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Plywood is NOT Impact Rated

As the season is coming to an end we want to keep our guys busy.  We are now offering this product at an extremely reduced price for a limited time.

From 8/19/13 until 9/6/13 you will be able to purchase this time saving, space saving, house saving product for $9.75 a square foot installed!

Call us for a free, no pressure, informative estimate at [adwords_phone]

Mention to receive this special offer.

Hello! This is James Godwin with Grand Floridian Shutter Systems.  If you have come to this site you are looking for storm protection information.  You have come to the right place.  This page is dedicated to dispelling a common myth that plywood – even installed to code – is impact rated.  Put simply, it is not. So lets get started.

Under Florida’s Building Code ( ) Chapter 16, section 1609.1.2, plywood is given an exception to meeting the ASTM E 1996 High Impact Large Missile Test Standard that ALL of our products have to meet.

1609.1.2 Protection of openings.

Glazed openings in buildings located in wind-borne debris regions shall be protected from wind-borne debris. Glazed opening protection for wind-borne debris shall meet the requirements of SSTD 12, ASTM E 1886 and ASTM E 1996, ANSI/DASMA 115 (for garage doors and rolling doors) or TAS 201, 202 and 203 or AAMA 506 referenced therein.

1. Glazed openings located within 30 feet (9.1 m) of grade shall meet the requirements of the large missile test of ASTM E 1996.

2. Glazed openings located more than 30 feet (9.1 m) above grade shall meet the provisions of the small missile test of ASTM E 1996.

3. Storage sheds that are not designed for human habitation and that have a floor area of 720 square feet (67 m2) or less are not required to comply with the mandatory windborne debris impact standards of this code.

4. Openings in sunrooms, balconies or enclosed porches constructed under existing roofs or decks are not required to be protected provided the spaces are separated from the building interior by a wall and all openings in the separating wall are protected in accordance with Section 1609.1.2 above. Such spaces shall be permitted to be designed as either partially enclosed or enclosed structures.


1. Wood structural panels with a minimum thickness of 7/16 inch (11.1 mm) and maximum panel span of 8 feet (2438 mm) shall be permitted for opening protection in one- and two-story buildings classified as Group R-3 or R-4 occupancy…

So what does this mean?  Testing has shown that plywood installed to code will mitigate wind pressure if installed to code.  But, it is exempt from impact testing.  It is exempt because it cannot pass the rigorous testing that all hurricane impact rated products have to meet.

Our Storm Catcher Wind Abatement screens are the answer to this problem.

  • Wind Abatement Screens are Large Missile Impact Rated, and tested to withstand design pressures of +100/-100 psf (that’s close to 200mph winds!)  
  • They weigh 10 ounces a square yard (that’s seven pounds for a garage door opening)!
  • They fold like blankets for storage.
  • The screens come with a ten year installation and manufacturers warranty.
  • All the fasteners in your home are stainless steel, weather sealed, and permanent allowing for a tool-less, quick installation.
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4th Annual WJHG Grand Floridian Shutters Hurricane Protection Giveaway – July 8th through July 28th

2012 Hurricane Protection Winner

Our fourth annual Grand Floridian Hurricane Protection Giveaway with WJHG News channel 7 has begun!

We are giving away as the Grand Prize an entire home protection package valued at $7,800.00!

Runner-up prizes include free installations (up to a $1,400.00 value), and free wind mitigation inspections ($125.00 value).

This package includes 650 square feet of Wind Screen Abatement fabric for window and door protection.   This prize includes full installation of the product and a ten year Grand Floridian Protection Promise that covers installation.  Upon completion of the installation we will perform a State Certified Wind Mitigation Inspection that can lower your homeowners insurance and save you hundreds of dollars a year, every year.

The Wind Screen Abatement Fabric is large missile impact rated and will withstand wind speeds in excess of a category 5 hurricane.  The fabric does not rip or tear, the edges are folded over five times and triple seamed, and it comes with a ten year manufacturers warranty.   All this and the protection only weighs 10 ounces per square yard.  A panel protecting an opening the size of a 16’x7′ garage door would only weigh 8 pounds!  That’s a lot better than 40-50 pounds for a half inch sheet of plywood!

So, don’t wait!  Sign up for the Grand Floridian Hurricane Protection Giveaway at and Stop the Storm for FREE!

Stopping the Storm,



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It’s Hurricane Season – Who can you Trust?


The 2013 Hurricane season is upon us.  It’s time to wrestle with the idea of putting up plywood again or purchase hurricane rated products that meet your needs.  You have looked and there are a handful of companies out there that offer various services to protect your assets.  There is a lot of information out there.  What these companies are selling is a product that you have to rely on when it counts the most.  Hurricane protection is unlike any other service performed on your home.  A roofer installs a new roof, a plumber installs a faucet, or an electrician installs a new chandelier.  If any of these installations are of poor quality you know it right away or soon there after.  Hurricane protection is the one installation that you have to trust during one of the most violently destructive events in nature.  So, who do you trust?  These three steps will help you efficiently separate the wheat from the chaff.

In the State of Florida there are two types of state recognized product approvals; Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA) or the  State of Florida Product Approval Number (FL#).  Ask your contractor to produce these.  If the product being sold to you does not carry either of these numbers it is not state recognized, it cannot be permitted as hurricane protection, it will not count towards insurance discounts, and its performance would be uncertain during a storm event.  Miami-Dade NOA is only required for certain geographic regions in South Florida called the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ).  The Panhandle of Florida does not require Miami-Dade NOA.

