How To Install Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Posted on: 2 May 2016

If you live in an area prone to heavy storms, consider installing accordion hurricane shutters. A hurricane shutter can spare you from serious injury and save your home from damage. Accordion shutters also provide additional privacy for larger windows such as picture windows. Here are some tips to install accordion hurricane shutters.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • ladder
  • safety goggles
  • an assistant
  • tape measure
  • screwdriver
  • carpenter's level
  • screwdriver
  • cardboard
  • handsaw
  • planer (wood shaping tool)
  • sandpaper
  • drill with drill bits
  • wood shims
  • wood stain(optional)
  • foam brush (optional)
  • accordion shutters

Check local building codes to find out what strength of hurricane shutters are recommended, and if you need a permit to install them. Measure the window height in three places: left side jamb (vertical post on the side of the window), right side jamb, and in the center.

Measure the window width at the top, bottom, and the center. Use the smallest number for both the window height and width to buy shutters.

Lay Out the Panels

Take the panels out of the package, and lay them beside each other, and set cardboard in between them as spacers. Most accordion shutter kits come with four numbered panels.

Measure the width of the panels. If the panels are too wide, you will need to trim them. Compare the measurements of the window with the shutters, and mark the difference on the panel.

Use the handsaw to trim the top and bottom of the shutters. Trim the sides with the planer, then sand edges until they are smooth. If you want to change the color of the wood, apply wood stain with a foam brush, and let it dry.

Install the Panels

Set the top track over the top of the window, and get an assistant to help, if needed. Mark where the holes line up on the wall, and check to ensure the holes are even with a carpenter's level. Drill pilot holes in the wall with the correct type of drill.

Use the anchors or screws to attach the track. Don't tighten the screws or anchors until you attach the sides. Set the wheels in the top with the pins facing out.

Install the two side panels, and the bottom panel, then mark and drill holes on the wall where needed. Insert wood shims under shutters, and adjustthem until the shutters are the same height. Tighten hardware with a screwdriver.

Attach the magnetic catch plates and catch magnets according to manufacturer's directions. Catch magnets secure shutters when they are closed.

Open and close the accordion shutters to ensure they work properly. If you don't trust your skill, or you need them installed on upper story windows, consider hiring a contractor (or contact companies like Nevada Rolling Shutter Inc.). 

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