Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

Gulf Coast native here, but having been away for the last dozen years, I haven't had to deal with hurricanes since I was a kid. Now I'm back on the coast with a family and a new house to attempt to protect. We don't have to worry about water (50+ft above sea level, 2-miles from Mobile Bay). The one thing I'm worried about would be the windows. Our house is new (completed April 07), so it's under the new code as well. It's 80%+ brick, with the only exposed wood being on the porches and one face of the garage (actually cement board & batton).

I'm a firm believer in planning ahead, and it's time for me to get some protection for the glass and I'm weighing my options and costs.

My gut says just get ~20-sheets of wind-rated exterior plywood, cut to fit, and store them in the garage until needed (they will be eventually). Other options that have come about since the last time I lived down here are the aluminum panels that are cut to fit in the window recess, as well as these new polycarbonate panels ($$$, though!) that let light in so it's not so dark. The span-rated OSB sheets are $12/sheet for 3/8" thick and $18/sheet for 19/32". I'm thinking of 3/8" thick on the smaller windows and 19/32" on the doors and double windows.

For this house, costs can add up FAST. I have:

(11) 31" wide by 94" tall

(3) 63" wide by 94" tall

(1) 60" wide by 48" tall

(1) Mahogany double-doors with glass, 96" tall, 72" wide

(1) Mahogany door with glass, 96" tall, 36" wide

(1) Mahogany double-doors with glass, 84" wide, 120" tall (yes, two 42" wide by 10' tall doors)

Covering all this will add up FAST in cost, and it's going to take a lot of space to store them as well as time to put them up.

So, the question arises - WHAT DO YOU USE? Plywood, Aluminum, Polycarbonate, or just Prayers??? Also, if you use either aluminum or wood, do you have any holes in your panels to let some light in (and let you see out)?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:04 PM   #2
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

I used prayers for Ivan. I used Plywood for Dennis. I will use prayers in the future till I can afford alluminum shutters with one clear piece in the center to allow light in. Sitting in a dark house not being able to look out was nerve racking during Dennis. I will not do that again.

New windows are rated for 140 mph winds. But they are not rated for 140 mph flying debris. It's the debis flying around that you have to worry about. But no one I know with newer windowshas had windows broken/blown in in the past two storms.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

See, what I'm thinking is to use the plywood, but in the middle, cut out something like a couple 2"x6" rectangles, then use some liquid nails to glue an oversized (like 6"x12") piece of 1/4" thick plexiglass over the hole. do that on at least one window per BR as well as every window in the Living area and the doors and it should be fine as far as strength goes and it would let light in and allow us to see out if needed.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

If you have the plywood already and 80% of the house is brick, I would get the PlyLock clips from Lowes or Home Depot. Easy to install and remove. Best part is they are reusable.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:01 PM   #5
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

I don't have the plywood already, but I'm thinking of buying it this weekend. I can get the 3/8" rated for $12/sheet. I should be able to get everything done w/ 18 sheets and about a dozen 2x4's for splice bracing. Then add in the retainers (whatever i end up choosing there) and I'd get away with about $300 - so not too bad.

I've been looking at the aluminum and Lexan alternatives. The aluminum is running about $5/sqft and the plastic is about $7/sqft.

OUCH!

EACH of my single windows is ~20 sqft, so that would be into the THOUSANDS for either of those options, making them "Not an option"...
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

Quote:
bamachem (7/21/2008)I don't have the plywood already, but I'm thinking of buying it this weekend. I can get the 3/8" rated for $12/sheet.


Where?

I would like to get "prepared" too
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

I found that at Lowes' website for my local store.

The 3/8" thick OSB is item # 12246 for $11.88 each

The 19/32" thickOSB is item #12242 for $17.44 each
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:41 PM   #8
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

The guys are right on the money, you are only protecting the glass from flying debris. My house is all brick, and I cut plywood sheets to fit and then cut 1X1's to length as cheaters to wedge and hold it in place. I have since gotten the plylocks to hold the panels in securely.

I also have 2 sets of 5' french doors going out onto the screen porch, so I can take them easily and quickly for accessing outside light.

We have contemplated installing shutters, but they are very pricey.


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Old 07-21-2008, 07:32 PM   #9
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

We use Fabric Shield on most of our new houses. They're easy to store adn install and they let light in. Moreover, they protect the expensive impact glass from impact!
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #10
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Default RE: Hurricane Shutters, Plywood, or just Prayers?

If you are going to use plywood then use half inch or thicker. You will find 3/8 plywood to be quite disappointing. You need the extra stiffness of half inch plywood to properly cover a window. Thicker plywood (like 3/4") gives you even better protection from flying debris but it is much harder to handle. But, if 3/8 inch is all you can afford, it is better than nothing.

If you want to look outside during a storm, you can simply use a 1 inch plus paddle bit and bore a hole or two in each sheet. Put the holes at a height that you can see out them from inside your house. Place the holes where screens or window frames won't block them from the inside.
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