Homemade Hurricane Shutters: A Comprehensive Guide for Southport Residents

Living in Southport, the threat of hurricanes is a constant concern for homeowners. The high winds and heavy rain can cause significant damage to properties, especially to windows and doors. While commercial hurricane shutters are widely available, the cost and availability can be prohibitive for some. This has led many to consider homemade hurricane shutters as a viable alternative. Understanding the importance of protecting your home during a storm is crucial, and this guide aims to provide Southport residents with detailed information on creating effective homemade hurricane shutters.

The Basics of Hurricane Shutters

Before diving into the specifics of homemade solutions, it’s essential to understand what hurricane shutters are and why they’re so important. Hurricane shutters are designed to protect windows and doors from the damaging effects of high winds and flying debris, two common threats during a hurricane. By securing your home’s openings, you can significantly reduce the risk of interior and structural damage during a storm.

Types of Commercial Hurricane Shutters

Commercially available hurricane shutters come in various types, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some popular options include roll-down shutters, accordion shutters, and storm panels. While these solutions are effective, they can also be expensive and may require professional installation.

The Appeal of Homemade Solutions

For those looking for a more cost-effective and customizable option, homemade hurricane shutters can be an attractive alternative. Not only do they allow for a greater degree of personalization, but they also enable homeowners to take an active role in protecting their property.

Design Considerations for Homemade Hurricane Shutters

When considering homemade hurricane shutters, there are several key factors to keep in mind. The design and materials used can significantly impact the effectiveness of your shutters in protecting your home during a hurricane.

Material Selection

The choice of material is critical when constructing homemade hurricane shutters. Plywood is a popular option due to its availability and cost-effectiveness. However, it’s important to select plywood that is at least 5/8 inch thick for adequate protection. Other materials, such as aluminum or polycarbonate panels, can also be used but may require more specialized tools and knowledge to work with.

Securing Methods

Equally important to the material is how the shutters are secured to your home. Proper fastening methods ensure that your shutters will remain in place during a storm. Options include using heavy-duty bolts and anchors for permanent installations or wing nuts for shutters that can be removed and stored when not in use.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building Homemade Hurricane Shutters

Creating effective homemade hurricane shutters requires careful planning and execution. The following steps outline the process from start to finish, ensuring that Southport residents can confidently protect their homes.

Measuring Your Windows and Doors

The first step in creating homemade hurricane shutters is to accurately measure the windows and doors you plan to protect. It’s essential to measure both the height and width, adding an extra 4 inches to each dimension to ensure complete coverage.

Selecting and Preparing Your Materials

Once you have your measurements, the next step is to select and prepare your materials. If using plywood, ensure it is cut to size based on your measurements. For those opting for metal or polycarbonate panels, you may need to consult with a professional to cut and prepare the materials properly.


With your materials prepared, the next step is to install your homemade hurricane shutters. This involves drilling holes for the fasteners, aligning the shutters with your windows and doors, and securing them in place. It’s crucial to ensure that the shutters are firmly attached and that there are no gaps around the edges.

Maintenance and Storage

Proper maintenance and storage are essential for ensuring that your homemade hurricane shutters remain effective over time. Regular inspections and repairs can prevent potential failures during a storm, while proper storage can extend the life of your shutters.

Inspecting and Repairing Your Shutters

After each hurricane season, it’s important to inspect your shutters for any damage or wear. Look for signs of rust, cracks, or loose fasteners, and make repairs as needed. This proactive approach can save you time and money in the long run.

Storing Your Shutters

When not in use, your homemade hurricane shutters should be stored in a dry, secure location. If using plywood, consider applying a coat of waterproof sealant before storage to prevent warping and rot. For metal or polycarbonate shutters, ensure they are clean and dry before storing to avoid corrosion.

Enhancing the Durability of Homemade Hurricane Shutters

While the basic design and installation of homemade hurricane shutters are crucial, there are additional steps you can take to enhance their durability and effectiveness. One key aspect is weatherproofing your shutters to withstand the elements and potential water infiltration during a storm.

Applying a weather-resistant sealant to the edges and surfaces of your shutters can help prevent moisture from seeping into the material, reducing the risk of warping or rot. Additionally, adding a protective coating or paint can further enhance the longevity of your shutters, especially if they are made of wood.

Regularly inspecting the weatherproofing elements of your shutters, such as seals and coatings, can help identify any areas that may need touch-ups or repairs. Ensuring that your shutters are properly maintained and weatherproofed can significantly extend their lifespan and effectiveness in protecting your home.

Testing Your Homemade Hurricane Shutters

Before hurricane season begins, it’s essential to test the functionality and durability of your homemade shutters. Conducting a trial run allows you to identify any potential issues or weaknesses in your shutter system and address them before a real storm hits.

Test the installation and removal process of your shutters to ensure they can be put up quickly and securely when needed. Check for any signs of damage or wear from storage, and make any necessary repairs or replacements. By testing your homemade hurricane shutters beforehand, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is well-protected when a hurricane approaches.


For Southport residents, the threat of hurricanes is a reality that requires preparation and protection. Homemade hurricane shutters offer a cost-effective and customizable solution for safeguarding your home against the destructive forces of a storm. By following this comprehensive guide, homeowners can confidently create and install effective shutters, ensuring their property and loved ones remain safe during hurricane season.

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