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Port St. Lucie - Sebastian - Vero Beach St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties (Treasure Coast)
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach
910 posts, read 2,218,049 times
Reputation: 478

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We are having accordion hurricane shutters installed, and I found out some interesting info from the installer: Had we ever had to use the standard hurricane shutters that came with our house, they would not have fit on at least three of our major windows. The two main front windows have a gutter in front of them that would have interfered with putting up those shutters, and the former owner had put a retractable awning on the family room window that would also have made putting up its shutter impossible. This would have been a heck of a thing to find out with a hurricane bearing down on us ! What I wonder is, shouldn't the house inspector have noticed this when we bought the house last year ? It seems like something he should have at least mentioned in his report, but he didn't. So I wanted to share with those of you planning on buying a house in Florida: make SURE that all your hurricane shutters will actually fit on the windows ! Ask your inspector to at least visually notice any problems like the ones we would have encountered. (And better yet - invest in accordion shutters ! We are getting eleven of them installed for $6,250. The peace of mind is well worth the price).
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:09 PM
 
361 posts, read 749,659 times
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I can attest to this. I made sure a few months after buying the house to test/match up the shutters and I too found some issues:

1) Shutters didn't fit the front door by 1/4" inch. You'd think that wouldn't be a big deal...it is

2) Someone along the line built a cement window box along the outside of the windows covering up the bolts on 3 different sets of windows. These needed to have protruding hanging bolts installed.

3) At one point my house only had 1 door to the patio and that was completely walled over and glass french doors were put in...without any shutters

4) One of the bolts that the shutters hang on was completely stripped and I had to get a shutter company to get it out and replace it.

According to the company I used to correct the above issues builders basically contract off that work and the guys hired just blast through it all as fast as possible using quick measurements and when something like 1/4" matters you really need to check/double/triple check everything.

Always test and at least give some of the bolts a sprayover with lithium grease. (They say to do it yearly)
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Venice, FL
1,690 posts, read 2,794,905 times
Reputation: 731
You all think you have something to worry about- my rental has NO shutters! A few months after we moved in, I asked the landlord if he knew where they were. He said "Oh, you don't need them, but I am thinking about getting hurricane screens put on." He even came out and measured the windows 2x. You think we have anything yet? Nope.

Renters Insurance= priceless.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach
910 posts, read 2,218,049 times
Reputation: 478
Yikes, I hope your local hardware store has a good supply of plywood, just in case....
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,507 posts, read 9,196,298 times
Reputation: 1999
when a house is built it has an inspection by the city with the hurricane shutters ON in order to pass and get a CO. Shutters were not required to be on anything till after hurricane Andrew. Since then a lot of changes in what MUST be done in building for hurricanes including braces on garage doors, straps on framing for the roof, kinds of nails, etc. Having the newer requirements makes a difference on your insurance as well.

If an owner alters the building later...who's to know. An inspector can't eyeball shutters to see if they will fit, but he should be able to tell you, that's not gonna work with your shutters because....
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Vero Beach
910 posts, read 2,218,049 times
Reputation: 478
Thanks for the info, Barbara. I don't know how our house ever passed that inspection, because the two main front windows have a gutter that protrudes into the space where the shutter should be. Maybe they cut the shutter to fit around it ? When the accordion shutter guy takes away our old shutters I will have to see if any of them have cutouts ! Our house was built in 2005. Are all new homes required to have hurricane shutters now, or is it still considered optional ?
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
4,507 posts, read 9,196,298 times
Reputation: 1999
ALL of them are. If you bought a resale maybe they had the gutters installed afterwards. The only way to know is to find the shutters that belong to that window and try them out.

Accordion shutters are so great and easy. Wish they had made them mandatory instead, but once again, the cost factor.

by the way......people buy those aluminum shutters you know. Dont toss them. Windows come in standard sizes so many of them could well fit another house.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,285 posts, read 3,606,318 times
Reputation: 408
As an FYI, on YouTube the TV program " This Old House" did a test of various forms of hurricane window protection where they shoot a 2x4 piece of lumber out of an air cannon at some of the various forms of hurricane window protection. Good to see before spending any money. In conclusion to the video the strongest protection was 5/8 Plywood( not chipboard). It is heavy and may not work for you on a two story house but in my opinion if you live in a vulnerable area or an area with lots of trees or wooden fences that can quickly become dangerous missiles I would highly recommend 5/8 plywood.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach
910 posts, read 2,218,049 times
Reputation: 478
Fortunately there are not a lot of tall trees or potential "missiles" near our house. I feel safe with our accordion shutters. What I wonder is, how do you attach plywood to a stucco house (without cracking the stucco) ? I would imagine this is even more difficult than the standard steel or aluminum shutters, which at least have bolts to attach them on the house.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,285 posts, read 3,606,318 times
Reputation: 408
Aside from the weight of the plywood, the big box stores sell the neatest clips for the plywood, it is a system. So if you have a at risk window use 5/8 plywood. However there are many options available at the UF cooperative extension service at their Hurricane House in FT Pierce campus.
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