Estimated reading time: 22 minutes
A new storm door can enhance your home’s curb appeal while improving energy efficiency and security. Choosing the appropriate door and adequately installing it can seem daunting, but with guidance and the right tools, you can transform the entrance to your home in no time. In this article, you’ll learn how to install a new storm door, from preparation to finishing touches.
Before you begin the installation process, assess your current door setup and determine the type and size of storm door that best suits your needs. Gather the necessary tools and materials, and familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a smooth installation experience. Remember that proper fitting and weatherproofing of your new storm door are essential to its overall performance and lifespan.
Once everything is in order, remove the old door and carefully follow the steps to fit your new storm door. This includes attaching the hinge side, installing the door handle, and making necessary weatherproofing adjustments. Finally, install the door closer and apply any finishing touches to complete your project. Remember that regular maintenance and care will help extend the life of your new storm door and keep it looking and functioning at its best.
- Assess your current door setup and choose the appropriate storm door.
- Prepare the necessary tools and materials, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.
- Properly fit and weatherproof your new storm door and maintain it for optimal performance.
Preparing for Installation
Before installing your new storm door, gathering the necessary materials and measurements is essential to ensure a proper fit. Following these steps will prepare you for a successful storm door installation.
To begin with, measure the height and width of your door opening. Using a tape measure, take measurements in three different places: at the top, middle, and bottom of the opening for the width, and from top to bottom on both sides and the center for the height. Record the smallest measurements, which will be crucial when selecting your storm door size. Remember that storm doors often come in standard sizes, so choose the one that best fits your opening.
When selecting the storm door, please pay attention to the materials it is made of, as they will affect its durability and maintenance needs. Common materials include wood, aluminum, and vinyl. Consider your preferences, budget, and the climate in your area when selecting.
Gather the necessary tools for the installation. You’ll need a hacksaw, tape measure, level, drill, and pencil to mark the opening. Having a friend or family member assist you during the installation is also helpful.
Be aware that installing a storm door requires basic carpentry skills. If you’re not experienced in this area, you may consider hiring a professional to complete the installation.
Lastly, familiarize yourself with the storm door’s instruction manual. The manual will provide critical information on adequately installing the door based on your selected model. Take time to read and understand all the steps and safety precautions in the manual, as this knowledge will be invaluable during the installation process.
By taking these steps to prepare for the installation, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the benefits of your new storm door.
Choosing the Right Storm Door
When choosing a storm door, it’s essential to consider the material. Common materials include aluminum, steel, and fiberglass. Aluminum is lightweight, low-maintenance, and budget-friendly. Steel doors offer greater strength and durability but can be more expensive. Fiberglass storm doors provide good insulation and require little maintenance, but they might be more costly than aluminum doors. Consider your needs and budget when selecting the material for your door.
Size and Fit
Proper sizing is crucial for your storm door’s functionality and energy efficiency. Measure the height and width of your door opening to ensure the correct fit. Most storm doors come in standard sizes, but custom options are available. Here’s a simple guideline for measurements:
|Measurement||Standard Size Range|
|Door width||30″ – 36″|
|Door height||80″ – 81″, 84″ – 85″|
Make sure to double-check your measurements before purchasing your storm door.
Door Swing Direction
Determine the swing direction of your storm door – either left hand or right hand. Stand outside your house, facing the entry door. If the hinges are on the left side, you need a left-hand swing door; a right-hand swing door is required if the hinges are on the right side. Most storm doors are reversible, allowing you to change the swing direction during installation.
When selecting a storm door, consider the following features:
- Energy efficiency: Look for doors with insulated glass panels and tight seals to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Ventilating: Some storm doors come with retractable screens or can be fitted with screen inserts, allowing for fresh air circulation during warmer months.
- Glass panels: Consider whether you prefer full or partial glass panels. Full glass panels provide an unobstructed view and maximum natural light, while half or partial panels offer increased privacy and security.
Taking the time to choose the right storm door for your needs ensures a successful installation and long-term satisfaction with your investment.
Tools and Materials
This section will cover the essential tools and materials you’ll need to successfully install a new storm door. To ensure a smooth and efficient process, gather all required tools and additional materials before you begin.
