FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
See the answers to some of the questions we get asked all the time.
Do you offer free estimates?
Yes, we offer free estimates for people who are looking for hurricane protection. We send a representative to take the measurements of all of the openings (windows or doors) that you want hurricane protection for and then we send you the quote.
I only need hurricane protection for 1-2 windows or doors, can your provide me with a free estimate?
If you are looking for an estimate for only 1 or 2 windows or doors, then we do not offer free in-person estimates. We do offer free virtual estimates. Simply email the measurements, clear photos from the outside (showing the surrounding areas), and the type of hurricane protection system you prefer to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have more than 2 openings that you need a quote for, then we must conduct an in-person estimate.
Are your hurricane protection products up to code?
All of our storm panels, accordion shutters, rolling shutters, and impact windows and doors are approved by The Florida Building Code. “The Florida Building Code incorporates all building construction related regulations for public and private buildings in the State of Florida…”
Also, when referencing the installation of storm panels, hurricane shutters, or impact windows and doors, Miami Dade County has the strictest requirements compared to other counties in Florida. Therefore, even if you reside in Broward County or Palm Beach County if the hurricane protection product you are having installed is Miami Dade County approved, then it meets all the Florida requirements for that type of product.
Once your products are installed, they will have labels on them identifying that they are Florida Building Code and Miami Dade County approved. In order to receive a wind mitigation discount on your homeowner’s insurance, then the installed products must have these labels adhered to them.
Which hurricane protection system is the cheapest?
Storm panels are the most cost-effective option among all of our products. They are a great option for a homeowner with a smaller budget and with the ability to handle the materials and mount them. Storm panels, also called hurricane panels, are removable panels that are stored away when they are not being used and later mounted prior to a storm.
The panels come in 2 materials – galvanized steel and aluminum. The galvanized steel panels are the most cost-effective option but they are very heavy. Alternatively, the aluminum panels cost a bit more but they are much lighter and easier to handle.
The next option, accordion shutters, is still affordable for many but are more expensive than storm panels. Following accordion shutters in pricing is rolling shutters and then impact windows and doors are the most expensive.
What color options do you have for accordion shutters?
Accordion shutters come in 4 standard colors: white, bronze which is almost black, ivory which has a yellowish tone, and beige which has a pink tone.
Do you offer financing?
Yes, we offer in-house financing through GreenSky and another option through a third party LightStream, which is a division of SunTrust Bank.
GreenSky has different plans to fit your repayment preference. Some plans have 0% APR while others have low-fixed interest rates. They grant home improvement loans to fund your project in the form of a digital credit card. You then use the credit card to pay for your project. To learn more about GreenSky see this page.
LightStream offers plans with low-fixed interest rates with customizable term plans to fit your needs. They can generally fund your project within the same day. They transfer the money directly into your bank account in order for you to pay for your project. To learn more about LightStream see this page.
If you have excellent credit, we recommend GreenSky’s 0% APR plan or a LightSteam low-fixed rate plan. If you have good credit then we recommend one of GreenSky’s low-fixed rate plans.
Do I need to pull a permit for hurricane protection?
Whether you are installing storm panels, hurricane shutters or impact windows and doors, you need to obtain a building permit. Because all of those systems involve some type of structural change to the home, the city or county needs to approve of those changes, albeit minimal.
Homeowners are welcome to pull their own building permits (called an Owner Builder Permit), however the process is very detailed and requires in-depth knowledge of the storm protection system that is being installed. Permit applications need to indicate the parts that are being used in the installation as well as how they are being installed on the home. Plan drawings and notices of acceptance must accompany the permit applications as well.
Permit applications must be paid for and submitted to the city or county where the home is located. To know which permit application is the correct one, visit your county’s property appraiser website and search for your home. The folio number for your home would indicate the code for the corresponding city or county where the permit application must be submitted. Most of the time, unincorporated areas default to the county applications, whereas the incorporated cities require their city-specific applications. If you are unsure, you must call your city’s building department and ask a representative for help.
Due to the intricate process of obtaining a building permit, most contractors who install hurricane shutters and impact windows and doors conveniently offer the service to take the burden off of the homeowner.
Once the permit is approved, which can take up to a few weeks, it must be paid for and picked up or printed from the web depending on the city or county. The issued permit must be present at the installation site while the installation is in process. After the installation is complete, an inspection with the city (or county) needs to be requested and conducted to ensure that it was completed to code.
How long does it take for a permit to be approved for hurricane protection ?
