Screen and storm doors can add ventilation and an extra layer of security to your home
Storm doors refer to the glass door installed over your existing exterior door. They can add protection from the elements and increased home security, as well as let more natural light into your home.
Storm doors that feature screens instead of glass are referred to as screen doors and can ventilate your home.
This guide will walk you through the process of buying the best frame for your ideal screen or storm door.
Frame Construction & Appearance
Door frames come in a variety of materials and designs, with some incorporating intricate glass patterns. Choosing your ideal door depends on a number of factors, including where you live and what kind of performance and longevity you expect.
Safety: If you have pets or children that tend to lean on doors, select a durable door frame constructed from strong 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 salt spray, high insect population, high humidity, moisture, moss and more.
Vinyl frames are also capable of standing up to the elements, while being an economical choice. Treated vinyl doors are available for coastal markets.
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.
Features & Installation Considerations
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.
Weather and Climate
If you live in an area that experiences marked seasonal changes, 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, 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 should choose more durable frames and materials such as aluminum. Some storm doors further insulate exterior doors against the cold for greater energy efficiency. These models feature low-E glass, which is 29 percent more energy efficient than standard glass.
- Look for storm doors with heavy-duty locks, three-point locking systems and shatter-resistant laminated safety glass to increase home security.
- Hydraulic and pneumatic 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.
- 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.