To install your storm door, you’ll need the following tools at your disposal:
- Screwdriver: A standard screwdriver is necessary for tightening screws and assembling the door components.
- Power drill: A power drill will be needed for pre-drilling holes and attaching the door frame to the wall.
- Hammer: A hammer helps secure and adjust shims and tap the door frame into place.
- Sawhorses: Using sawhorses enables you to support the door safely and securely while you work.
- Level: A level ensures your door is hung correctly, preventing any future issues with opening and closing.
In addition to the required tools, the following materials are also necessary for installing your storm door:
- Door closer: A door closer is essential to the installation, allowing your storm door to shut securely.
- Safety chain: A safety chain prevents the door from slamming open and causing damage to the door or frame.
- Weatherstripping: Weather stripping provides a seal between the door frame and the door, helping to prevent drafts and water intrusion.
- Caulk: You’ll need caulk to seal gaps between the new door frame and the opening where the door is to be installed, ensuring a proper fit and weather resistance.
Now that you have gathered all the necessary tools and materials, you can start the installation process. Remember to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific storm door model to ensure a successful installation.
Removing the Old Door
Safely Detaching the Door
Before installing a new storm door, you must safely remove the old one. Start by unlatching and opening the door to access its hinges easily. For a smooth removal, use a screwdriver or power drill to unscrew the hinge screws on both the door and the door jamb. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to proceed:
- Locate the hinge screws on the door and door jamb.
- Choose the appropriate screwdriver or drill bit for the screw heads.
- Carefully remove the screws from the hinges, keeping them in a safe place.
- Detach the door from its hinges by gently lifting it up and away.
Don’t forget to remove the handle and lock mechanisms from the door. Store the screws and other hardware safely, as you might need them for the new installation.
Prepping the Doorway
With the door safely detached, now is the time to prep the doorway to install the new storm door. Here’s a quick overview:
- Check the door jamb: Inspect the door jamb for any damage or rot. If needed, patch up or replace any damaged sections.
- Clean the doorsill and threshold: Sweep away any debris and dirt from the doorsill and threshold. You may also use a vacuum cleaner for hard-to-reach areas.
- Remove old screws and hardware: Ensure that all screws, nails, or other hardware are removed from the door jamb, doorsill, and threshold properly.
- Fill holes and gaps: Utilize a suitable filler to cover any holes left by the previous door’s hardware. This helps create a clean, smooth surface for the new installation.
By following these steps, your doorway will be perfectly prepared for installing a new storm door.
Fitting the New Storm Door
First, position the hinge-side z-bar on the doorframe, ensuring it’s flush against the surface. Carefully align the z-bar with the top edge of the doorframe and mark the screw holes. Pre-drill the holes and attach the z-bar using the provided screws. Remember to keep the hinge-side z-bar aligned properly during this process.
Next, place the latch-side z-bar on the doorframe, ensuring it’s flush. Make sure the z-bar is level with the top edge of the doorframe, and mark the screws’ placement. Pre-drill the holes and attach the latch-side z-bar using the provided screws.
Ensuring Level Installation
To avoid issues with the door closing and opening properly, ensuring a level installation is essential. Use a t-bevel square to check the alignment of the storm door within the frame. The door should be completely upright, and all edges should be flush with the frame.
If the storm door isn’t level, adjust the z-bars accordingly by loosening the screws, realigning the bars, and then tightening the screws securely.
Here is a step-by-step list to guide you through the process:
- Position the hinge-side z-bar on the doorframe, aligning it with the top edge
- Mark screw holes for the hinge-side z-bar
- Pre-drill holes and attach the hinge-side z-bar
- Position the latch-side z-bar on the doorframe, aligning it with the top edge
- Mark screw holes for the latch-side z-bar
- Pre-drill holes and attach the latch-side z-bar
- Use a t-bevel square to check the door’s alignment
- Adjust the z-bars if necessary to ensure level installation
Lastly, attach the door sweep to the bottom of the storm door, ensuring it’s properly aligned and tightly secured. The sweep helps prevent drafts and debris from entering your home.
