Connect with us

Home Improvement

Choices in Hurricane Window Protection



Hurricane shutters are the most economical, therefore the most popular solution chosen by homeowners. However, hurricane impact windows and doors are also very popular because of the added benefits of convenience, security enhancement, better energy efficiency, sound proofing and its attractiveness over shutters. The least expensive system is plywood or panels; these offer great protection, but take a great deal of time to install.

Your considerations: Cost, appearance, and convenience (this one is often under estimated).

First, understand what it is your protecting: it’s not just the shards of glass from the broken window that are dangerous – having your roof blown off will really get your attention. During a hurricane, the strong wind that blows over your home creates a ‘lift’ effect on your roof. If a window or door opening is blown open during the storm, this creates an additional upward ‘push’ on the roof, thus doubling or tripling the lifting effect. This is how roofs are blown off.

Here are the vitals on your choices for hurricane window protection for your home.

Myth Buster- Window Film and a little info on Impact Windows:

Window film can reduce the sun’s damaging rays into your home and it is promoted to be a theft deterrent. It may also very well reduce the chance for shards of glass to go flying through your home in the event of a hurricane, but do you really think slapping a thin piece of film on your existing windows is going to keep your roof on in the event of a hurricane? By comparison, impact windows are almost three times as thick as regular window glass. Hurricane windows are made up of two layers of glass and sandwiched between these layers of glass is a strong tear resistant interlayer (film) that keeps the glass together in the event it is broken. They are much like the windshield of automobiles.

A key factor in the strength of impact windows is how the glass & interlayer are VERY securely attached to a reinforced frame (both mechanically and through the use of industrial adhesives) so the impact glass does NOT detached even under extreme pressure. The goal is to establish hurricane window protection for all openings (whether one does this through the use of hurricane shutters or impact windows, or a combination of the two) and keep the openings sealed so as to not cause a change in pressure inside the home thus blowing off the roof. The idea of putting hurricane window film on a regular window with its lightweight frame and expecting it to even remotely resemble a Miami-Dade approved impact window is ridiculous. Yes, it would be better than nothing, but your money would be better spent on plywood.

Plywood Shutters ($2 – $4 / sq. ft.):

A popular and effective choice, installing plywood shutters to fit snugly inside the window or door frame is an efficient and affordable option for homeowners. These shutters were effective even in the highest winds of Hurricane Andrew, and are relatively easy to install. If you are going to use this method, the plywood needs to be 5/8″ to 3/4″ thick, and since it takes a lot of time to prepare, it should be cut to size way before we have a storm bearing down on us.


    Most inexpensive of all hurricane protective systems Strong and can provide excellent protection


    Require storage, but can be stacked Heavy and difficult to handle, hanging may require more than one person Require the most time to install Not a safe option for 2 story homes

Storm Prep: 20 – 25 minutes per window (if pre-cut); 5 to 8 hours for an average home

Storm panel hurricane shutters ($5 – $8 / sq. ft.):

Another popular and effective choice, these hurricane shutters are typically steel or aluminum corrugated panels that attach to the walls around windows and doors. There are several mounting methods using either pre-mounted tracks and bolts or just bolts.


    Most inexpensive of the ‘permanent’ hurricane shutter systems Strong and can provide excellent protection Can be installed by a handy DIY


    Require storage, but can be stacked Can be heavy and difficult to handle, hanging may require more than one person Time consuming – other than plywood, these require the 2nd most time to install Have sharp edges – can be dangerous Not a convenient option for 2 story homes

Storm Prep: 15 – 20 minutes per window; 4 to 6 hours for an average home

Accordion Hurricane Shutters ($15 – $18 / sq. ft.):

Accordion hurricane shutters are attached directly to your home at the window or door opening, folded up when they are not in use and easily unfolded, accordion-style when you need to cover and protect the opening during a storm.


    Easily deployable by one person when they are needed. Permanently attached next to the window, don’t require storage. Some can be locked and may be used as a theft deterrent.


    Bulky and not attractive. Seriously consider aesthetics before purchasing these. More mechanical parts, so may require more maintenance than other devices.

Storm Prep: 30 minutes for an entire home

Colonial and Bahama Hurricane Shutters ($18 – $28 / sq. ft.):

These are louvered hurricane shutters that attach directly to the wall beside or above the windows


    Permanently attached next to, or above the window, don’t require storage. Easily deployable by one person when they are needed. Since they are decorative they can beautify the home as well as protect it.


    Cannot be used as protection for doors, must be combined with another system. Designs and style may limit their use.

