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Green Living Made Easy

How to Install a Wood-Core Aluminum Storm Door

Lower your utility bills and beautify your home with a wood-core aluminum storm door.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

Step 1: Remove the Glass and the Expander Sweep

The door for this project comes with a removable screen that replaces the glass during the summer.

Snap out the shipping clips from the new door and remove the screen and glass panel. Removing the glass will make the installation process safer and easier.

Set the door on its side, hinge-side on top, and remove the adjustable expander sweep.

removing glass panel will make installation safer

Step 2: Attach the Hinge Bar to the Door

Place the hinged Z-bar (Image 1) on the edge of the door. Let it run about 1/8" above the top of the door. The bottom of the hinged Z-bar will extend beyond the frame (Image 2) -- the extra part will be cut off later.

Use a center punch to attach the hinge bar to the door. Prepunch a hole at the top hinge and bottom hinges and attach the hinges to the door with screws provided by the manufacturer (Image 3).

Step 3: Measure and Cut the Hinge Bar

Measure the hinge side of the door opening from the inside of the molding to the threshold (Image 1); transfer this measurement to the hinged Z-bar (Image 2). Cut the bar to length using a hacksaw (Image 3).

Step 4: Secure the Top and Bottom of the Door

Set the door into its proper position (Image 1) -- it helps to have two people for this part of the process. Once the door is lined up in the frame, secure it along the outside frame with the screws (Image 2). For now, secure only the top and bottom screws on the frame. This will enable you to make additional adjustments later if necessary.

Step 5: Attach the Drip Cap

Once the frame is attached to the brick-mold, open the door and attach the top Z-bar channel to the molding at the top of the doorframe. This is the drip cap -- a J-shaped strip designed to channel away water that runs down the side of the house.

open door and attach z bar to brick mold

Step 6: Cut and Attach the Latch-Side Z-Bar

Measure the latch side of the door for the latch-side Z-bar (Image 1). Transfer the measurement to the Z-bar and cut it to length with a hack saw.

Attach the inside of the hinged Z-bar loosely to the molding (Image 2) and test the swing of the door. Adjust the Z-bars as necessary to ensure a good fit and secure all of the screws. Be careful not to overtighten as it could cause the Z-bar to bend.

Step 7: Install the Deadbolt Latch

Most manufacturers include a template to simplify this part of the job. The template adheres to the door and shows where to drill the holes (Image 1). The placement of the template is important -- be aware of the location of the entrance door's handle and be certain that the storm-door handle won't interfere with it.

With the template in place, mark the holes for the hardware. Set the holes using a center punch. Using a 5/16" bit, drill the prepunched holes (Image 2). Follow it with a 7/8" spade bit to drill a hole for the deadbolt assembly (Image 3). Connect the interior and exterior latch through the door with the screws provided.

Line up the striker-plate to make sure it's even with the latch (Image 4); mark the striker-plate and screw it into place. Test the door and make sure it fastens properly.

Step 8: Install the Expander Sweep

To install the bottom expander sweep, start by separating the expander spline. Slide the spline into the expander track (Image 1) and place the expander sweep up to the door so that the bottom of it just touches the threshold (Image 2). Prepunch the door and attach the expander sweep to the door with screws (Image 3).

Step 9: Reinstall the Glass

Set the glass panel back into the frame and insert the vinyl retainers to hold the glass in place.

reinstall the glass panel

Step 10: Attach the Closer

Install the closer hardware and test the door to see how it closes; adjust the tension on the closer as necessary.

dual closer has closing device at top and bottom