With the new storm door properly fitted and installed, you can now enjoy the added security and protection it provides for your home.
Attaching the Hinge Side
To attach the hinge side of your new storm door, begin by positioning the hinge-side Z-bar against the door jamb. Ensure the Z-bar is appropriately aligned with the top and bottom of the door opening. Hold the Z-bar in place and use a pencil to mark the locations of the hinge screw holes on the jamb.
Before securing the hinges, apply weatherstripping to the hinge side of the door jamb. This will help create an airtight seal between the door and the jamb. Trim the weatherstripping to the appropriate length and press it firmly into place.
Now, you’re ready to secure the hinges. Use a drill or a screwdriver to fasten the provided screws through the hinge holes and into the door jamb. Tighten the screws firmly, but be careful not to overtighten them, as this could damage the Z-bar or jamb.
Adjusting the Z-Bar
When the hinges are secure, you may need to adjust the Z-bar to ensure proper door operation and a snug fit against the weatherstripping. First, check the gap between the door and the Z-bar. You’ll need to adjust the Z-bar accordingly if it’s too wide or too narrow.
To make adjustments, loosen the screws just enough to allow the Z-bar to slide up or down. Shift the Z-bar until the desired gap is achieved, then retighten the screws. Test the door’s operation, ensuring it opens and closes smoothly without any sticking or resistance.
By carefully attaching the hinge side and making necessary adjustments, your storm door will be properly installed and ready to protect your home from the elements.
Installing the Door Handle
First, gather the necessary components for the handle assembly. You’ll need the handle, associated screws, and any additional parts that came with your storm door handle set. Check the instructions with your handle set to ensure you have all the required pieces.
Next, align the exterior handle with the holes in the storm door. Hold the handle in place while you insert the screws from the interior side. Be sure to tighten the screws evenly and securely, but not too tight, as this may cause stress to the handle mechanism.
Once the exterior handle is in place, move to the interior handle. Align it with the screws you just inserted and tighten any additional screws needed to secure it. Test the handle by turning it, and ensure it operates smoothly before proceeding to the lock mechanism setup.
Lock Mechanism Setup
In this subsection, we’ll cover the setup of the striker plate and deadbolt components of the door handle assembly.
Striker Plate: Begin by locating the pre-drilled holes for the striker plate on the door frame. Align the striker plate with these holes, and use the included screws to fasten it securely to the door frame. Ensure the plate is flush with the frame and not bent or twisted in any way.
Deadbolt: To install the deadbolt, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The deadbolt assembly typically consists of an exterior and interior portion, along with a latch mechanism and corresponding screws. Start by aligning the exterior portion of the deadbolt with the door holes and secure it with screws from the interior side. After the exterior deadbolt is installed, attach the interior portion by securing it with additional screws.
Testing: Finally, test the lock mechanism by locking and unlocking the deadbolt several times. It should operate smoothly and securely. If you encounter any issues, check that you have installed all components correctly and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Following these steps, you have successfully installed the door handle and lock mechanism on your new storm door. Your door should now be fully functional and secure.
Adjusting for Weatherproofing
When installing a new storm door, it’s essential to make sure that it provides proper weatherproofing. Properly adjusting the door will ensure your home stays comfortable and protected from the elements. To achieve this, let’s go through the steps to install weatherstripping and a door sweep.
Weatherstripping is crucial in sealing your storm door against drafts and moisture. To properly adjust it:
- Choose the correct type of weatherstripping: Various materials are available, such as adhesive-backed foam tape, V-strip, or door gasket. Make sure you select one that corresponds to your specific door and threshold.
- Measure your door: Carefully measure the perimeter and cut the
- Weatherstripping to match the length. Leave
an extra inch, as this can be adjusted later.
- Clean the surface: Before applying the weatherstripping, clean the door’s edges with a damp cloth to ensure proper adhesion.
- Install the weatherstripping: Press the weatherstripping firmly onto the door’s edges, starting at the top and following the sides. Once completed, trim any excess material.
- Check for a tight seal: Close the door and inspect the seal. Adjust as needed to ensure a secure fit without any gaps.
