Improve illumination and increase circulation
Keep bugs out of your house while letting light and air in with the addition
of a screen or storm door. Take advantage of cool summer breezes to circulate
air throughout the house without having to turn on the air conditioner. Modern
screen and storm doors do more than just provide light and ventilation,
however. With an increasing variety of designs and materials to choose from,
you can customize their appearance to add a stylish element to your home's
exterior. Doors are easy to install for a motivated do-it-yourselfer, making
them a perfect home improvement project. Before you get started, consider the
following questions to select the best door:
Materials, Weather and Installation Considerations
Screens come in a variety of materials, as do door frames. Different designs are available as well, with some incorporating glass panels or intricate patterns. Choosing the ideal door depends on a number of different factors including where you live and what kind of performance and longevity you expect. If you live in an area that experiences marked seasonal changes, remember that a screen or storm door not only improves ventilation and illumination in the summer, but also protects your main door from harsh weather in the winter. If you have pets who make a habit of trying to get out the door to greet visitors or a toddler who has a tendency to lean on doors, you're going to need a more durable frame and stronger screen material. Prior to installing the door, you should consider a few size and placement issues as well.
Frame Materials: Most screen and storm doors feature either steel, wood or vinyl frames, all of which possess attractive benefits. Steel doors feature solid construction for lasting, dependable use. They're dent-resistant and won't rot, split or warp. Wood frames are similarly durable to resist twisting, rattling and warping. You can paint or stain them to complement your home's exterior, and some feature removable screens that make it easy to refinish the frame. Vinyl doors stand up to the elements and provide an economical choice. Styles ranging from simple to ornate give you the ability to choose one that best matches your décor and personality.
Weather and Climate: The climate in which you live will certainly
affect your choice of screen door. If you live in an area that receives large
amounts of sunlight, you'll want to choose a screen material that blocks heat
but allows plenty of light to come in, such as vinyl-coated fiberglass. Darker
materials offer better visibility because they absorb less light, so you'll
want to bear that in mind as well. People who live in areas of the country
that are subject to storms and hard winters will want to choose sturdier
frames and screen materials that are more durable, such as aluminum.
Installation and Care Considerations: One of the first decisions you'll
need to make before purchasing a screen or storm door is whether you need a
left- or right-hinge door. To determine the hinge, stand facing a door. If the
handle is on the right side, it is a left-hinge door. If the handle is on the
left, it is a right-hinge door. Once you've ascertained the door's hinge,
you'll need to obtain measurements. Measure the height from the floor to the
bottom of the header on both sides of the doorframe and use the smaller
measurement. To determine the width, measure across the top, center and bottom
of the doorway and use the smallest measurement.
Screen Materials: Consider some of the screen materials available.
|Material||Benefits||Points to Consider|
Glass Panels: If you live in a part of the country that experiences harsh winters, you may want to consider choosing a door that allows the installation of glass panels in place of screens in the winter. Making the switch will further insulate doors against the cold for greater energy efficiency.
Security: Screen and storm doors can provide extra security. Look for models with wrought iron frames, heavy-duty locks and deadbolt pins to increase safety.
Appearance: As homeowners look to enhance the appearance of every facet of their homes, manufacturers have responded by presenting more options. Screen doors are now available in a variety of colors, and designs are becoming more and more intricate. Look for a screen door that best complements your exterior color and design scheme.
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Closers: These closers prevent doors from slamming or being opened too quickly to prolong door life and reduce noise.
Frames, frame corners and rollers are all necessary for installation.
Get all the tools you need to properly install your new screen door.