Storm Prep: 30 minutes to an hour for an entire home

Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters ($35 – $55 / sq. ft.):

These hurricane shutters attach permanently above the window in an enclosed box when they are not in use and roll down, either manually with a hand crank or electronically by motor, when you need them.


    Permanently attached next to, or above the window, don’t require storage. Easily deployable by one person when they are needed. Since they can be locked, they make an excellent theft deterrent.


    One of the most expensive systems. Requires a battery backup so they can be operated during power outages.

Storm Prep: Minimal, easiest of the hurricane shutter systems

Impact Windows ($40 – $55+ / sq. ft.):

Hurricane impact windows can withstand hurricane debris and completely eliminate the need for hurricane shutters. It costs more to retrofit an existing home, but is most cost effective if a homeowner is considering replacing old windows anyway. This is the most value added of the hurricane window protection systems, since impact windows also improve energy efficiency, are an excellent theft deterrent, provide sound deadening from outside noises, as well as give your home hurricane window protection in the event of a storm. Further, adding new impact windows is likely to increase the value of your home, more so than with any of the other hurricane protective systems.


    Eliminates the need for hurricane shutters Great for people with 2nd homes- the home is hurricane ready all the time. Excellent theft deterrent, nearly impossible to break through the glass. Added value of sound deadening & energy efficiency over regular windows.


    Like roll-down shutters, this is one of the most expensive systems.

Storm Prep: NONE


Keep in mind that if the aesthetics of shutters is bothering you, but the cost of impact windows is nearly out of reach, you can always combine the two. Install impact windows on the front, and possibly the sides of your home. Then protect the window openings that are cannot be seen from the street with shutters.

And don’t underestimate the hassle of installing shutters every time there is a hurricane warning. I frequently go out to do estimates for impact windows on homes that have shutter panels because the homeowner is tired of dealing with installing them.

Finally, if your existing windows are in need of replacement because they are old, I encourage you to retrofit them with impact windows since the cost difference between non-impact windows with hurricane shutters versus only impact windows is marginal.

Once you have narrowed your choices to what type of hurricane window protection system is best for your situation, talk to an expert to help you in your final selection. Depending on which of the above systems best suits you, be it hurricane shutters or impact windows, there are many different style choices, and manufacturers who offer different options. Window contractors are your best experts. How to find one? Ideally, get one who is referred to you by a family member, neighbor or a friend. If they have done a good job for them, this person can provide you with a wealth of knowledge that has been learned over the years. If you must select a contractor you find online, check out their references (at least 5), call them, and go look at the contractor’s work.

Home Improvement

Beautiful Wooden Gift Ideas 2022



Beautiful Wooden Gift Ideas 2022

One of the best gifts to get someone is a gift that can remain on display for years to come, like a well-built wooden present. But exactly which types of ideas will make the right impact on your loved one? 

If you’re trying to show your love and appreciation for someone else, here are a few beautiful wooden gift ideas worth adding to your shopping list. 

Celebrate and Memorialize With Personalized Signs

There’s always something to celebrate in your loved ones’ lives. In some cases, this may be an achievement like graduating college, moving to a new home to start a family, or even getting the job of their dreams. Of course, there are also difficult occasions that we may wish to memorialize and work through collectively, such as the passing of a loved one or a pet in the family. 

Hardwood signs fit well into almost any space and allow you to forever capture these moments that are important in our lives. Personalized hardwood gifts like these can easily be hung or displayed proudly on a shelf as a token of your appreciation for that person and all that they represent to you. Every time they look at their gift, they’ll think fondly of both what it represents and the person who gave it to them!

Capture Moments Forever With Stunning Picture Frames

Immortalizing your favorite moments with your loved ones framed perfectly in your favorite picture frames can be a great way to grow your connection with those closest to you. Whether you’re a fan of natural wood products or recycled wood products (a better option for those who are eco-friendly in your family or friend group), there are plenty of great products out there designed for any space. 

Decorations and Ornaments


Image URL:

Small wooden crafts are great gifts to get those who want to spruce up their space and have something

sentimental around that they can cherish. For example, if their indoor plants are looking a bit bare, wooden ornaments that can hold a photo or feature an important date can be a great present to give them that they can use year after year. 

Furniture and Decorations

If you’re looking for something that can be used throughout the year instead, there are tons of wooden items that will be greatly appreciated. These include children’s toys or benches, small personalized wooden coasters or trays, or even items they can hang around the house like clocks.

If your budget is a bit higher, you may want to invest in some nice furniture or extravagant pieces like a Grandfather clock that they’ve been looking to buy for themselves. Items don’t have to be expensive to be thoughtful, but these gifts are sure to be greatly appreciated and taken care of for years to come. Put simply, the only limit to what type of decorations and trinkets you can get for your loved one is your imagination! 

