Add protection from the elements and an extra layer of home security with the addition of a storm door. With more designs and materials to choose from, you can now add a stylish and protective element to your home's exterior without blocking your view.
Modern storm doors do more than just allow in additional light or offer added protection from harsh climates. Some have convenient slide-away retractable screens, and others have interchangeable screen/glass panel combinations that you can swap for seasonal ventilation quickly with no tools needed.
By changing out the glass with a screen, you can ventilate your home to improve indoor air quality and catch those nice evening breezes.
Storm doors are easy to install for a motivated do-it-yourselfer. Before you get started, consider the following questions:
• Which frame material do you prefer?
• What is the climate like in your area?
• Do you have any pets or young children in the house?
Materials and Household Considerations
Door frames come in a variety of materials. Different designs are available as well, with some incorporating intricate glass patterns. Choosing the ideal door depends on a number of factors, including where you live and what kind of performance and longevity you expect.
If you have pets that try to get out or a toddler who has a tendency to lean on doors, you're going to need a more durable frame constructed from a stronger material.
Most storm doors are built using steel, aluminum, composite or vinyl frames.
Steel doors feature solid construction for lasting, dependable use. They're dent-resistant and won't rot, split or warp.
Aluminum frames offer a lighter alternative to steel, but with more strength than wood or vinyl.
Composite frames have the makeup to combat extreme weather conditions, including high humidity, moisture, moss and more.
Vinyl frames are also capable of standing up to the elements, while being an economical choice.
Storm doors come in a variety of colors to complement your home’s exterior. Should you decide to paint your storm door, make sure you are not voiding the warranty by doing so.
Some homeowners choose to paint their PVC doors, but that type of door is not suitable for paint because it loses the ability to tolerate inclement weather, and thus, voids the warranty.
• Aluminum doors are up to 50 percent lighter than steel, but with solid durability.
• Treated vinyl doors are available for coastal markets where durable construction is a must.
• Composite doors can handle salt spray and high inspect populations, while prohibiting moss.
Weather and Climate
If you live in an area that experiences marked seasonal changes, remember that a storm door can protect your main door from harsh weather in winter, or excessive sunlight in warmer months.
If you live in an area that receives large amounts of sunlight, you'll want to choose a door that blocks heat but allows plenty of light to come in, such as vinyl-coated fiberglass.
People who live in areas that are subject to storms and harsh winters will want to choose more durable frames and materials such as aluminum.
Glass Panels: If you live in a part of the country that experiences harsh winters, you may want to consider a storm door that will further insulate exterior doors against the cold for greater energy efficiency. Some models feature low-E glass, which is 29 percent more energy efficient than standard glass.
Security: Storm doors can also provide extra security. Look for models with, heavy-duty locks, three-point locking systems, and shatter-resistant laminated safety glass to increase home security.
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Closers: These closers prevent doors from slamming or being opened too quickly to prolong door life and reduce noise. Some models have closers that you can set with just the touch of your foot, and release by simply pushing the door away from the house.
Pet Doors: If you want to give your pets the freedom to go in and out of the house as they choose, some storm doors have built-in pet doors included.