Because hurricane installation is such an important service The State of Florida has required all companies offering installation of hurricane products to be licensed contractors.  Licensed contractors are responsible for their contracts and the permits they pull.  License numbers have to be displayed on all advertising by law.  If you do not see a license number associated with their company they are not contractors.  If you have any questions about a contractor you can always call your local building department and ask.

The number one way to protect yourself from a bad install is to ask to see the engineering.   This conversation should take less than a couple of minutes with engineering in hand.  Ask the contractor the fastener spacing, depth, and the type of fasteners approved for your product.  Make sure THAT FASTENER is what shows up on your jobsite!  100% of the jobs I have repaired or replaced in the past year have NOT BEEN TO CODE!  The storm shutters you attach to your structure are only as good as the attachment and the attachment is the sole responsibility of the installing contractor.

Stopping the Storm,


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Hurricane Shutters – Self Insurance

Hurricane Sandy is still in the news!  Why is that?  The Department of Financial Services is holding seminars on Staten Island, NY explaining how to get homeowner claims paid almost 6 months later!!  Just because you are insured does not mean it will be smooth sailing to repair or replace your home after a hurricane damages it.

Hurricane shutters are a great form of self insurance.  Avoid the damage to avoid the claims.  By installing hurricane shutters or storm panels on your home you are drastically reducing the risk of a claim.  With that reduced risk comes peace of mind.  When that named storm starts heading towards the Panhandle do you want to feel helpless or secure?  Having a hurricane protection product that has been put through rigorous testing, certified by the State of Florida, and installed by an experienced licensed contractor is peace of mind.  Scrambling for whatever plywood is left at the lumber yards to do a last minute install is not a good feeling.

Hurricane protection in the form of shutters or impact windows is one of the few things you can retrofit to your home that has a definite return on investment.  Wind insurance rates can be reduced by up to 60% by installing large missile impact tested products!  All of our products are large missile impact tested.  From the Stormcatcher Wind Abatement Screens, Accordion Shutters, Aluminum Rolldown Shutters, to Bahama and Colonial Shutters – they all qualify for the maximum discount you can get on your wind insurance.  After the home is fully protected your insurance rates will immediately be discounted.  Not only will you have a return on your investment but you will have that peace of mind that you are protected from the storm and the claims that may follow.

Keeping the Storm Out,


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Come meet Grand Floridian Shutters and Pella Windows at the Home Expo!

BBIA EXPO croped

Grand Floridian Shutter Systems will be hosting a booth in conjunction with Pella Windows at the 2013 Bay Building Industries Home Expo.  The Expo will be held February 16 – 17 at the Holley Center on the Florida State University-Panama City Campus.

It is time to start thinking about the 2013 storm season.  It is only 4 months away!  After the near miss last year with Issac and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, this is the perfect time to find out what your protection options are and to win a free Florida Certified Wind Mitigation Inspection ($125 value), product discounts, or Free Installation valued up to $2,500.00!

A Wind Mitigation Inspection gives the homeowner an idea of how the State of Florida estimates the storm damage risk of your property.  A completed Wind Mitigation Form may apply discounts to your homeowners insurance simply by officially recognizing structural components that are already in place.


For more information on the upcoming Bay Building Industries Association HOME EXPO visit or call (850) 784-0232.

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Win Free Hurricane Protection from Grand Floridian Shutters and WJHG!

Win Free Hurricane Protection from Grand Floridian Shutters and WJHG!

We have partnered again WJHG the local NBC affiliate in Panama City Beach, FL and we are giving away a entire house’s worth of windscreen abatements. They’re rated to Florida Building Code and will give your home serious hurricane protection.

Click here to register before June 1, 2012!

The drawing will be on June 1, 2012. The giveaway will include all the materials and labor. We will also be giving the winner a free wind mitigation inspection for their insurance so they can take advantage of the saving up to 70% on their wind insurance.. Grand Floridian Shutters’ windscreen abatement devise is a new technology in the hurricane protection industry. It has Florida product approval to meet the latest adopted building codes.

Why is being code approved important? Florida statues require that all hurricane protection devises must meet the 2010 Building Code and be permitted and installed by a licensed contractor. We are using this product for the giveaway because it can be engineered to retrofit nearly every home, whether it has wood siding, brick or stucco. It can easily be put up and down by nearly anyone that can use a screw driver. It weighs less than 2 pounds per square yard, so it is very easy to handle. It stores easily in a bag. It does not change the way your home looks. We use a female fastener with a color matched insert to makes the fasteners nearly disappear when the panels are not deployed. The screen has two main features, making it one of the best ways to protect you home. It has exceptional abilities to stop the pressurization of your home during a storm. It is designed to protect the opening and does not depend on the glass or door it covers to keep the high winds out.

Why is it important to stop pressurization? The pressurization of a home is where catastrophic damage takes place. If you do not have protection and a window is broken the home can be pressurized to a point where the roof can be blown off the walls from the rapid increased inside wind pressures. Our windscreen abatement is designed to work whether glass is there or not. This is the weak point of many other shutter systems they depend on the shutter to protect the glass to keep the high winds out of your home. The weak point is when a large missile slams into your home and crushes the shutter to a point that the glass is broken and the pressurization starts to build up in your home. The Grand Floridian Shutters’ windscreen abatement is designed to work whether the window or door is there. It takes a 100 mph wind and reduces the wind to 3 mph on the interior side of the shutter. The second key attribute that makes this type of protection is the windscreen catches the large missile and flexes it to discharge the energy to protect you and the interior of the home. If you would like more information click here or call our office (850)270-3322 for a free in home consultation.