A permit application can generally take up to 5 weeks to be reviewed and approved (some cities are faster than others). If there is a change to the permit, the review time can take even longer. Once it is approved, it must be paid for and picked up or printed from the web depending on the city or county.
The issued permit must be present at the installation site while the installation is in progress. After the installation is complete, an inspection with the city (or county) needs to be requested and conducted to ensure that it was completed to code.
What is a Notice of Commencement (NOC)?
You are required to record a Notice of Commencement (NOC) in the county’s Clerk of the Court’s Office when your contracted project is $2,500 and above. However, you can still record one for projects that cost less than $2,500. You must also provide a certified copy of the recorded document at the installation site along with the approved permit.
The NOC must be signed by you, the owner contracting the improvements, or the property manager or agent. If a contractor offers permit running services, they can also file the NOC.
My home belongs to a Homeowner's Association (HOA), what do I need to do to have hurricane protection installed?
If your home belongs to a homeowners association (HOA) or if it is managed by a property management company, then you must also acquire their approval for your installation. They typically have an Architectural Modification Request or Contractor Packet that must be filled out, signed, and accompanied by supplemental documents (i.e. plan drawings, NOA, contractor license, and insurance certificates).
Sometimes the associations and property managers limit homeowners to certain colors and products. And some of them also require a fee paid for by the owner in order to process the approval paperwork.
How long does it take for installation of hurricane protection on a home?
Because permits can take up to 5 weeks to be approved, the general timeline for a contractor to install hurricane protection is about 4-6 weeks.
Product manufacturing timelines vary between products. We manufacture our accordion shutters in our warehouse so they can typically be ready within 72 hours depending on aluminum supply (this can extend to one week during hurricane season).
Storm panels can take about one week to be manufactured and delivered to our warehouse. Rolling shutters can take 3-4 weeks to be manufactured and delivered to our warehouse. Generally all of the above options fall within the 4-6 week timeline for installation.
For impact windows and doors, however, the timelines can extend to 8-10 weeks because impact windows and doors can take up to 6-8 weeks to be manufactured and delivered (depending on the sizes being standard vs custom).
Can I receive a discount on my homeowners insurance if I get hurricane protection?
Yes you can. Having storm panels, hurricane shutters or impact windows and doors installed on your home does not only provide protection for your home but can also save you money on your homeowners insurance.
Insurance providers in areas where risks of hurricanes and natural disasters are at their highest have policies specifically for those instances. Thus, they offer homeowners discounts on their insurance for installing hurricane protection. Be sure to check with your insurance company before gathering quotes so that you learn what the requirements are and if you would qualify.
How can I get the discount on my homeowners insurance for getting hurricane protection?
In Florida, homeowners insurance companies are required to offer wind mitigation discounts. The requirements for coverage and the discount amounts, however, differ for each insurance company.
Therefore, you should contact your insurance company prior to gathering estimates for shutters, panels, or impact-resistant windows and doors to learn which parts of your home must be protected in order to receive the wind mitigation discount.
Once you know what needs to be installed or repaired/replaced on your home in order to receive the wind mitigation discount, you should hire a contractor to install or repair those areas of your home. Then you will need to have a wind mitigation inspection conducted for your home. Some insurance companies have their own inspectors who they send, otherwise you will need to hire an independent inspector to complete the required report.
Afterwards, you send the report to your homeowners insurance provider and they review it to determine if you qualify for the discount.
Do I receive a larger discount on my homeowners insurance if I install impact windows and doors vs. shutters?
Contrary to popular belief, the discount you receive on your homeowners insurance for wind mitigation is typically the same whether you have storm panels, accordion shutters, rolling shutters, or impact windows and doors.
The amount you can save from having storm panels, hurricane shutters or impact windows and doors installed greatly depends on your insurance provider. But generally, having either option installed on your home allows you to save hundreds of dollars each month or thousands each year.
According to NBC News, installing impact windows and accordion shutters can cost an average of over $4,000. They affirm that homeowners “who live in wind-prone areas could see a 10-15% credit on their policy for wind protection upgrades.”
It is important to keep in mind that accordion shutters and impact windows are limited expenses. If they are well-maintained then they can last several years. For the most part impact windows will last longer than shutters but in the event that they get damaged, they will have to be replaced (which is more costly) whereas shutters can typically be repaired.
When considering the number of years shutters or impact windows and doors last they are a small yet smart investment. Plus they help you benefit from a wind mitigation discount on your homeowners insurance year after year.
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