shutter up already
June 1, 2009 3:29 PM   Subscribe

How do I cheaply hurricane-proof 15 large windows without paying through the nose?

We bought a house this spring. Yay! We're in New Orleans, and hurricane season just started. Ick. Okay, so.... what now? We know we need some storm shutters or something to hurricane-proof our windows, but we're at a loss. Wood framing, asbestos siding so we can't drill into that although the windows have a wood frame on the exterior. I know there are a few options: Plylox, sheets of plywood (how would you attach those anyway?), hurricane shutters, fabric screens.... there are a ton of options. Anyone here have any experience or advice on what to have on hand in case we need to protect our windows?
should work on large (30x60, approx.) windows
preferably less than say $40 per window
relatively easy to store, bonus points if it can be rolled up or folded
bonus points if it's reusable (if it hasn't been damaged, of course)

Other hurricane advice is welcome, too, but I mostly want to know about these mythical hurricane shuttery things.
posted by Night_owl to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

gyusan beat me to it. I saw a lot of hurricane destruction in my previous job (including a stint in post-Katrina NOLA and Pearlington, MS), and I can say those shutters are effective against most windborne debris.
posted by joe vrrr at 3:57 PM on June 1, 2009

Toolmonger just had a bit about Plylox, if you were interested in some opinions on them. Looks like they're nonideal for wood trim.

Your best bet is probably going to be the shutters gyusan linked to, since you're limited by cost. A 3/4" piece of 4'x8' plywood will run you about $15-20.

Another possibility is embedding a piece of stainless all-thread at the corners of the window frame and securing it with wingnuts and fender washers. Oversize the holes in the plywood a little bit so it's easy to get on and give the plywood a couple coats of paint to keep them from warping too much. The only drawback is that you have inch long pieces of metal sticking out of the corners of your window frame.
posted by electroboy at 5:36 PM on June 1, 2009

Our New Orleans house came with great shutters (on our 34" x 63" windows) that actually work and look like anyone could build them. They are thick thick narrow vertical planks with hinges in the window frames. We have hooks and eyes to keep them open and we nail them shut with one or two nails per window for each hurricane. Well worth the investment to be able to board up your house in half an hour and not have to store all the plywood. (Although, we replaced our doors with ones with glass, so now we have plywood for those.) Memail me if you want to come take a look. Picture
posted by artychoke at 6:30 PM on June 1, 2009

When we lived in Galveston our wood house had wood windows. We tried Plylox and it didn't work for us. When Rita was coming, we were able to hire someone to put up plywood for us with nails. (We moved inland before Ike came...)

Our neighbor across the street bought the fabric shields. They seemed to work very well for her. Since we were in an historic district, there were restrictions on the type and kinds of shutters or other permanent fixtures we could install. That may or may not be a consideration for you, but the "permitted" shutters were waaaay beyond our budget.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:30 AM on June 2, 2009

« Older Who said this Swiftian quote?   |   Moving On Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.