How to Find the Best Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding


A local home featuring hurricane shutters for vinyl siding installed by Acadian Windows

Homeowners in the Gulf Coast are turning to hurricane shutters for vinyl siding in a bid to limit the damage to their properties. With increasingly volatile weather conditions all year round and particularly violent storms defining hurricane season, this is the best option. Whether the concern is flying debris breaking windows or tree limbs crashing through the glass into the interior of the house, there is a lot of damage to windows that can take place during a storm. Hardware stores, building supply merchants, and home insurance companies are all reporting growing homeowner interest in obtaining and installing hurricane shutters on vinyl siding.

Whether you’re looking to update your current window protection system or you’ve historically just nailed up plywood before a storm, read on to learn about how a bespoke or off the rack shutter system can attach to your vinyl-sided house and protect your windows from extreme weather events which the Gulf Coast is known for. 

That said, adding any new feature to your house’s exterior is a complicated process, with repercussions for the aesthetics, as well as creating possible new ongoing maintenance requirements. Prior to rushing into home improvement, it is well worth taking the time to understand in detail the realities about how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl siding. Keep reading to get an idea of what to expect from your new hurricane shutters and how to make the most of this investment in your home.

Table of Contents:

How to Choose the Best Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding

Compare Prices, Materials, and Styles

A house that demonstrates how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl product with a beautiful finished project from Acadian Windows

When it comes to choosing the best hurricane shutters for vinyl siding, it’s important to compare prices, materials, and styles to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Comparing prices will help you find the most affordable options that fit within your budget, while looking at different materials and styles will help you find the right combination of performance and appearance.

As professionals in the field, we believe that aluminum produces the best hurricane shutters for vinyl siding. This material is highly durable against harsh weather conditions, while still being lightweight and easy to operate.

Look for shutters that come in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can find the perfect match for your vinyl siding. If you do decide to go with aluminum shutters, a state-of-the-art powder coating can be applied to produce shutters in a wide range of colors.

There are also numerous styles to choose from, such as colonial, Bahama, and board and batten shutters. Each has its own unique look and benefits for you to consider.

What Are the Easiest Hurricane Shutters to Install?

For vinyl siding homeowners looking for easy-to-install hurricane shutters, we recommend Bahama or colonial-style aluminum shutters. These shutters are lightweight and can be purchased pre-made for simple installation. Just make sure you know how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl siding to ensure the process goes smoothly and your shutters are put up correctly.

Of course, if you plan on using professionals to install your hurricane shutters, then this becomes less of a concern. More complicated installations can still increase the cost of their services, but they will also be better equipped to handle a wide range of hurricane shutter installations.

For older properties, the chances are that your windows have been custom-built, meaning that standard shutters won’t fit. In this case, you’ll need to have bespoke shutters designed, manufactured, and installed at a more significant cost. If your home is newer, the windows are probably a standard specification, meaning that generic shutters from a home improvement or hardware store are more likely to fit and installation will be easier.

Reusable Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding

While hurricane shutters can be installed and left on your home year-round, there are also options that allow you to remove your shutters when hurricane season is over and reuse them again later. Aluminum shutters are an ideal choice for reusable hurricane shutters because they are durable and lightweight, making them long-lasting and easier to install and uninstall as needed.

There are several styles of reusable hurricane shutters for vinyl siding that we recommend, including colonial, Bahama, and board and batten styles. Each of these styles offers relatively easy installation and sturdy protection against the elements, making them highly reusable.

DIY vs. Hurricane Shutter Professionals

If you’re planning on installing hurricane shutters yourself, be sure to choose hurricane shutters that are easy to install. This means shutters in a lightweight material, a standard size, and a style that installs easily.

If you’re going to use professional installers, then you have significantly more freedom and flexibility in the hurricane shutters you choose. You can also ask the installation company for an estimate to make sure that you know the cost to install your chosen shutters.

