Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutter contractors are a niche group, but an invaluable one. Hurricane shutters are nothing more than glorified storm shutters. On the other hand, like many home improvements, local knowledge is invaluable. A storm shutter built for the blizzards of Minnesota and a hurricane shutter built for the Florida coast are not the same thing. Hiring a hurricane shutter contractor involves some of the same guidelines as any other contractor, but it also requires some special consideration to make sure you’re making the most of your time and money.

The Importance of Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are your first line of defense against hurricane-force winds. Windows and glass doors are often the first thing a hurricane destroys, but the risk you take by not installing hurricane shutters is much greater than the glass. Obviously, if you’re still inside your home, your life is at risk. Even if you live in an evacuation zone or choose to evacuate when a hurricane is going to hit, protecting your windows and glass doors will often effectively protect your entire home. When your windows shatter, enormous pressure is exerted on your home. This can cause not just interior damage, but it can also lead to roof failure.

Steel shutters are the best, but they’re also the most expensive and the most difficult to install. If steel is out of your price range, you may have to go with aluminum or plywood. Depending on your local building codes, a specific grade hurricane shutter may be required. A local hurricane shutter contractor will be able to give you this information, if you don’t already know.

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Hiring a Hurricane Shutter Contractor

While installing hurricane shutters may not be the most difficult home improvement project, the effectiveness of hurricane shutters is only as good as the quality of the installation. For this reason alone, you should consider hiring a hurricane shutter contractor—and one that you can trust. This means going through the same process as you would any other home improvement contractor. Check their references, make sure they have a permanent, local address. Don’t hire someone who comes to your door who may be blowing through town, preying on susceptible homeowners.

Common wisdom is to check the status of your hurricane shutters at the beginning of the hurricane season. While this is a good idea, it’s even better if you realize you need new shutters before the rush. One of the best ways you can ensure you find a reputable hurricane shutter contractor is to have your shutters installed in the winter when the contractors will tend to be less busy. Taking care of your shutter situation during this time of year has several benefits. The contractor is likely to finish the project more quickly and won’t be stressed out trying to keep up with his workload. He or she will probably be grateful to have work during the off-season and might even cut you a deal.

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