Wood Is Timeless and Sturdy, Just Like Your Love!

Finding great presents that are thoughtful, functional, and well-built can feel like a difficult feat. However, wooden gifts meet all of these requirements, giving your loved ones something that they can enjoy and display for years to come. That being said, there are so many great ideas out there that it can be hard to sift through all of the wonderful suggestions and find something that pertains to your relationship with family, friends, or your partner. 

If you’re ready to give those closest to you a gift that represents your love and dedication, use some of the beautiful wooden gift ideas above as inspiration to build your shopping list. No matter what type of gift you decide to give them, the thought and quality of your present is sure to put a smile on their face!

Continue Reading

Home Improvement

The Joys of Living in Luxury Apartments



Texas developer pays $15M for site of planned apartments in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood

You’re tired of living in your small, boring, and white-walled apartment, but you don’t want to purchase a home that requires a lot of work. You’ve heard of luxury apartments and their amazing features. So, are they everything they say they are? Look at these reasons you need to choose a luxury apartment for your next home.

9 Reasons Why You Need to Upgrade Your Home

  1. You’re Always in a Prime Location

Luxury apartments are usually in the heart of booming businesses or swanky suburbs and offer a lot of walkability. Many times you can rent a luxury apartment next to parks or trails, while also being nearby your citi’s hottest shopping and entertainment districts. 

Big Bonus: Most luxury apartments have 24-mini markets and complimentary coffee bars, so you can stay home when you really want to. 

  1. Your Pets are Treated With Prestige

There are pet-friendly apartments, and then there are luxury apartments where your pet is considered a resident. For instance, you won’t find private bark parks or paw spas in basic apartment complexes. 

Big Bonus: Leasing teams in luxury apartments put residents first, which is why most have treats and bandanas waiting for your dog when you’re done spending quality time using their pet-friendly amenities.

  1. A Great Place for Work and Play

If you’re like most people, you need to work at some point. With today’s ever increasing remote work, luxury apartments are the best place to earn your paycheck from home. Not only do floor plans provide ample space for a home office, they also have community features like multipurpose meeting rooms for business and entertaining.

Big Bonus: The floor plans in luxury apartments are thoughtfully designed and offer uniquely elegant features. For example, you might find pop-out desks, under-counter beverage coolers, and smart home features.

  1. There’s Nothing Like Summer in Luxury Apartments

Summer amenities are definitely something to behold when you live in downtown apartments or apartments nestled in the suburbs. That’s because they always have stunning and breathtaking pools. Spend your time soaking up the sun in submerged loungers on a rooftop pool with stunning views.

Big Bonus: Luxury apartments don’t stop at the pool. They often feature extravagant private cabanas, hot tubs, summer kitchens, and outdoor televisions.

  1. You Definitely Won’t Need a Gym Membership

The fitness facilities in luxury apartments are top-of-the-line, and include many pieces of equipment you wouldn’t find in basic apartment complex gyms, like rowing machines and cycle studios. Many luxury apartments also offer a separate space for yoga and other group fitness classes.

Big Bonus: Luxury apartments often have outdoor fitness areas, too. You might rent apartments that feature golf courses, pickleball and tennis courts, or even supply community bicycles so you can explore your neighborhood with ease.

  1. They Go Above and Beyond With Entertainment

When you live in regular apartments, you might get a clubhouse with comfortable seating. However, the entertainment and community spaces in luxury apartments have entertainment features that make you feel you live in a resort. You’ll find things like media lounges and pool tables to fill your free time.

Big Bonus: Most luxury apartment properties have monthly resident events where you can sip on craft cocktails, play games, and get to know your neighbors.

  1. You Won’t Find a Better Way to Relax

You’ve worked the day away, tackled your fitness routine, and now it’s time to relax. Thankfully, luxury apartments have your back, literally. Most luxe properties have private day spas and massage rooms for you to reserve at your convenience. 

Big Bonus: You get a golden glow for free in your luxury apartment complex, because many have tanning beds. Some super luxe properties even offer spray tans, so you can be bronzed for summer.

  1. Don’t Worry About a Hotel Room for Your Guests

One of the worst parts about having friends and family in town to visit is that they have to stay in a hotel. When you rent a luxury apartment, you’ll most likely have a guest suite available for your loved ones. That way, you can spend more time together and less time traveling back and forth.

Big Bonus: How many times have you arrived at your basic apartment complex only to have zero parking available? Most luxury apartment complexes offer reserved and covered parking for your vehicle.