Door Sweep Installation
A door sweep effectively seals the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold, keeping out drafts, water, and other elements. Here’s how to install one:
- Select a suitable door sweep: Door sweeps come in various materials, such as vinyl, aluminum, or a combination. Choose one that best suits your door type and style.
- Measure and cut: Measure the width of your door and mark the corresponding length on your door sweep. Cut the sweep with a hacksaw or utility knife.
- Align and mark: Position the door sweep along the bottom of the door, with the flap touching the threshold, and mark the screw holes.
- Drill pilot holes: Use a drill to create pilot holes at the marked spots, being careful not to drill through the door completely.
- Attach the door sweep: Align the door sweep with the pilot holes and secure it using screws.
Don’t forget the rain cap: For added protection against rain and moisture, consider installing a rain cap over the top of your door to divert water away from the top edge.
By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your new storm door is properly adjusted for weatherproofing, providing your home with optimal protection from the elements.
Installing the Door Closer
Positioning the Closer
First, attach the door closer to the door and the door frame. Place the closer bracket on the upper corner of the door, aligning it with the pre-drilled holes on the door. Use the provided screws to secure the bracket. Attach the other end of the door closer to the jamb bracket on the door frame, ensuring that the piston faces the door hinge side. Now, attach the door closer to the brackets using the pins provided in the installation kit.
Ensure to follow the instructions given by the door closer manufacturer as there might be slight differences in models.
To adjust the tension of the door closer, follow these steps:
- Locate the tension adjustment screw on the closer. It’s usually on the end of the cylinder.
- Use a screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise to increase the closing force or counterclockwise to decrease it. The door should close smoothly and latch securely without slamming.
- Test the door by opening and closing it several times. Adjust the screw as needed until the desired closing speed and force are achieved.
You might need to make a few minor adjustments to ensure smooth and perfect functionality.
Installing the Safety Chain (Optional)
A safety chain can be installed to provide added security and to prevent the storm door from opening too far. Follow these steps to install it:
- Attach the safety chain bracket to the door frame, a few inches from the top corner opposite the hinge side. You can use the provided screws to secure the bracket.
- Attach the other end of the safety chain to the top corner of the door, aligning it with pre-drilled holes. Use the provided screws to secure the chain.
- Adjust the safety chain as necessary to prevent the door from opening beyond your desired maximum opening angle.
Remember, installing the safety chain is optional and might not be necessary depending on your preferences and the storm door model.
Attaching the Drip Cap
To attach the drip cap, first, ensure the door frame is clean to guarantee a secure fit. Then, place the drip cap along the top edge of the storm door frame. Use a level to double-check that it is straight. Next, secure the drip cap in place using the provided screws. Be sure to drive the screws completely to avoid any issues with the door’s operation.
Glass and Screen Insertion
To insert the glass or screen, start by laying the storm door on a flat surface with the exterior side facing down. Choose whether you want to install glass or a screen panel first, depending on your preference and seasonal needs. Slide the chosen panel into place, making sure it is properly seated within the frame. Once secure, tighten the retaining strips to hold the panel in place. Always handle the glass panel carefully to avoid any breakage.
Note: You can easily switch between glass and screen panels as needed. Just remove the retaining strips, slide the current panel out, and replace it with the desired panel.
Sealing the Frame
- Inspect the frame: Before sealing, inspect your storm door’s frame to ensure it is properly aligned and flush with the surrounding structure. If necessary, make adjustments before proceeding.
- Apply caulk: To seal the frame, apply a thin, continuous bead of caulk around the entire perimeter of the door frame. You may use a caulking gun for easier application. Ensure it fills any gaps between the frame and the surrounding structure.
- Smooth the caulk: Using a damp cloth or your finger, carefully smooth the bead of caulk to create a uniform seal. Be sure to remove any excess caulk to maintain a professional appearance.
Now that you’ve attached the drip cap, inserted the glass or screen panel, and sealed the frame, your new storm door installation is complete. Enjoy increased energy efficiency and added protection from the elements with your newly-installed storm door.
