When living in a hurricane-prone area like South Florida, having dependable hurricane protection like accordion shutters or hurricane panels is essential when hurricane season comes rolling around. But deciding which hurricane protection system is best for your home (and family) can be challenging.
Assuming that the company you will be buying your hurricane protection from is selling Miami-Dade Approved Hurricane Shutters, either of these solutions will be perfectly sufficient to protect your home and family during a storm.
Note: Always make sure that the shutters you are buying (whether you are in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, or Broward County) are Miami-Dade Approved. Miami-Dade Approval is the gold standard of hurricane protection. While this guide is comprehensive, there is no substitute for the guidance of a seasoned hurricane protection consultant. Reach out to us at any time for a free consultation and estimate.
The two most significant factors to consider when deciding between hurricane accordion shutters and hurricane panels are; convenience and budget.
In this article, we’ll break down each hurricane protection product individually, explaining the features and specifications of the most popular brands, analyzing the pros and cons of each hurricane shutter, mentioning any notable feedback provided by real accordion shutter and hurricane panel owners, and discussing some general pricing considerations. Afterward, we’ll give a side-by-side comparison of both options.
Why Customers Choose Hurricane Accordion Shutters
Hurricane accordion shutters have become one of the most popular hurricane protection solutions in South Florida due to their affordability and ease of use. Many customers consider accordion shutters the “best middle-ground hurricane protection option” as they are more affordable than hurricane-impact windows (and offer the same level of protection.)
It takes far less time to set up hurricane accordion shutters (before a storm) when compared to hurricane panels. And many customers choose it because it will save them a few dozen hours of hard labor throughout the lifetime of their shutters.
Why Customers Choose Hurricane Panels
Hurricane panels are the most affordable route to get adequate protection. Side by side, both our accordion shutters and our hurricane panels offer an equivalent level of security. The main difference between the two products is the time required to set up your shutters whenever a storm is approaching.
Hurricane Accordion Shutter Are (Far) More Convenient than Hurricane Panels
When preparing for a storm, both accordion shutters and hurricane panels will require some work before being ready to protect your home (your shutters will need to be individually closed and locked before being effective.)
With accordion shutters, this process is relatively easy, and for the average home in South Florida, it should take 10-30 minutes to prepare.
With hurricane panels, this process can take 4-8 hours to complete for the average Florida home.
So every time a storm comes around, it’ll take a homeowner with hurricane panels ~15x more time (and energy) to set up his hurricane protection compared to a homeowner who opted for hurricane accordion shutters.
The only thing you have to consider with accordion shutters is the maintenance (which is relatively straightforward)
Why Do Hurricane Panels Take So Much More Time To Set Up?
The primary reason for the (rather significant) difference in time is that your accordion shutters will be permanently affixed to your home. Accordion shutters are ready to open or close at a moment’s notice; no heavy lifting is required.
All you need to do to prepare for a storm with hurricane accordion shutters is close your shutters by pulling them together and twisting the lock. And opening your accordion shutters is just as easy (don’t lose the key!)
With hurricane panels, your track will be permanently affixed to your home, but your shutters will likely be stored in your garage or shed. Protecting your home with hurricane panels will typically require a full day of hoisting heavy chunks of aluminum across your property, lifting it a few feet off the ground, then screwing it into your hurricane panel tracks.
On top of that, it is not recommended to set up your hurricane panels without the help of a friend or two. Although, deploying hurricane accordion shutters are relatively easy to handle alone.
For convenience, Accordion Shutters takes an easy win here.
Hurricane Accordion Shutters are Slightly More Expensive
Well… hurricane accordion shutters can’t be the perfect product. On average, accordion shutters cost 30% more than their (dramatically more) cumbersome counterparts, hurricane panels. Although, when considering the time and energy saved by choosing accordion shutters, it typically pays for itself within the first two installations (but that’s our opinion)
On average, hurricane panels cost ~$10 per square foot.
On average, accordion hurricane shutters cost $14 per square foot.
Although, some installation circumstances could make hurricane panels the more expensive option (or downright not even an option.)
If you want your shutters to let light into your home while your shutters are deployed, accordion shutters are typically the best option.
With accordion shutters, we provide a few free peepholes so that you can see outside your home during the storm. Although with hurricane panels, you would need to purchase Lexan panels specifically (which can sometimes be more expensive than just getting accordion shutters!)
Also, getting panels may not be an option for customers with radius/curved windows, as they are designed to only work on flat windows.
Customer Feedback: Accordion Shutters Are The Best Choice
Throughout our 30+ years of experience, we’ve been able to serve and receive feedback from over 20,000 families. Hurricane panels are the most common product customers upgrade to (roughly 90% of our upgrades.)
Many customers who have purchased hurricane panels in the past few years come back to us to buy accordion shutters or impact windows because they had to install hurricane panels for the first time (and they never wanted to have to do it again.) For context, a customer is 9x more likely to upgrade from panels to accordion shutters than accordion shutters to impact windows.
Don’t get us wrong; any hurricane protection is better than no protection.
Both accordion shutters and hurricane panels are equally protective. So hurricane panels will cover you and your family if you want something to protect your home for the lowest investment.
If you do not install your panels before a storm, it can cost you
Many homeowners who own hurricane panels usually hesitate to install their shutters before a storm (because it takes so much work.) Not only can this be dangerous to your home and property, but if you claim that you have hurricane panels to your insurance company and do not install them before a storm, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover you for any damages that happen. We’ve seen a handful of cases where this has happened with our customers.
So if you choose to go with hurricane shutters, it is better to be safe than sorry, and you should always install your shutters when a storm is on the way.
Side-by-side: Hurricane Accordion Shutters vs. Hurricane Panels
In general, we typically always recommend accordion shutters over hurricane panels. While hurricane accordion shutters can be 30% more expensive than hurricane panels, the amount of time saved and hassle avoided is well worth it for most people.
Especially for older adults and physically disabled individuals, accordion shutters are typically the best option. If you are in the market for hurricane protection, get a free, no-obligation consultation and estimate from one of our hurricane protection consultants.
Why Choose Assured Storm Protection?
Trusted Hurricane Service Provider for over 30 years
All prices are subject to change without notice.
This article is not kept up to date with current pricing.
Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing.