Frequently Asked Questions
Each style of hurricane shutter costs a different amount per square foot. To get a general sense of the pricing you are going to encounter, we suggest looking at our “Cost Calculator” which will get you a rough estimate of the cost for your installation. Generally the final price is a bit lower- unless you need a lift for installation or other special considerations.
All of our shutters (except the Flat Polycarbonate) are made of 6063-T6 extruded aluminum. The fabric of our Hurricane Screens is reinforced with Aramid fiber. Flat and corrugated polycarbonate are made of the same material as Lexan/Makrolon/PalcSun in varying thicknesses.
Yes. The main purpose of hurricane shutters is to keep the envelope of your home intact during a storm. If a single opening (door, window, garage) is compromised, the pressure can cause opening blowout and you may lose the roof. If you cannot afford to do the entire home at once, we can provide our expertise on what openings are best to cover first, but the ideal end scenario (whether now or in a few years) is full coverage.
Yes. In fact, if you want a commercial insurance policy that covers hurricane and storm damage, you may not even be able to get one if you don’t install hurricane shutters first. In general terms, the more measures an insurance provider sees you are taking to mitigate storm damage, the lower your insurance premiums are likely to be. Generally the companies also have a form for us to fill out to corroborate the claim that the windows/doors are protected, so you will have to forward that to us upon completion.
Plywood is usually the last resort for many homeowners. Plywood is heavy and hard to store and even more difficult to attach properly and does not have the strength of metal. When a storm nears, the plywood can get soaked repeatedly, this results in weaker plywood because its layers will peel apart. Since plywood often has poor pressure resistance, if the panels does not adequately cover the window, the window can be destroyed by wind pressure even with a full sheet in front- potentially causing roof failure.
If your home belongs to a homeowners association (HOA) or if it is managed by a property management company, then you must also acquire their approval for your installation. They typically have an Architectural Modification Request or Contractor Packet that must be filled out, signed, and accompanied by supplemental documents (i.e. plan drawings, NOA, contractor license, and insurance certificates). Sometimes the associations and property managers limit homeowners to certain colors and products. And some of them also require a fee paid for by the owner in order to process the approval paperwork.
HVHZ stands for High Velocity Hurricane Zone and is defined as Miami-Dade and Broward County Florida Only. Non-HVHZ is defined as all locations other than Miami-Dade and Broward County Florida. We typically install to non-HVHZ requirements because the difference mainly boils down to the distance from the shutter to the glass. In those zones, where the estimated wind speed exceeds 170mph, they want anywhere from 4-10″ of separation from the glass. Since those buildings are generally concrete block, this is attainable with standard buildouts as shown on the product approval. Up in NC/SC we do not expect similar wind speeds, so it is not necessary. Furthermore, they do not account for any buildout sizes over 4″ in the product approvals since this does not exist in Florida.
Yes. While not rated for wind driven rain intrusion, a study at Florida International University (document available upon request) on accordion shutters proved that they can block 77-88% of wind driven rain, which substansially reduces the amount of rain even making contact with the window seals. We have many customers place our roll down shutters and accordion shutters over impact windows and doors specifically to stop rain- which has anecdotally been very successful. Furthermore placing our shutters (such as hurricane screens or others) around the perimeter of porches would stop the rain many feet from the opening.
As soon as possible when you think of it. We suggest ordering them prior to May when possible since shutters bought after June/July will probably not be up in time for that year’s hurricane season. But getting ahead of the game is always smart, since it is too late when the big storms start coming.
If you are in a flood-prone area you may need some flood mitigation such as sandbags. We suggest creating a “bug-out-bag” with various medical and other supplies you can quickly grab in the event of a storm- so you can leave as soon as possible and encounter as little traffic as possible. Plan evacuation routes, meeting locations, plans for family/friends who may be harder to move, and time to secure your home.
Many of our competitors use cheap decking screws to attach their shutters, however this is not code-compliant. We use either 0.25″, 0.3125″, or 0.375″ diameter coated carbon steel or 304 stainless steel screws to attach the shutters to your home. You can look at the product approvals (available upon request) to see how often we space them. The exact diameter, quantity, and materials depend on the exact shutter style and the substrate we are attaching to.
Being so close to the ocean, this is a question we encounter a lot. Shutters will last essentially however long you take care of them for. In an ideal maintenance environment they should last 15+ years easily, however many customers do not perform the required cleaning and regularly use the shutters. Generally full failure of the shutters can be repaired (to a point) and without regular upkeep they simply become harder to use and the paint may being to have issues. We suggest performing regular maintenance and using them often, to catch any potential issues early so they can be addressed. Some of our first customers from the 90’s have shutters that work as good as the day they bought them because of their stewardship and routine maintenance.
Yes. The NWS suggests you install difficult shutters (panels) during a Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch, and deploy the other styles during a Warning. In the event that a hurricane does make landfall near your building, hurricane shutters provide invaluable protection during the storm by protecting windows and doors against flying storm debris and breakage, stopping winds from funneling through your property and causing internal/structural damage, block out heavy rains and prevent flood damage, and prevents injury to anyone inside (from flying shards of glass, storm debris, etc. which is especially important when you are staying in the home during lower strength storms)
Yes, we have installed thousands of jobs over our 20+ years in business across North Carolina and South Carolina. Please contact us today, and we can get you a local reference list.