  1. Your Valuables Are Always Secure

Luxury apartments use state-of-the-art security equipment to keep you and your things safe. This means you can find cameras monitoring every inch of the property and smart locks to ensure only residents have access to your building.

Big Bonus: Luxury apartments realize that meal delivery services are a great way to get a fresh and fast meal. That’s why many offer cold storage package rooms, so you don’t have to worry about your food spoiling while you’re away.

Are Luxury Apartments Worth It?

Absolutely! If you’re a person looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle and incredible perks, then you won’t find a better home than a luxury apartment, because they have the space and features to facilitate a carefree life. The only choice you need to make is which property has the amenities you need to live your best life! 

Continue Reading

Home Improvement

Tips for Buying BBQ Covers and Maintaining Them for BBQ Season



teak 172642 1920

BBQs are a great way to cook food in your backyard. Investing in BBQ covers will help keep them clean for the season.

1) BBQ Grill Covers

Protect BBQ grills from dust, sunlight, and other environmental elements. If you have a BBQ cover, make sure it is large enough to fit over your BBQ grill in case of wind or rainstorm. Measure before buying! If not, then buy an enclosure that can be used with a BBQ grill & go for additional protection.

2) BBQ Gas Grill Covers –

It’s best to get one that matches the size of your gas BBQ, so if you get one that fits perfectly, it will protect better against elements like wind and moisture than a one that is too large or too small.

3) BBQ Portable Grill Covers

When the BBQ grill is not in use, get a BBQ portable grill cover to protect it against dust and debris. If you live in an area where there are lots of storms, make sure the BBQ portable grill cover has vents for water drainage to avoid rusting on the BBQ.

4) BBQ Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your BBQ grills regularly will help them last longer. Try using steel wool for cleaning cast iron BBQ grills, while brass brushes can be used on stainless steel surfaces. If gas BBQs are exposed to moisture during storage, remove the propane tanks and let them dry out completely before reattaching them to avoid corrosion inside the BBQ.

5) BBQ Cover Safety Tips

If you are using a BBQ cover for the first time, make sure to disinfect them by washing them with water and mild soap or hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it dry completely before putting it on your BBQ grill. If you are storing BBQ covers away during the summer season, always let them dry out fully before packing them up, especially if they have been exposed to moisture during storage.

With BBQ season just around the corner, barbecuing enthusiasts are getting ready to fire up their charcoal and gas grills. If you’re looking for a protective cover for your BBQ grill, you can get one designed specifically for your BBQ type at. These high-quality BBQ covers will protect your barbecue from the elements and keep it in great shape so that you can use it all summer long.

However, if you want to get the most out of your BBQ cover and prolong its life, here are 10 tips:

Let it air dry after cleaning

Protect it from direct sunlight

Remove any dirt or debris before putting on the BBQ cover

Clean stains immediately to prevent them from setting

Do not overfill the BBQ cover

Don’t drag the BBQ cover on rough surfaces

Custom-fit covers are more likely to fit better and last longer

Always dry off your BBQ before putting it into a BBQ cover

When using a BBQ rotisserie, place a BBQ grill mat under the spit or skewers to prevent black marks on the BBQ cover

Maintain your BBQ’s original shape by taking off any clips or strings from inside the BBQ cover.

Choosing a high-quality BBQ cover is essential to protecting your barbecue from damage due to elements such as water, dirt, debris, and sun exposure. That being said, since most barbecues are stored outside during use, they can be prone to damage from rain and moisture. If you’re looking for BBQ covers that can withstand rain and moisture, look for BBQ covers labeled as water-resistant or water-proof. BBQ covers are generally made from vinyl, nylon, or other synthetic materials.

If your BBQ grill is in need of some tender love and care to get it ready for BBQ season can help. From BBQ accessories such as BBQ rotisseries and containers to BBQ tools such as tongs and spatulas, they have all the BBQ supplies you need to keep your barbecue beautiful so that it will be a great addition to your outdoor cooking experience all year long!


With BBQ season just around the corner, BBQ enthusiasts are getting ready to fire up their charcoal and gas grills. However, if you’re looking for a protective BBQ grill cover that can withstand rain and moisture, look for BBQ covers labeled as water-resistant or water-proof. BBQ covers are generally made from vinyl, nylon or other synthetic materials. If your BBQ is in need of some tender love and care to get it ready for BBQ season can help. They have all the BBQ supplies you need to keep your barbecue beautiful so that it will be a great addition to your outdoor cooking experience all year long!

Continue Reading