Project Guide

How to Install a Storm Door

Temporarily Secure Rain Cap

Storm door installation starts with a great storm door. Look for one that has a solid inner core, a low-maintenance finish and a seamless outer shell. When you are ready to install a storm door, accurate door measurements are critical to ensure your new door fits. 

  • Measure the height of your door frame, and then the width of the door frame in three places: six inches from the top of the frame, the center, and six inches from the bottom of the frame. 
  • Use these measurements to purchase a storm door in the correct size. If your measurements are too far off any standard door, consider custom storm doors to get a perfect fit.
  • 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
  • Prior to storm door installation, decide which way you’ll want the door to open. Storm doors can open from the left or right; most doors are designed so that 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 of the new door lock.
  • 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.

Whether replacing a screen door or simply adding a new protective layer to your exterior door, in less than one day you can install a storm door that boosts your curb appeal.

Once you have learned how to install a storm door you can apply similar techniques and tools to learn how to install a screen door. When you install a screen door you might even find the work slightly simpler due to the lighter weight of the door. Then, check out our additional guides on home maintenance, home improvements and for new DIY projects.

If you'd prefer professional installation, click here to make an apointment
Ready to find the supplies you need in your local store? Use The Home Depot app to locate products and check inventory. We'll take you to the exact aisle and bay.