Yes, we work with many large multinational/local construction companies and business owners to provide protection and/or decorative shutters on commercial properties. Check out our “Commercial” tab above to see our various certifications and adherence to OSHA standards.
Sometimes. The owner is a licensed general contractor in both North and South Carolina, so rest assured if we need any permits/inspections in your jurisdiction due to the value, we have the ability to do so.
Manufacturers of window films say their products are always in place and provide sun and burglary protection. Window film, however, does not pass the Miami-Dade or Florida certification tests (ASTM 1886E, 1996E, e330/TAS 201, 202, 203) because the film does not strengthen the frame. It wont stop your glass from shattering. It will hold the pieces in place. A film-covered window will withstand only whatever wind load it can handle without the film. Therefore during a storm it is essentially useless and unable to be sold as hurricane protection in Florida. However, it may be able to keep your window from spraying glass on your floor if the neighborhood kid hits a baseball into it.
Each of our shutters that are marked as non-decorative will provide rated impact and wind protection in the event of a storm. On each of our product pages, we ahve comparisons between the different styles. Often it comes down to the design of your home, ease of use, and aesthetics. Aesthetics are your decision but getting one of our Free Estimate can help determine which ones are able to be installed due to the architecture of your home.
Yes, please call or email us today at (910) 256-1288 or checking our contact us page.
Aluminum panels are our most affordable option, but require extensive labor each time they are to be deployed. While they are the best solution for some use cases, we find most customers are happier with accordion shutters.
We prefer checks, 50% due at signing, 50% when completed. We also accept credit cards for a 2.8% added fee. We do not offer financing.
Because we must manufacture the shutters, our lead time from signing to install generally ranges from 3-4 month (but is quicker between Oct-Mar)
For installation of the product, it generally will only be a single day or less, however a good rule of thumb is that for every $10,000 the project costs, it will take one day. Rolling shutters do take more time, and we typically install 5 per day.
Shutters should be placed over all non-reinforced doors, as the issue mainly lies in the frame. Without reinforcement, even solid doors can break inwards or be blown in/sucked out by the pressure of the storm. We recommend placing shutters over all non-impact doors and windows.
Yes. Check out our Maintenance Guide for more details.
The National Weather Service suggests deploying your shutters when there is a Hurricane Watch if the shutters are difficult to deploy (i.e. clear or aluminum panels on multiple openings). The rest of the shutters should be deployed during a Hurricane Warning.
No. There are flood products out there, however. We have installed some on commercial properties, but they are cost prohibitive for most homeowners. If you live in a flood prone area, it may be a consideration, however we would suggest lifting up your interior furniture and possibly investing in sandbags. If you do want to have flood protection, contact us for a quote.
Yes. We offer a 3 year limited warranty, and will also return for paid service at any point during the lifetime of the shutters. We deliver the warranty to all of our customers with a signed agreement, and can provide it to you upon request at any time prior to or after ordering.
Yes. Studies have shown that hurricane winds 10 – 15 stories up are 10% stronger. A 100 mph wind of the surface would be much stronger in a high-rise building. That’s one reason windows tend to blow in tall buildings. Another reason to cover windows on higher floors is to help with water intrusion. A broken or leaking window on an upper story can ruin multiple rooms in the home, even sometimes necessitating replacement of the subfloor because there is no slab beneath. We highly suggest covering upper story windows.
While some installations may not be possible, our installers are certified to operate aerial lifts such as articulating booms, atrium, and other heavy equipment. We can assess your property during our free estimate and determine if additional machinery is necessary to install.
Bahamas and colonials are powder coated any standard RAL color. For a good handle on the options check out our “Bahama and Colonial Color” option under the Info Center drop down (though we hope you use one of our physical color wheels for the final decision).
As for accordions, rollscreens and rolldowns, they come in white, beige, tan, and bronze (nearly black). Panel tracks come in white and bronze. Polycarbonate is clear. Check out our accordion and roll down pages for pictures showing the options.
Design pressure is the maximum working pressure an object is expected to operate under. Most companies do not perform the correct analysis to determine the screwing patterns, fasteners, and styles needed to meet the expected design pressure requirements at your property. Without this, your shutters could cave in or be sucked out from wind pressure. We use the ASCE model to determine the expected maximum wind speed in your location, to set up your shutters to perform when you need it most. We have a more in-depth article on the subject in our Articles section (it is also linked on the homepage farther down).
Qualified Hurricane Install
A licensed general contractor with over two decades of experience will personally ensure that you receive the highest quality product and installation. Furthermore, all of our installers work solely for American Hurricane and have been installing shutters for over 30 years.
All of our products are factory built to our measurements and have the highest quality finish. Our products are installed using fasteners made of either #304 stainless steel or corrosion resistant coated carbon steel to outperform the hardest shear tests. These long screws- ranging from 3.25″ to over 7″ penetrate deep into the house framing to ensures that they meet and exceed Florida hurricane codes- unlike many of our local peers.
Great Reviews and Depth of Knowledge
We have a fantastic and deep customer base from over 20 years in the business. Check out our Google reviews for a small taste of our customer experience. We have the most experienced technicians in the region as our men have installed for multiple companies and have done so for over 35 years.
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