Sidewalk bolts are attachment hardware used for installing hurricane panels and shutters. They are easy to install, which makes them particularly useful for the do-it-yourselfer. The sidewalk bolts are also convenient to take in and out repeatedly, and are not diminished in strength by this process like some other attachment methods. Lead sidewalk bolts are attached to a home exterior by using female anchors, which are screws that are drilled into a house and leave an opening for the attachment of sidewalk bolts. This process requires the use of a special drill bit for the installation of the female anchors.
- Stud finder
- Hurricane panels, shutters or tracks
- Hammer drill
- Wood or masonry drill bit
- Female anchor drill bit
- Female anchors
Pass a stud finder over the attachment wall if it is a wood-framed wall. Mark the location of wood studs or window framing within the wall in the areas where the panel will be installed. Skip this step if installing into a masonry or block wall.
Hold hurricane panels, tracks or shutters up against the wall over the window where they will be installed. Mark each of the attachment holes in the wall. Position the holes over the marked studs if installing into a wood-framed wall.
Drill into each hole using a hammer drill on the hammer setting for masonry walls and the drill setting for wood-framed walls. Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than the screw threads on the female anchors you will be using. Use a drill bit appropriate for the wall materials, either a wood drill bit or a masonry drill bit.
Position a female anchor within each hole and set the appropriate female anchor drill bit in the drill. Tighten each female anchor into place, reversing the direction of the drill if no progress seems to be being made. Continue to tighten the female anchors until the head of each anchor is flush against the outside surface of the wall.
Position the hurricane panels, tracks or shutters in their spots on the wall. Set sidewalk bolts through the attachment holes and into the female anchors. Tighten them thoroughly with the drill.