Guide To Plywood Shutters

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(Source: Omar Torres/AFP/ Getty Images)

(Source: Omar Torres/AFP/ Getty Images)

Hurricane 2014 Resources

(CBS4) - Keep in mind that NO types of plywood shutters meet the South Florida Building Code. If at all possible, install a commercially produced shutter or other product that does meet the building code. If you decide to use plywood shutters, the following design is one way to install them on a concrete block stucco home.

This method of plywood shutter construction requires at least a 2-inch inset of the window frame from the exterior face of the concrete wall. It uses: 5/8 or 3/4 inch thick exterior grade plywood cut to fit in the outside of the window opening against the window frame. You will need 4-6 barrel bolts, either 3″ or 4″ size per window. You will need more for larger windows or sliding glass doors.

The rule of thumb is one barrel bolt every 18″.

To get the shutters to fit properly, you might have to do some planing to fit the shutter in the window opening. A snug fit is very important.

  • Be sure to attach the bolts to the wood first, them mark where you need the holes in the concrete.
  • Use a drill to make holes in the window inset to correspond with the size of your barrel bolts.
  • For large windows or sliding glass doors, attach two pieces of plywood together with 2×4’s or something like a piano hinge. The 2×4’s will also help give you something to hold while putting up the shutter. If storage space is a problem, you could store the individual sections of these larger shutters and wait until a storm is approaching to attach the sections with the 2×4’s.
  • If you can, waterproof (seal or paint) the finished shutters. This will help prevent the plywood from warping quickly.
  • Be sure to mark each shutter so that you know which one goes on each window.

Remember, even the best designed shutter will fail in strong winds if not installed properly. So, try to get as tight a fit as possible on the plywood. You don’t want to allow wind to get under the shutter.

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