How to Install Hurricane Shutters on Vinyl Siding

A house with both open and closed hurricane shutters on vinyl siding

The process for installing hurricane shutters on vinyl siding can vary depending on the shutters you choose, the placement of your windows, and other factors. While there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, we can give you a general idea of how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl siding in an ideal scenario:

  1. Measure the window to determine the shutter size needed. You’ll need to be sure to accommodate for the window sill if one is present.
  2. Purchase the hurricane shutter. If you cannot use a standard size, you’ll need to get a custom shutter made.
  3. Measure and mark the places where you’ll need to drill holes. This will differ depending on the style of hurricane shutter you choose, with different shutter styles attaching at different points.
  4. Get the necessary tools and safety equipment, including a drill, screws, a ladder, safety glasses, and gloves.
  5. Place the shutter against the window opening and drill holes for the screws.
  6. Attach the shutter to your vinyl siding using screws.
  7. Repeat the process for each window.

Can I Install Hurricane Shutters Myself?

Depending on the complexity of your installation, experienced DIY enthusiasts may find that shutter installation is within their skillset. If your project meets the following conditions, you may be able to install hurricane shutters yourself:

  • You already have some DIY experience and skills.
  • You’re able to use lightweight shutter materials.
  • You choose a shutter style that’s easy to install.
  • You can use shutters that fit a standard size.
  • Your windows are easy to reach.

Make sure that you’ve prepared by learning how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl siding and feel confident that you have the skills, materials, and equipment to do the job correctly. Ultimately, if you aren’t sure, it’s safer to go with the professionals.

The last thing you want after investing in buying hurricane shutters for vinyl siding is to have them installed incorrectly. This could damage your siding and leave you unprotected against storms. You could even hurt yourself in the process. Good hurricane shutters can last for many years, and it’s not worth hurting yourself or your home to save some money, especially when you consider the cost over your shutters’ lifetime.

When to Let Professionals Handle Installing Hurricane Shutters on Vinyl Siding

If you’re unsure about your ability to install shutters properly yourself or face a more complex installation, it’s better to let the professionals handle it. If your project meets any of the conditions below, you are likely better off calling a professional installation company:

  • You do not have relevant DIY experience and skills.
  • You’re using heavier shutter materials.
  • You choose a shutter style that’s harder to install.
  • You have to use custom-sized shutters.
  • Your windows are hard to reach.

While some hurricane shutters are DIY-friendly, it may be best to let professionals handle the installation in more challenging cases, even if you generally know how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl siding. DIY installation can lead to potential risks and challenges, such as damaging the siding or not properly securing the shutters. If the shutters are not installed correctly, they may not provide the necessary protection during a storm.

Professional installation may be necessary in situations where the home has unique architecture or if the homeowner is not comfortable working at heights. For example, if the home has multiple stories or if the windows are located in hard-to-reach areas, it may be safer to hire a professional. Additionally, if you do not have experience with home improvement projects, it may be best to leave the installation to the professionals.

Overall, professional installation ensures that the hurricane shutters are properly sized and anchored, providing the necessary protection for your home and family.

Can You Hang Shutters on Vinyl Siding Without Drilling?

Yes, you can hang hurricane shutters on vinyl siding without drilling. One option is to use a track system that attaches to the siding with adhesive tape. Here is a general idea of the steps to follow:

  1. Measure the width of your windows and purchase a track system that fits.
  2. Purchase hurricane shutters that will fit and can be installed on a track system.
  3. Clean the area of the siding where the tracks will be attached with rubbing alcohol. Allow it to fully dry.
  4. Apply the adhesive tape to the back of the tracks and press firmly onto your vinyl siding.
  5. Attach the hurricane shutters to the tracks according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

This installation method can provide a secure way to protect your home without causing damage to your vinyl siding. However, it can limit your choice of hurricane shutters.

How Do You Install Hurricane Shutters Without Track?

If you do not want to install hurricane shutters on a track, you can do so by drilling holes. You can drill holes for your anchors, then attach the shutters to the anchors using screws.

This can be a more affordable option compared to using track-mounted shutters. It is also better suited to custom window sizes. Many homeowners also enjoy the added security of having shutters bolted directly to the wall.

Can You Use Shutter Spikes on Vinyl Siding?

Shutter spikes can be a great alternative to screws for installing hurricane shutters on vinyl siding. They are specifically designed to attach shutters to your home.

However, be aware that certain styles like board and batten shutters may require screws, as shutter spikes are too short to properly attach these shutters. Shutter spikes are also harder to remove than screws.

At What Point Do You Put Up Hurricane Shutters?

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it’s important to install hurricane shutters before a storm season hits. The best time to install your shutters will depend on your preferences and circumstances.

