Hurricane Shutters vs. Impact Windows: A Comprehensive Cost Analysis

When it comes to protecting your home from hurricanes, two popular options are hurricane shutters and impact windows. Both provide excellent protection, but they differ in cost, installation, and aesthetics. This in-depth comparison will help you make an informed decision based on your budget and needs.

Understanding Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are designed to prevent windows from breaking during a storm. They are typically made of aluminum or steel and are installed over windows and doors. There are several types of hurricane shutters, including roll-down, accordion, Bahama, and colonial shutters.

The cost of hurricane shutters varies depending on the type and size. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $7 and $20 per square foot. Installation costs can also vary, but typically range from $45 to $100 per hour. Therefore, the total cost for a typical home can range from $2,000 to $8,000 or more.

Pros and Cons of Hurricane Shutters

Hurricane shutters are a cost-effective solution for hurricane protection. They are less expensive than impact windows and can be installed on existing windows and doors. Additionally, they can be customized to fit any size or shape of window.

However, hurricane shutters require manual operation, which can be inconvenient during a storm. They also need regular maintenance to ensure they function properly. Aesthetically, they may not be as appealing as impact windows.

Understanding Impact Windows

Impact windows, also known as hurricane windows, are designed to withstand the force of a hurricane. They are made with laminated glass that is resistant to shattering. Impact windows are permanently installed and provide year-round protection.

The cost of impact windows is higher than hurricane shutters. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $40 and $55 per square foot. Installation costs are typically included in the price. Therefore, the total cost for a typical home can range from $10,000 to $25,000 or more.

Pros and Cons of Impact Windows

Impact windows provide superior protection against hurricanes. They are designed to withstand high winds and flying debris without breaking. Additionally, they provide benefits such as noise reduction, UV protection, and increased energy efficiency.

However, impact windows are more expensive than hurricane shutters. They also require professional installation, which can add to the overall cost. Aesthetically, they are more appealing than hurricane shutters and can increase the value of your home.

Choosing Between Hurricane Shutters and Impact Windows

When choosing between hurricane shutters and impact windows, consider your budget, the level of protection you need, and the aesthetic appeal. If cost is a major concern, hurricane shutters may be the best option. However, if you’re looking for superior protection and are willing to invest more, impact windows are a great choice.

Keep in mind that both options require maintenance to ensure they function properly. Regular inspections and cleaning are necessary to maintain their effectiveness. Additionally, consider the potential increase in home value that impact windows can provide.


Both hurricane shutters and impact windows provide excellent protection against hurricanes. The choice between the two often comes down to cost, convenience, and aesthetics. By understanding the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and budget.

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