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Installing an Storm Door

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There are many reasons to install a storm door. It can help keep your home insulated in the winter (with thick, clip-on, tempered glass panels) and airflow open in the summer. With the many available designs, it can even add to curb appeal.

Choose Your Door

Before you go door shopping, measure the doorframe you'll be putting it in. You don't want to choose a door, only to get it home and realize it doesn't fit. Once you have your measurements, you can head out to your local hardware store to pick out a door. It might be a good idea to browse online first, so you have a better idea of what you may be looking for (and for the best price).

There are many different options when it comes to storm doors - most of the time, they are made of wood, aluminum or PVC and fiberglass. They come in full-view, retractable screen, and ventilating. Some are sturdier and less likely to rattle, and therefore they will better protect your home.

There are also thinner doors with larger screens that will let in more air. Style is another thing you'll want to consider. Find something that will look great on your home and also serve the function you need.

Some considerations:

  • If you have a heavy and eye-catching entry door, you may want to go with a full-view option, so the storm door still allows for the entry door to be seen.

  • If you wish to remove and store your storm door depending on the season, it’s best to go with the PVC or aluminum option - they are lighter.

  • You can also fit your storm door for solar screens if it will be exposed to large amounts of sunlight. This way, the sun will not fade any furniture or carpeting inside of your home.

  • The most popular colors for storm doors are natural, bronze and white, but you can also find less popular options like dark greens, browns, reds and black - pick a color that best suits your home.

  • For extra security, you can install dead bolt locks or grids to your storm door.

Installation

The storm door you buy should come with full instructions, including directions on installing the hardware. Follow these carefully.
  • The first thing you'll need to do is measure the height of the doorframe on the hinge side, so that you can trim the storm door hinge to the appropriate length.

  • Make a mark at the place you'll need to cut. Most exterior doorsills (the bottom of the frame) slope downward away from the house, so you'll have to angle the storm door hinge accordingly.

  • Use a bevel to establish this angle, transfer the angle to the mark you already made on the storm door hinge, and cut with a hacksaw.

  • Attach the hinge to the storm door. There should be pre-drilled holes in the door, and the proper screws should have been provided as well.

  • Lift the storm door into place on the doorframe and screw it into place. The proper screws will have come with the storm door you purchased. The holes for these screws may need to be pre-drilled.

  • Seal around the storm-door frame with caulk and attach the door's hardware, including the handle and safety chain. The safety chain will prevent the door from being thrown open by the wind.

Door Closers

If you want to add another level of convenience to your storm door, you can install a simple door closer.
  • Attach the two brackets, one to the top rail of the storm door and the other to the inside of the doorframe (be sure to put them at the same distance from the top of the doorframe).

  • Attach the pneumatic closer between the brackets and adjust the tension. Your new storm door will now close automatically behind you.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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