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Storm Door Buying Guide

A storm door protects your exterior door from bad weather and provides ventilation. Most manufacturers sell prehung doors in kits, so installation is easy. Choose a door based on your specific needs and the size and style of your house.

Full-view storm door

Storm Door Basics

Security storm door

  • Available in several combinations of screen and glass panels.
  • Many have removable panels that can be changed depending on the season.
  • Most manufacturers sell pre-hung doors kits for easier installation.
  • Most units can be adjusted slightly to fit on top of a door frame.
  • Ask a Lowe's millwork associate to help you determine what size door you need.
  • Storm doors come in two standard sizes: 32 inches for back doors and 36 inches for entry doors.
  • Most storm doors have a sweep, or a flexible strip designed to keep moisture, dirt and outside air from entering your home.
  • Typically, the front and back layers of storm doors are made of aluminum and the center is made of foam insulation.
  • For added security, choose a model with protective grilles, laminated security glass and a multipoint locking system that secures the door jamb, as well as the top and bottom of the storm door frame.

Good to Know

Before you buy a storm door, check its components in the store. Open and close the display model to make sure the hinges and latches operate smoothly. To get the most out of your storm door, invest in the highest quality components you can afford.

How to Fit a Storm Door

Most door manufacturers offer a kit that includes all of the hardware needed for installation, including the pre-hung door and the frame, handle set, hinges, pneumatic closers and latches. Depending on which way your door opens, storm doors can be hinged to the left or right.

 

  • Before you visit the store, carefully measure the height and width of the door frame. Measure the width at the top, center and bottom. Use the measurement from the space between the exterior brickmould or trim, not the inner door jamb.
  • Before you install a storm door, inspect the wood jamb and trim around the door opening. The door will screw into the outer casing, so it needs to be solid to support the weight of your storm door. Use a level to make sure the door frame is plumb and the top is level. A Z-bar extender also can be used to square an opening.

 

Custom Front Doors

5 different storm door frames

Whether you want to make a black front door pop or you want to enhance commercial entry doors, the options for custom entry doors are endless.

Door Frames & Glass

Frames styles include full-view, mid-view and high-view. Full-view doors offer different types of glass, such as beveled, waterfall, as well as the option to have blinds between the panes.

Storm doors with Low-E, high-performance glass provide better insulation and reduce fading of your entry door. Check the Department of Energy's website to see if your state offers tax credits when you buy energy-efficiency products.

The image shows some of the frame and glass selections that are available. Ask a Lowe's associate for details about other types. 

Storm Door Colors

Storm doors come in a variety of colors. White and almond are available for purchase in the store. Other colors including taupe, brown, black, cranberry and green can be ordered.

Storm Door Finishes

Handle sets are available in several different finishes including brushed nickel, satin nickel, brass, antique brass, aged bronze and matte black.

Storm Door Screen Types

You can choose between full-view, retractable and standard screens. Full-view includes separate glass and screen panels that are switched out as needed. When not in use, a retractable screen hides in the top of the door. Standard screens are fixed and the glass panels slide up and down.

Good to Know

Tired of opening the door to let Fido in or out? Lowe's offers a built-in pet door option.

Storm Door Screens and Glass Panels

Glass panels can heat up the space between the two doors and cause weather stripping to deteriorate. In extreme cases, the heat could warp metal house doors. If your storm door gets direct sunlight, use screens starting in early spring and use glass starting in late fall. Pro tip: Be sure to check the compatibility of the metal screens you want to buy. In some cases, when different metals come in contact with each other, it can speed up corrosion. 

 

  • Galvanized steel screens are the least expensive and resist holes and tears. Spray this type of screen with household lubricant once per year to prevent rust.
  • Aluminum screens resist corrosion (except in seaside areas) but aren't as strong as galvanized steel screens. In areas with heavy smog, aluminum tends to darken but can be protected with commercial spray products.
  • Bronze screens are the most durable and the most expensive. Apply a thin coat of varnish every few years to protect the screen against corrosion.
  • Fiberglass screens resist corrosion and are easy to install, which make them a practical replacement screen if a metal screen deteriorates.

 

Storm Door Closers and Door Stops

Storm door closer

Most storm doors come with either a closer or a door stop. Both devices control how far your door will open.

A door stop, also called a snubber, uses a chain attached to a spring to control the door. It's easy to install and adjust.

A pneumatic closer prevents a door from opening too fast or too far, and also closes the door slowly and firmly. Most doors have one pneumatic closer, but some have two for extra protection against high winds. You can add a second closer, if necessary. A sliding washer can hold the door open when needed.

Shop Storm Door Closers

Need help? Professional installation available through Lowe's.

Your storm door may just need a simple tune-up to be good as new. Watch our DIY Basics video: How Do I Adjust My Storm Door?