Maintenance and Care
Caring for your storm door is essential to ensuring its longevity and making the most of its benefits. This section will provide you with practical advice on regular inspections and cleaning tips to keep your storm door in optimal condition.
As a homeowner, it’s crucial to perform regular inspections of your storm door to maintain energy savings and ensure your entryway stays protected, especially during winter. Here’s a simple checklist to follow:
- Seals and weatherstripping: Check for any worn-out or damaged seals around the door, as this compromises your home’s insulation. Replace any faulty weatherstripping to maximize energy efficiency.
- Hardware: Inspect handles, hinges, and locks for any signs of wear or looseness. Tighten screws and replace damaged components as needed.
- Glass and screen: Look for any cracks, chips, or broken areas in the glass. If the screen is torn, consider repairing or replacing it.
- Door frame: Examine the frame for any signs of damage or rot. Repair or replace any areas that are compromised.
Keeping your storm door clean not only enhances its appearance, but also ensures its functionality. Here are some cleaning tips to help you maintain your door:
- For glass surfaces, use a mixture of mild soap and water or a commercial glass cleaner to remove dirt and smudges. Gently wipe the glass with a soft, lint-free cloth to prevent streaks.
- For aluminum or vinyl doors, a sponge or soft brush with mild soap and warm water should suffice. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots.
- For wooden doors, dampen a soft cloth with a mixture of water and mild soap. Carefully clean the door without soaking the wood. To avoid damage, avoid using abrasive or harsh detergents.
- Finally, don’t forget to clean the door’s hardware. Use a damp cloth to wipe down handles, hinges, and locks, making sure to dry them thoroughly afterward to prevent corrosion.
By taking the time to inspect and clean your storm door, you’ll ensure that it remains a valuable addition to your home, offering protection and energy-saving benefits for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What steps are involved in installing a storm door by a DIY enthusiast?
To install a storm door, you need to:
- Measure your door opening to determine the correct size of the storm door.
- Purchase the appropriate door and gather the necessary tools.
- Remove the old door, if necessary, and prep the door frame.
- Install the new door, making sure it is level and plumb.
- Attach the hinges, door handle, and lock.
- Install the door closer(s) and adjust the tension.
- Add weatherstripping for a proper seal.
How do you properly attach a new storm door to an existing door frame?
To attach a storm door to an existing frame:
- Position the new door in the frame, ensuring it is level and correctly aligned.
- Mark the location of the hinges, the door handle, and the lock on the door frame.
- Pre-drill holes for the hinge screws.
- Attach the hinges to the door frame, making sure they are properly aligned with the door.
- Hang the door and adjust it as needed for a correct fit.
- Install the door handle and lock according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What are the typical costs associated with professional storm door installation?
Professional storm door installation costs can vary depending on factors such as location, door type, and labor rates. However, the average cost ranges from $100 to $300 for labor, excluding the cost of the door itself. It’s essential to get quotes from multiple professionals to compare pricing and services before making a decision.
How much time should be allotted for a complete storm door installation process?
Allow at least 3-4 hours for a complete storm door installation process, especially if you are a DIY enthusiast. This time frame includes measuring the door opening, removing the old door if necessary, preparing the door opening, installing the new door, and attaching all necessary hardware. Experienced professionals may complete the process more quickly, while first-time DIYers might require additional time.
What tools and parts are necessary for a storm door frame replacement?
For a storm door frame replacement, gather the following tools and parts:
- Tape measure
- Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bits
- Hammer and nail set
- Utility knife
- Hacksaw (if needing to trim the door frame)
- Replacement door frame kit
- Wood shims
- Screws and nails (included in the door frame kit or purchased separately)
Can additional storm door closers be installed on any brand of storm doors, and how?
In most cases, additional storm door closers can be installed on various storm door brands. However, always refer to the specific door manufacturer’s instructions to ensure compatibility. To install an additional storm door closer:
- Measure and mark the location of the new closer on the door and door frame.
- Install the door closer jamb bracket onto the door frame.
- Attach the door bracket to the door, making sure it aligns with the jamb bracket.
- Connect the door closer rod to both brackets and adjust the tension according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Test the door to ensure it opens and closes smoothly and make any necessary adjustments.