Shutter Installation: Accordion Shutters Explained

Accordion shutters, also known as hurricane shutters, are a type of window protection that are commonly used in areas prone to severe weather conditions. They are named for their unique design, which resembles the bellows of an accordion. This article will provide an in-depth explanation of accordion shutters, their installation process, and their benefits.

Accordion shutters are made from interlocking vertical blades which slide along a track to open and close. They are typically made from durable materials such as aluminum or steel, which can withstand high wind speeds and flying debris. These shutters are permanently installed on the exterior of a building, and can be closed and locked from the inside for added security.

History of Accordion Shutters

The concept of accordion shutters dates back to the 19th century, when they were used in Europe to protect homes and businesses from harsh weather conditions. The design was later brought to the United States, where it was adapted for use in hurricane-prone regions. Over the years, the design and materials used in accordion shutters have evolved, but the basic principle remains the same.

Today, accordion shutters are a popular choice for homeowners and businesses in areas prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. They are recognized by many insurance companies as a valid form of hurricane protection, and can often result in lower insurance premiums for property owners.

Evolution of Design

The design of accordion shutters has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of homeowners and businesses. Early versions of these shutters were made from wood, which provided adequate protection but required regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay. Today, most accordion shutters are made from aluminum or steel, which are more durable and require less maintenance.

Modern accordion shutters also feature a number of improvements over their predecessors. For example, many models now include a locking mechanism that can be operated from the inside, providing added security against break-ins. Additionally, some models are designed to fold away when not in use, reducing their visual impact on the building’s exterior.

Benefits of Accordion Shutters

There are several benefits to installing accordion shutters on a home or business. One of the most significant is their ability to provide protection against severe weather. Accordion shutters are designed to withstand high wind speeds and flying debris, making them an effective barrier against hurricanes and tropical storms.

Another benefit of accordion shutters is their ease of use. Unlike other types of shutters, which must be manually installed and removed each time a storm approaches, accordion shutters are permanently installed and can be quickly and easily closed and locked from the inside. This makes them a convenient option for homeowners and businesses that are frequently threatened by severe weather.

Security Benefits

In addition to their weather protection benefits, accordion shutters also provide a measure of security against break-ins. When closed and locked, these shutters form a solid barrier that can deter potential intruders. This added security can be particularly beneficial for properties that are unoccupied for extended periods of time, such as vacation homes or businesses that close for the off-season.

Furthermore, because accordion shutters are permanently installed, they provide a visible deterrent to potential intruders. This can be a significant advantage over other types of window protection, which may not be as obvious to would-be burglars.

Installation Process

The process of installing accordion shutters involves several steps. First, the tracks for the shutters are installed on the exterior of the building. These tracks are typically made from aluminum or steel, and are designed to withstand the weight of the shutters and the force of high winds.

Next, the shutters themselves are installed. This involves attaching the shutters to the tracks and ensuring that they slide smoothly and evenly. Once the shutters are in place, they can be adjusted to fit the window or door opening perfectly.

Professional Installation

While it is possible for homeowners to install accordion shutters themselves, it is generally recommended to hire a professional. This is because the installation process can be complex and requires a high degree of precision. A professional installer will have the necessary tools and experience to ensure that the shutters are installed correctly and securely.

Furthermore, a professional installer can provide valuable advice on the best type of shutters for a particular property, as well as tips on how to maintain and operate the shutters. This can help to ensure that the shutters provide the maximum level of protection and last for many years.

Maintenance and Care

Like any exterior feature of a home or business, accordion shutters require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. This typically involves cleaning the shutters and tracks to remove dirt and debris, lubricating the tracks to ensure smooth operation, and checking the shutters for signs of damage or wear.

It’s also important to test the shutters regularly to ensure that they can be easily closed and locked. This is particularly important in areas prone to severe weather, where the shutters may need to be closed quickly in the event of a storm.

Repair and Replacement

Over time, accordion shutters may require repair or replacement. This can be due to normal wear and tear, or as a result of damage from a storm or other event. In many cases, individual components of the shutters can be replaced, such as the blades or tracks. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to replace the entire shutter.

When considering repair or replacement, it’s important to consult with a professional. They can assess the condition of the shutters and recommend the best course of action. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace older shutters with newer models that offer improved performance and durability.


Accordion shutters are a versatile and effective form of window protection that offer numerous benefits for homes and businesses. They provide a high level of protection against severe weather, are easy to use, and offer added security against break-ins. With proper installation and maintenance, accordion shutters can provide many years of reliable service.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to protect your property from hurricanes, a business owner seeking to secure your premises, or a contractor looking to offer your clients the best in window protection, understanding the ins and outs of accordion shutters is essential. This comprehensive guide has provided you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about accordion shutters and their installation.

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