Whether you want to increase airflow through your home during the hot summer days or protect your valuable door from the adverse weather conditions, a storm door is always an excellent solution. It can cover the existing door, but you can also place this model on the front and back door.
Several facts will determine if you should install one, including a climate in the region you live, the type of door you have already had, and its condition. One of the crucial considerations is still your budget and the amount of money you are ready to invest for this purpose. So, the question is, what is a storm door, and do you need to install one.
Material to Make Storm Doors
The first material to create storm doors was wood. Unfortunately, wood absorbs humidity over time. As a result, the frame starts curving and losing its shape when exposed to the intense sun. Also, this material requires regular maintenance, making it less convenient than new ones such as aluminum and PVC.
The thickness of aluminum storm door frames can vary, making them more or less rigid and heavy. The positive side of this material is that it doesn’t corrode, so you won’t have to paint your door often. Lately, aluminum is the most preferred material amongst the users.
PVC or fiberglass
PVC material allows the manufacturer to create a door frame that looks like wood. It is also possible to shape it in a desirable pattern, which will enhance the exterior of your home. Since the PVC frame won’t bend, crack, or corrode, this kind of storm door is long-lasting.
On the other hand, you can choose fiberglass if you need an extra-strong, lightweight, and durable storm door. Keep in mind that this option is worth considering when the high price is not a problem for you.
Types of Storm Doors
- Full-view storm door – With this door, you will be able to expand your view and bring more light to your home. It has a full glass panel within the frame, which makes it practical and beautiful.
- Mid-view storm door – The glass panel placed in the upper half of the door is smaller in this case, but it still occupies most of it. The bottom part made of solid material makes the doors more stable. This kind of door is suitable if you open and close them frequently.
- High-view storm door – This model looks like a standard front door. The glass takes half of the door while another part is made of solid material. The positive side of this type is that you can make it pet friendly by creating a tiny entrance at the bottom for your furry friend.
Storm Doors vs. Screen Doors
The difference between these two types of doors is that screen models have a net (screen) instead of the glass panel in the storm doors. Screen doors are beneficial if you live in a warmer climate. In such a case, you can open them in the spring or late summer and allow the air breeze inside the house without fear of entering the annoying insects.
On the other side, storm doors have a lock and are more secure than screen ones. Plus, the glass will protect the doors from the rain and frost.
Recent technology allows a combination of these two types of doors by installing screens that can retract. That means you can pull a screen on the upper part of the door while the lower one remains with the glass. You can also change the glass panel entirely and place a screen on its place, depending on the season.
The Energy Efficiency of Storm Doors
Storm doors will increase your home’s energy efficiency by providing additional insulation to the door you already have. The results will be warmer home in winter since storm doors block rain, snow, and wind.
If you live in an area with a mild climate, you probably don’t need a storm door. However, when you have regular seasons with freezing winters and hot summers, it will pay off soon by increasing energy savings.
However, if your entry door is an old model without the proper insulation, you should consider getting a new door instead of adding a storm one. That way, you will avoid double costs. It is the same if you have a porch. Since it covers and protects your front door, you probably don’t need the storm door at all.
Keep in mind that adding this type of doors with glass panels is not always an excellent idea. For instance, it is a case when the sun shines directly at your doors during the summer. That will create too much heat between two doors, damage the front door, and overheat the interior of the house.
One more thing! Check if you live in the state that approves the tax credit for energy efficiency if you install a storm door. Take advantage of such an offer if there is any.
Design Your Storm Door
When you decide to purchase a storm door, you will have a variety of elements to combine at your disposal. Besides the color and shape of the frame, you can choose the type of glass and the side you want to install the handle.
Depending on your preferences, you can choose plain, stained, or frosted glass. Plus, you can pick out the model with double glass for better insulation. Nowadays, low-E glass is the most common option available on the market. It prevents the infrared and UV rays from entering your home.
Aesthetic of Storm Door
When you decide to install a storm door, you should match the color and style of the existing one. That way, you will avoid congesting the front door with the form and appearance of the new storm door.
You can apply the ‘less is more’ rule here. So, if your front door is ornamental, you should pick out simple, planed lines of a storm door frame. In such a case, you should think about the full view model.
Storm Door Dimensions
Standard height of storm doors is 80 inches (2 m). On the other hand, widths of this type of door can vary, and you have a few options on your disposal:
- 30 inches (76 cm) wide
- 32 inches (81 cm) wide
- 34 inches (86 cm) wide
- 36 inches (91.5 cm) wide
When you measure the width, you should do it on the top, middle, and bottom of your door. Don’t forget to use a level to check the alignment, as well.
As for height, you should measure it in the middle of the door and on its left and right side. Always use the smallest dimensions that you get.
Storm Door Prices
The prices of storm doors can vary significantly, depending on the model you choose. There is an average cost of the most common types you can buy:
- Mid-view doors cost from 150$ to 250$
- High-view doors cost from 150$ to 250$
- Full-view doors cost from 200$ to 450$
- Ventilating doors cost from 300$ to 500$
- Security doors cost from 300$ to 700$
- Double storm doors cost from 600$ to 1000$
If you hire a professional to install your new storm door, you should pay an additional 80$ to 500$ for labor. Keep in mind that removing the old storm door and adding some extra features will also affect the price.
The Installation of the Storm Door
Always try to install the storm door so that the hinges face the wind. That is the way to avoid the sudden opening of the storm doors due to the strong wind.
Place the door in the opening and check if it is vertical with the level. Then, you can connect the hinges to the outer side of the door casing.
Apply caulk on the drip cap and screw it above the top. Drip cap purpose is to stop the rain from leaking into the frame. Always check if your door can open and close correctly. The last step is to install the handle, closers, and strike plate.
Storm Door Closers
Since the storm door is lighter than the front one, it tends to close rapidly or slam. One of the solutions is to install it closer. Check if your new storm door is in a vertical position and adjust if it is not a case. Then inspect the hinges, find the loose screws, and tighten them.
Another option is to mount the doorstop or pneumatic door closer. The type of storm door closer depends on how heavy your storm door is, the thickness of the frame, and how much glass it has.
You can choose a standard, sizable, and extra heavy-duty model with the torsion bar. Most storm door manufacturers will know which door closer you need when you purchase the door.
Having a storm door is a useful solution. It will beautify your exterior and remind you of childhood. Since the installation is not complicated, you will need about a few hours to finish the job. Be sure that your effort will definitely pay off.