Want to skip the hassle and closed-in feeling of shutters altogether? Consider installing hurricane-impact windows. The glass is usually 3/8-inch thick and features a film coating similar to the safety glass used in vehicle windshields. If the windows crack or are smashed, the glass will stay embedded in the frame.
- Cost: Hurricane glass windows are not cheap, costing up to $50 per square foot.
- Effect on home insurance: Possible discount depending on state and carrier.
- Pros: With hurricane glass, there is nothing to install or remove when a hurricane comes; it's always in place and is completely transparent. No shutters are needed. Hurricane windows also help block outside noise, protect against break-ins and filter out harmful UV rays.
- Cons: The windows must be installed by a contractor, and the labor costs can be steep.