Installing a Storm Door


Insulate and weatherproof your front door and boost your home’s security by installing a storm door

Storm doors can be stylish and functional at the same time. Look for one that has a solid inner core, a low-maintenance finish and a seamless outer shell. Accurate door measurements are critical to ensure your new door fits. This guide will show you the steps involved in installing a storm door in front of an existing slab door.


Temporarily secure rain cap

Install the rain cap with a screw if the manufacturer’s instructions recommend installing it before proceeding with the door installation.

Position the hinge-side Z-bar

Most doors are made so you can hang them with the hinges on either side using the same Z-bar. Put the Z-bar against the opening on the hinge side and mark the top with tape.

Measure opening height and cut hinge-side Z-bar

• Draw a cutoff line this distance from the underside of the top of the Z-bar.
• If the sill slants, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
• Cut along the line with a hack saw.

Place the door in opening and secure with screws

• With the exterior door closed, place the storm door in the opening and push the hinge side up against the jam.
• Make sure it is plumb and level.
• Open the storm door and add the remaining screws to secure the hinge-side Z-bar.

Adjust top Z-bar and secure with screws

• Secure the top Z-bar with screws provided with a ¼-inch gap between the bar and the door.
• Check with a level to make sure it is plumb and check to make sure the door opens and closes freely.
• Make any necessary adjustments and add the remaining screws.

Measure latch side of door and cut Z-bar

• Measure from the bottom of the rain cap to the top of the sill on the latch side of the door.
• Mark the measurement on the side Z-bar and cut with a hack saw.
• Make sure you adjust the cut to match the slope of the sill.

Position the handle-side Z-bar and secure with screws

• Cut hinge-side Z-bar as in Step 3.
• Place it in the opening, tight against the rain cap. Adjust it so there’s a ¼-inch gap between the bar and the door’s edge.
• Screw it in place.

Install the handle set, expander sweep and door closer

• Install the handle set and associated hardware.
• Slide the expander off the bottom of the door and install the sweep.
• Position the sweep so its weather stripping touches the sill and screw into place.
• Complete the installation by installing the door closer. Loosen or tighten as necessary.