Find out why you should make plywood hurricane shutters well before you will need them. Use hanger bolts so that you have bolts on the windows that are ready to receive the shutters mounted into the window trim. Make the shutters to fit the windows and mark each one so you know which window it goes to. Finally, store them in a place where you can get them easily.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Winston in Florida who’s looking for some hurricane-proof shutters .
Winston, did you lose some this season?
WINSTON: Well, actually, I didn’t lose shutters. I needed shutters at the time because three hurricanes  passed through our area and did a number on us.
LESLIE: So you’re looking for something that will close and protect your window?
WINSTON: Absolutely. I’m looking for something more – I was wondering whether or not it would be more feasible to have wooden shutters that we would put up as against galvanized or perhaps the accordion shutters.
TOM: OK, now the metal shutters that are permanently installed, those are pretty expensive. Are you looking for an inexpensive alternative?
WINSTON: Yeah, I was pretty much seeing whether or not it would be more economical to put the wooden or sort of a plywood type where you would form it to the contour of the window.
WINSTON: The galvanized one that you would just slip into the track and just bolt it down.
TOM: Yeah, I think probably the least expensive alternative is to simply make homemade, wooden, plywood shutters. Now the way to do that – and by the way, the time to do that is now.
LESLIE: Well especially because with all the hurricanes last season, there was a real shortage of plywood in Florida. I know people were waiting hours and hours just to try to get one sheet.
TOM: Exactly. And the way I would do it is I would make the plywood shutters now, to fit. You can use hanger bolts so that you have bolts on the windows that are ready to receive them mounted into the window trim. And you make the shutters to fit the windows right now. You mark each shutter, what window it goes to so that there’s no confusion. Because remember, when the hurricane warning sounds, you want to be able to shutter them up very quickly. So make them now. The wind’s not blowing the sheets out of your hands. Store them in a place where you can get them. Mark each one exactly where it goes and then you will be completely repaired when the storm hits. You’ll have your shutters up in no time and then you can spend the rest of that time helping the neighbors that’ll no doubt be struggling to get theirs up.
WINSTON: That is absolutely true. The other thing I was thinking of is moisture. As you know, wood would absorb moisture. Now when it comes to durability, that will just last for a couple of years, I suppose.
TOM: Well you’re not going to leave them up for a couple of years. You’re only going to put them up for the storm. And a little-known fact about plywood is that all of the glue that’s used to make plywood is exterior glue. So plywood is not – it used to be you buy interior plywood or exterior plywood. It’s all exterior plywood today. And it can get wet and then it can get dry and it’s going to last you several years. If you want to prolong it even longer, you could paint  the sheets of plywood. But if you’re going to do that, I would suggest that you buy the sheets of plywood; paint them first – make sure you prime them and paint them first; then cut them to fit and the last thing you’ll need to do is to paint the edges.
WINSTON: OK, thank you so much.
TOM: Thank you so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.