Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are our most commonly asked questions about storm shutters, please also feel free to ask a question.

  • Why should I get a building permit? +

    This is a question many people may ask themselves when planning alterations to their home. A decision not to get a permit could be very costly. Some homeowners are finding when they try to sell or refinance their home, prospective buyers or lending institutions want proof that alterations are in compliance with local codes. Without a permit and inspection on record, there is no proof. The homeowner must then apply for a permit with no guarantee that the remodel will meet the codes, and they face the possibility that the remodel must be redone or removed. This is costly and frustrating and could cause delays in refinancing or a lost sale of their home.
  • Why do I need inspections? Do I have to pay for these inspections? +

    Inspections are required once the project has been completed to ensure the product was installed to code. There is no additional charge for the inspections; they are paid for with the permit fees.
  • Why should I use a licensed contractor? +

    For one thing, any contracted person doing work who is not currently registered with the State is doing so illegally. Would you want this type of person working on your home? Another reason is the registration provides some protection to the homeowner from being charged for work and materials not provided or paying twice for them (material suppliers and subcontractors can place a lien on your home if they do not receive payment from your contractor). There are also trade licenses for those persons doing plumbing and electrical work to provide some assurance that they have adequate knowledge and training in those fields.
  • What is powder coating? +

    All types of metal need to have some type of protective finish to avoid corrosion. This extraordinary type of coating is environmentally safe and a superior alternative to sludge producing solvent based wet paints. Powder coating is a type of metal coating used in sheet metal fabrication that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between the powder type of coating and a conventional liquid paint is that the powder does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. Instead, the powder is usually applied electrostatically and then is cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin." Metal powder coatings can produce much thicker coatings than conventional liquid coatings, without running or sagging, and with a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Powder is considered to be "greener" than wet paint because it emits zero or near zero volatile organic compounds (VOC). It also produces less hazardous waste than conventional liquid coatings, and the powder overspray can be recycled, thus making it possible to achieve nearly 100% use of the coating. Metal powder coating has become extremely advanced, with the development of a wide range of resin bases, colors and textures to suit every environment. Powder coated items typically have fewer differences in appearance between vertically coated surfaces and horizontally coated surfaces than liquid coated items, and a wide range of specialty effects is easily accomplished with powder which would be impossible to achieve with other coating processes. Whether it is lawn furniture in the Florida sun or the suspension of a heavy duty truck in Alaska, powder can be produced to best fit the specific need.
  • Should I tape my windows when a hurricane threatens? +

    No, it is a waste of effort, time, and tape. It offers little strength to the glass and NO protection against flying debris. After the storm passes you will spend many a hot summer afternoon trying to scrape the old, baked-on tape off your windows (assuming they weren't shattered). Once a Hurricane Warning has been issued you would be better off spending your time putting up shutters over doors and windows.
  • Should I put shutters over my doors? +

    Obviously sliding glass doors, french doors or any door with considerable glass in it should be protected. Some double doors or garage doors should either be shuttered or reinforced. In Hurricane Andrew many of these type doors gave way.
  • Why should I get hurricane shutters? +

    People who live in coastal counties along the eastern seaboard and gulf coast will find shutters an excellent investment for protecting their lives and property. They protect against wind and wind-borne debris. These shutters protect not only the windows or doors they cover, but also possessions and people inside the building. Once a window or door has been breached by hurricane winds, tremendous pressure is brought to bear on interior walls and upward pressure on the building's roof. This can lead to roof failure which exposes the entire contents of the building to the storm. Shutters are a first line of defense against the hurricane.
  • Why should I bother with shutters if I live in an evacuation zone? +

    Shutters will protect your house and possessions from wind damage whether you are there or not. While, in the event of a storm surge, hurricane shutters will not protect your home from flood water; not every property in the evacuation zone will flood.You should take every reasonable precaution to protect your property.
  • What about the plastic film I've heard about? +

    Although these are remarkable products that are being improved every year, they are no substitute for shutters. If you have windows that for some reason can't be shuttered we would recommend impact glass. Remember that the film only protects the visible glass and the frame is still under pressure and the whole window could fail. Windows with these treatments will still suffer damage from the impact of debris and may have to be replaced after a storm. Films also might not meet the building code for your area.
  • How do I choose an installation company I can trust? +

    The same way you go about choosing any company that performs a service. Make sure they are licensed, get references, and then check the references. Ask your neighbors and friends about who installed their shutters and if they had any complaints or recommendations. Check out a company with the Better Business Bureau, your local licensing authority, or contractor association.
  • When is the best time to get my shutters installed? +

    The best time to have shutters installed is when the house is built so they can be a part of the design. If you own a house without shutters have them installed as soon as is practical. Keep in mind that the beginning of hurricane season may be a busy time for most installation companies. Do NOT wait until a Hurricane watch is issued for your area. At the start of each hurricane season you should test out your shutters. For permanently installed shutters try closing each one to make sure they work smoothly and lock tight. Repair any problems at this time so that everything is ready when a storm threatens. When a Hurricane watch is issued for your area check all mechanisms and hardware again, and maybe install the more difficult shutters. If you live in an evacuation zone and it will take 2 or 3 hours to complete your shutter installation, you may want to install all your shutters during the watch phase. If you are not in an evacuation zone you should time your installation early in the warning phase so that you are not struggling with panels during high winds.
  • What if I can't afford hurricane shutters? +

    The least expensive, effective method of protecting windows is probably using plywood. The key to plywood shutters is thickness and installation. Use at least 5/8 inch exterior grade plywood, it makes the shutters heavier but safer. They should be cut to fit inside the window frame, installed prior to hurricane season, marked for which window they are made for, and stored with their hardware, preferably in a dry location. Heat and moisture over time will warp plywood, and a good fit is essential to their effectiveness. Hurricane Shutters can be a costly investment. Many of our customers choose to protect their home a few openings at a time, starting with the most vulnerable. After a time you will have your whole house ready.
  • Can condominium associations prohibit shutters? +

    The short answer in Florida is NO. Chapter 718 of Florida Statutes of the Condominium Act (1991) permits each board of administration to adopt specifications as to color, style, etc., but all specifications "shall comply with the applicable building code". The Florida statutes further state "... a board shall not refuse to approve the installation or replacement of hurricane shutters conforming to the specifications adopted by the board."
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