Airlite Choice Replacement Windows, Storm Windows and Shutters


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Airlite Choice Replacement Windows, 
Storm Windows and Shutters

Choosing the Right Replacement
Window for Your Home!






The hurricane season of 2005 was the worst that we’ve seen in history.  I grew up on the North Carolina coastline in an area where the majority of homes have storm shutters, which are used to protect windows and homes from high winds and flying debris. 


Working exterior storm shutters are a permanent alternative to the frenzied rush of having to install plywood over windows in the stressful hours before an approaching storm.  Then once the danger has passed, you have to remove the plywood and find a place to store it.  For individuals who live away from the threat of coastal storms, working storm shutters are away to protect windows on cabins, cottages, and your home while you are away. 


Manufactured storm shutters are available in several traditional styles including louvered, raised panel, and board-and-batten.  Other styles of storm shutters include rolling shutters, which adjust to any position to protect against storms. 


To determine the dimensions for traditional style storm shutters, first measure the height of the window opening.  Because windows may not be squared, it is to measure both the right and left side of the window.  You want to subtract ˝” from the actual height to allow for clearance.  To find the width of each shutter, measure the width of the window between the inside edges of the window jam, divide by 2, and subtract 3/8” for the hinge clearance. 


There are also other types of storm shutters that are available.  Rolling shutters can be controlled manually or automatically.  The next kind are Bahama-style shutters.  These function as sun awnings when opened and provide wind and impact protection when they are closed.


Many Insurance companies are revising their policies for coastal areas and are offering discounts to property owners who install hurricane shutters that meet the ASCE-7-88 wind-load test and the S.F.B.C. impact test.  However, several Insurance can increased deductibles, if the shutters do not conform to these new standards.



Hurricane Shutters:

Hurricane shutters or also known as storm shutters can protect your home both from the weather and from intruders when you're away.  The following is a brief guide to help you compare the advantages and disadvantages of several types of hurricane shutters.


Storm panel hurricane shutters-are made of corrugated steel or aluminum and attach to the walls around windows and doors with bolts or tracks.  The most common type of storm panels attach to the home with both tracks and bolts.  The top portion of the panel slides into a track above the window, and the bottom portion of the panel is secured to the home with bolts that are permanently attached below the window.


The next style of storm panels are secured to the home with a set of C-shaped tracks that are above and below the windows and doors.  Bolts slide into the tracks on either side, which must be manually aligned with the holes on the panels.


The third type of storm panels are secured to the home with only bolts that are permanently set into the wall beside the windows and doors.






  • The least expensive form of permanent storm shutter systems.
  • They are removable.
  • They provide excellent protection for both doors and windows.



  • They require storage.
  • They can be difficult to hang and often times require more than one person.
  • They sometimes times don't line up properly
  • They have very sharp edges.


The price is approximately $4-$7 per square foot.

They take approximately 15-30 minutes per window to make storm ready depending on the style.




Accordion Hurricane Shutters:



Accordion hurricane shutters are one or two-piece hurricane shutters that when they are not in use are housed beside the window or doors.  As their name implies, these shutters unfold accordion-style to cover and protect the windows during a storm.




  • Permanently affixed beside the windows and don't require any extra storage space.
  • Can easily be made storm-ready by one person
  • Some models can be locked with a key and may be used as a theft deterrent.




  • These can look bulky and unattractive.
  • These have the potential to break more easily than some of the other systems.


The price is approximately $14-$15 per square foot.

They take approximately 15-30 minutes to make storm ready for the entire house.







Colonial Hurricane Shutters:



Colonial hurricane shutters resembles tradition style decorative shutters, and  attach to the side of the home beside each window and fold together to protect against the storm.




  • These are permanently affixed beside the windows.
  • Require only one person to make storm-ready.
  • These are very decorative and can add to beauty of the home.





  • These styles cannot be used to protect doors.


The price is approximately $18-$30 per square foot.

They take approximately 30-45 minutes to make storm ready for an entire house.






Bahama Hurricane Shutters:



Bahama hurricane shutters are one-piece louvered style shutters, which are, attach directly above the windows and can be propped open to provide shade.  To make Bahama shutters storm-ready, they are simply lowered and secured to the wall.




  • These are permanently affixed above the windows.
  • One person can easily make this type of shutters storm-ready.
  • They provide permanent shade and privacy.




  • These are traditionally weaker than other systems, however the newer models do provide adequate protection.
  • Some individuals complain that Bahama shutters block too much light.
  • They can't be used to protect doors.


The price is approximately $18-$30 per square foot.

They take approximately 15-30 minutes to make storm ready for an entire house.







Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters:



Roll-down hurricane shutters are shutters that attach above the window.  These shutters roll up and store in an enclosed box when not in use and can be lowered manually or automatically, and lock in place.




* These are permanently affixed above the windows and don't require any extra storage space.

* Are possible the easiest be made storm-ready by one person.

* Offer some of the best protection, and make an excellent theft deterrent.




  • These are the most expensive of the storm shutter systems.

  • The automatic systems require a battery backup system so the shutters can be lowered and raised during power outages.


The price is approximately $26-$40 per square foot

The approximately time to make storm ready depends on if the system is manually operated or automatic.





Hurricane Glass:



Hurricane glass-can withstand hurricane debris and wind force.  This glass eliminates the need for hurricane shutters.  In certain areas, modern building codes require the installation of hurricane shutters or another protections on new houses.  Hurricane glass is a practical option for a home at the time of construction.




  • Hurricane glass eliminates the need for storm shutters.




  • Hurricane glass has to be installed by a window contractor.

  • Existing window frames also have to be replaced along with the panes to meet code.


The price is approximately $35-$50 a square-foot, including new window frames.

Once installed, there is no preparation time.