters is crucial. Although building codes have improved to include hurricane-resistant features, installing hurricane shutters is still an effective way to protect your home and family. In this article, we will discuss how to make DIY hurricane shutters to safeguard your home from strong winds, flying debris, and water damage.
What are Hurricane Shutters?
Hurricane shutters are specially designed coverings installed over windows and doors to protect them from strong winds, debris, and water damage. These shutters can be made of various materials, including aluminum, steel, polycarbonate, and impact-resistant fabric. Hurricane shutters are mandatory in many coastal states, and they are considered an essential component of hurricane preparedness measures.
Why Should You Install Hurricane Shutters?
Installing hurricane shutters can provide numerous benefits, including:
- Protecting your home and family from potential damages caused by natural disasters
- Preventing broken glass from flying debris to avoid injury and water damage
- Reducing wind pressure inside your home, which can lead to roof and wall failure
- Lowering your insurance premiums as hurricane shutters are considered a protective measure
DIY Hurricane Shutters: How to Make Them
Making DIY hurricane shutters can be a cost-effective and rewarding way to protect your home. Here are some steps to follow:
Step 1: Measure Your Windows and Doors
Before making hurricane shutters, you need to measure your windows and doors to determine how much material you will need. Measure the width and height of each opening and add at least two inches to each dimension to ensure proper coverage.
Step 2: Choose Your Material
There are various materials you can use to make hurricane shutters, including plywood, metal, and polycarbonate. Plywood is the most affordable option, but it is not as durable as metal or polycarbonate. Metal shutters are more expensive but offer better protection than plywood. Polycarbonate shutters are the most expensive but are lightweight and easy to install.
Step 3: Cut the Material to Size
Once you have decided on the material, you need to cut it to the right size. Use a saw or jigsaw to cut the material according to the measurements you took in step 1.
Step 4: Drill Holes in the Material
Drill holes in the material at least every 12 inches to make it easier to install. The holes should be slightly larger than the screws you will use to attach the shutters to your home.
Step 5: Paint or Coat the Material
Paint or coat the material with a weather-resistant paint or coating to protect it from the elements. This step is especially important if you are using plywood, as it is prone to moisture damage.
Step 6: Install the Shutters
Attach the shutters to your home using screws and anchors. Make sure they are installed securely and cover the entire window or door opening. You can use brackets or tracks to make it easier to install and remove the shutters when needed.
Q: How do hurricane shutters work?
Hurricane shutters work by providing a protective barrier over windows and doors to prevent wind, debris, and water from entering your home. They are made of durable materials and are designed to withstand strong winds and flying debris.
Q: Are hurricane shutters mandatory?
Hurricane shutters are mandatory in many coastal states, but it depends on the building codes in your area. Check with your local authorities to determine if you are required to install hurricane shutters.
Q: How much do hurricane shutters cost?
The cost of hurricane shutters varies depending on the material, size, and installation method. DIY hurricane shutters can cost as little as $10 per square foot, while professionally installed shutters can cost up to $50 per square foot.
Q: How long do hurricane shutters last?
The lifespan of hurricane shutters depends on the material, quality, and maintenance. Metal and polycarbonate shutters can last up to 20 years, while plywood shutters may need to be replaced every few years.
Q: Can I install hurricane shutters myself?
Yes, you can install hurricane shutters yourself if you have the necessary tools and skills. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and building codes to ensure proper installation and protection.
DIY hurricane shutters can be an affordable and effective way to protect your home and family from natural disasters. By following the steps outlined in this article and using high-quality materials, you can make hurricane shutters that will provide durable and long-lasting protection. Remember to check with your local authorities to determine if hurricane shutters are mandatory in your area and to follow building codes and regulations. Stay safe and prepared!