If you plan to leave your hurricane shutters up permanently, then the easiest time to install them is whenever your house is being built. This way, they can be factored into the design of your home from the beginning. However, if you decide later to add hurricane shutters, aim to get them up any time before hurricane season starts.

If you have reusable hurricane shutters for vinyl siding that you put up temporarily, then you can wait until just before the start of hurricane season to install them. Make sure you know how to install hurricane shutters on vinyl siding well in advance to avoid unexpected issues and delays. At the very latest, you should put them up once you know a storm is approaching. A tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued at least 48 hours in advance, and a tropical storm or hurricane warning is issued at least 36 hours in advance.

What Are the Disadvantages of Hurricane Shutters?

There is a lot that can go wrong with hurricane shutters for vinyl siding, and it is definitely worth understanding the risks and potential problems. However, as long as you choose effective hurricane shutters and you install, use, and maintain them properly, they should add an incredibly valuable layer of protection that ultimately outweighs their cost.


The initial costs can be high for installation, particularly if you’re using a third-party contractor to install bespoke shutters on a high story. Fortunately, if you’re using standard size shutters that do not require complex installation, then the costs will be lower.


Once installed, it is worth bearing in mind that hurricane shutters won’t fully prevent all hurricane damage every time. Like impact windows, they are just an added preventative measure to decrease the chances of serious window damages.

User Error

As part of your standard pre-hurricane checklist, alongside ensuring you’ve powered up your electrical devices and stored water, be sure to check each hurricane shutter is closed properly and fastened tight. User error can render even properly installed hurricane shutters ineffective.

If a shutter isn’t securely fastened, it is likely to come loose and flap in the wind. Although this may sound innocuous, the wind will catch the shutter like a sail and can cause serious damage, especially if the shutter is torn out of its brackets and becomes a flying projectile.


It is worth bearing in mind that hurricane shutters are often mounted to the trim around the windows or sometimes the siding itself. Whenever you make a hole in trim or siding, you are creating a possible leak risk.

Unlike other types of siding, vinyl siding requires special care during installation to avoid damaging the material. This can make the process of installing hurricane shutters on vinyl siding more time-consuming and costly.

Once your shutters are installed, be sure to check them every so often to see that there are no signs of leaking. If water gets into the framing of your house, or even just into the walls, you’ll quickly be looking at a serious and costly project.

How to Clean and Maintain Hurricane Shutters on Vinyl Siding

Once your hurricane shutters are installed, standard wear and tear can take a toll on them. Just as you need to wash your vinyl siding every so often to keep it looking fresh and clean, you’ll need to wash both sides of the hurricane shutters also, particularly after high winds or storms. This can help keep your shutters in good condition so they will last and protect you for longer.

To clean hurricane shutters, follow these steps:

  1. Start by using a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub your hurricane shutters, making sure to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Wash both sides of the shutters with a mild detergent and water.
  3. Rinse your hurricane shutters thoroughly with clean water.
  4. Let them dry completely, especially before storing them if they are temporary.

You should also inspect hurricane shutters regularly for any signs of wear and tear, especially after storms. Repair any damaged areas and replace any missing parts as soon as possible. Lubricating the hinges of your shutters with a silicone spray can also help keep them working smoothly.

If you live in a single-story home, upkeep and cleaning will be much more straightforward. But if your hurricane shutters cover second-story windows, access and maintenance will be more challenging.

Find the Best Hurricane Shutters for Vinyl Siding at Acadian

A house showing the end result of our experts installing hurricane shutters on vinyl siding

Adding hurricane shutters to a vinyl-sided house here in the South is not always a straightforward endeavor, and there are pitfalls and challenges which can cause long-term problems. Rather than rushing into any element of home improvement or maintenance, it is always worth taking the time to undertake comprehensive research before making a decision. 

Acadian Windows and Siding has been installing siding, doors, and windows throughout the Gulf Coast for several generations, and is proud of its status as the region’s premier window and siding company. As a Gulf Coast company, we’re well acquainted with the damage which storms and hurricanes can wreak on houses if they aren’t properly protected.  

Whether you’re looking to have hurricane shutters professionally installed, replace your siding with something fresher and newer, or install a high-end door that will add curb appeal and save on heating and cooling costs, contact us today to speak to one of our dedicated and experienced experts.