Colonial Shutters: Commercial Hurricane Shutters Explained

In the world of commercial hurricane shutters, one type stands out for its unique blend of aesthetic appeal and practical functionality: colonial shutters. These shutters, which are often seen adorning buildings in areas prone to hurricanes and other severe weather conditions, offer a robust defense against the elements while also enhancing the visual appeal of the structure they protect. This article will delve into the intricate details of colonial shutters, their design, functionality, installation, maintenance, and more.

Commercial hurricane shutters are an essential part of any building’s protection system in hurricane-prone areas. They are designed to withstand high winds and flying debris, protecting the windows and the interior of the building from damage. Among the various types of hurricane shutters available, colonial shutters are a popular choice due to their traditional aesthetic and high level of protection.

Design and Construction of Colonial Shutters

Colonial shutters are named for their resemblance to the window coverings found on colonial-era homes. They are typically made of heavy-duty aluminum or steel, designed to withstand high winds and flying debris. The shutters are hinged on the side and fold in towards the window when not in use, providing a charming, old-world aesthetic.

When closed and locked, colonial shutters form a solid barrier against the elements. The strength of the shutters comes from their construction: they are typically made from heavy-duty materials and are designed to interlock when closed, providing an additional layer of protection.

Materials Used

Colonial shutters are typically made from aluminum or steel, both of which offer excellent strength and durability. Aluminum is lighter and easier to handle, making it a popular choice for larger windows. Steel, on the other hand, is heavier and more robust, making it suitable for smaller windows or areas with particularly harsh weather conditions.

Some colonial shutters are also made from wood or vinyl. While these materials may not offer the same level of protection as metal, they can provide a more traditional look and feel. However, they require more maintenance and may not last as long in harsh weather conditions.

Design Variations

While all colonial shutters share a basic design, there are several variations available to suit different tastes and requirements. Some shutters are designed with decorative elements, such as cut-outs or raised panels, while others have a more simple, streamlined appearance.

Some colonial shutters are designed to be bi-fold, meaning they fold in half before folding in towards the window. This design allows for larger shutters, which can cover wider windows. Other shutters are designed to be tri-fold, folding in three sections. This design is less common but can be useful for covering particularly large windows or doors.

Installation of Colonial Shutters

Installing colonial shutters is a relatively straightforward process, but it requires precision and care to ensure the shutters function correctly and provide the necessary level of protection. The shutters must be correctly sized for the windows they will cover, and they must be securely attached to the building to withstand high winds.

Installation typically involves attaching the shutters to the window frame or the wall surrounding the window with hinges. The shutters are then able to swing in towards the window for storage and swing out and lock into place for protection. Some colonial shutters are designed to be removable, allowing them to be taken down and stored when not in use.

Professional Installation

While it is possible to install colonial shutters yourself, it is often recommended to hire a professional. Professionals have the necessary tools and experience to ensure the shutters are installed correctly and securely. They can also offer advice on the best type of shutters for your specific needs and the best placement for them.

Professional installation can also save time and effort. While the process of installing shutters is not overly complex, it can be time-consuming, particularly for larger buildings with many windows. A professional can complete the installation quickly and efficiently, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your building’s hurricane protection.

DIY Installation

If you choose to install your colonial shutters yourself, it’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Incorrect installation can result in shutters that don’t provide the necessary level of protection or that damage the building when they’re used.

Before beginning the installation, you’ll need to measure your windows accurately and ensure you have the correct size of shutters. You’ll also need the appropriate tools, which typically include a drill, screws, and possibly a level. It’s also important to check local building codes to ensure your installation meets all necessary regulations.

Maintenance of Colonial Shutters

Like any part of a building, colonial shutters require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. This includes cleaning, inspecting for damage, and repairing or replacing parts as necessary. With proper maintenance, colonial shutters can last for many years and provide reliable protection against hurricanes and other severe weather.

The specific maintenance required will depend on the material of the shutters. Aluminum and steel shutters typically require little maintenance beyond regular cleaning and occasional repainting. Wood and vinyl shutters may require more frequent care, including regular painting or staining to protect against the elements.


Regular cleaning is important to keep colonial shutters looking their best and functioning correctly. Dirt and debris can build up on the shutters and in the hinges, potentially causing damage or preventing the shutters from closing properly. Cleaning the shutters regularly with a mild detergent and water can help prevent these issues.

It’s also important to rinse the shutters thoroughly after cleaning to remove any soap residue. After rinsing, the shutters should be dried thoroughly to prevent water spots or other damage. If the shutters are removable, it may be easiest to take them down for cleaning.

Inspection and Repair

Regular inspection is also an important part of maintaining colonial shutters. You should check the shutters regularly for signs of damage, such as cracks, rust, or loose hinges. If you notice any damage, it’s important to repair or replace the affected parts as soon as possible to ensure the shutters continue to provide effective protection.

Minor repairs, such as tightening loose screws or replacing worn hinges, can often be done yourself. However, more significant repairs, such as fixing a cracked shutter or replacing a damaged panel, may require professional help. If you’re unsure whether a repair is something you can handle yourself, it’s best to consult a professional.

Benefits of Colonial Shutters

Colonial shutters offer several benefits, making them a popular choice for commercial buildings in hurricane-prone areas. These benefits include not only practical protection against the elements but also aesthetic appeal and potential cost savings.

One of the primary benefits of colonial shutters is their strength and durability. When properly installed and maintained, these shutters can provide reliable protection against high winds and flying debris, helping to prevent damage to windows and the interior of the building.

Aesthetic Appeal

Colonial shutters also offer aesthetic benefits. With their traditional design and attractive appearance, these shutters can enhance the look of a building, adding charm and character. This can be particularly beneficial for commercial buildings, helping to attract customers and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Unlike some other types of hurricane shutters, colonial shutters can be a permanent part of the building’s exterior, providing a consistent look even when the shutters are not in use. They are available in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you to choose shutters that complement the rest of your building’s exterior.

Cost Savings

While the initial cost of colonial shutters can be higher than some other types of hurricane shutters, they can offer cost savings in the long run. Because they are durable and long-lasting, they can help to prevent damage to your building, potentially saving you money on repairs and insurance claims.

In addition, colonial shutters can help to improve the energy efficiency of your building. By providing an extra layer of insulation, they can help to keep the interior of your building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, potentially reducing your energy costs.


Colonial shutters are a versatile and effective option for protecting commercial buildings from hurricanes and other severe weather. With their robust construction, easy installation, and minimal maintenance requirements, they offer reliable protection without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.

Whether you’re a business owner in a hurricane-prone area, a contractor looking for a reliable hurricane protection solution, or a homeowner wanting to enhance your home’s exterior, colonial shutters are a worthwhile investment. With proper installation and maintenance, they can provide years of protection and peace of mind.

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