Installing a Storm Door: What You Should Know

Learn the basic functions, plus preparation and planning tips, for adding a screen door to your home.



Storm doors are one of the most practical and useful door types you’ll find at a home’s entry. Designed as an additional outer door, they protect traditional exterior doors in bad weather and cooler temperatures. They can also offer additional insulation thus preventing air from escaping or entering your home. Storm doors can protect the exterior side of the entry door from the elements, scratches and nicks; plus, they can offer an another level of protection between your home and the outdoors for added security. 

Storm doors are made to close automatically, so you don’t run the risk of them being left open. However, they do feature a mechanism that allows you to hold the door open in place when needed. They may feature full or partial glass panels or even screens. This allows homeowners to leave their main entry door open to enjoy the view and light — or even a breeze — on a warm, sunny day. Storm doors are manufactured with either a right-hand open or a left-hand open. Be sure to check that the model correlates with your entry door before selecting and purchasing one. You’ll also want to make sure your home’s door opening has enough room to install a storm door. Some exterior doors are placed at the edge of the jamb, leaving no room for a storm door install. 

There are a number of entries around your home where a storm door might be a particularly beneficial feature. For instance, at a front entrance a storm door can allow more natural light into a home while giving additional security. Similarly, at a back or side door a storm door can offer security as well as protection from the outside and the elements. If you have a fenced backyard where pets roam freely, storm doors may also protect the exterior of the entry door from being scratched. 

If you plan to purchase a storm door, know that the non-glass portion of the door is usually made from aluminum and features a low-maintenance finish. The core of the door may be solid or have foam insulation. 

Since they are the first line of defense against outside elements, storm doors do require some maintenance to keep them performing at their peak. Each season check to see that the hinges are properly oiled and the latches are in proper working order. You’ll also want to use glass cleaner or soap and water to keep them looking their best. 

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