Tips for replacing or adding a storm door
When to replace or add a storm door
Ask these questions to determine whether it's time to invest in a new storm door:
- Is it difficult to open and close the existing storm door?
- Is there warm or cold air leaking in or around the storm door?
- How does it look? Is there warping? How smoothly do the hinges operate?
- Does the entry door have air leaks in and around it?
- Is there a desire to have more natural light in the entry area of the home?
- Do you want a storm door that allows you to bring fresh air into your home?
- Is there a desire to make a “fashion statement” with the front entryway?
- Is the old storm door finish worn off or showing other signs of deterioration?
If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, the home is a good candidate for a new storm door. It’s money well spent to improve the energy efficiency of the home and maintain an excellent appearance for the outside of the home.
How to measure a storm door
- Measure the space between the exterior brick mold trim pieces, not the inner door jamb; the brick mold is the external casing that frames the door; the jamb is the vertical piece that frames the outer edges of the door
- Measure the width of the entry door opening in three places; across the top, middle and bottom — use the smallest of the three measurements as your width
- Measure the height down the middle of the opening
- Most homes will need a standard size 32 inches by 81 inches or 36 inches by 81 inches door, but custom size doors can be ordered to fit a variety of opening sizes
Selecting a storm door
Style — Many companies allow the customer to design their own storm door by selecting the color, glass and handle preferences. Pella’s Select® series features many popular colors, decorative glass patterns, and solid brass handle choices to allow a homeowner to customize his/her entryway.
Frame styles — Homeowners can choose from several frame styles to fit their needs, including:
- Fullviews — feature the most glass area and allow the most light and air into the home.
- Midviews — slightly less glass area than the fullview
- Highviews — half doorframe, half glass, allowing the most privacy; both highviews and midviews are great for high-traffic entryways
Ventilation — A homeowner can choose between several ventilation styles that allow the glass to be switched out for a screen.
Energy efficiency — Many storm doors feature overlapping frames with weatherstripping for a tight seal and better energy efficiency. Pella features several models with double weatherstripping for improved performance. According to independent testing, a Pella storm door added to an entryway can reduce energy loss through the entryway by up to 45 percent.
Hardware — Storm door handles range from basic to upscale — solid brass and pewter handles; consumers now have many choices in affordable accents for their storm door
Buying a new storm door
- Decide what you can afford and what you plan to spend before going shopping
- Evaluate your lifestyle and select the type of storm door that best suits your needs
- Do your homework; decide what storm door qualities are important to you and research how various brands compare in terms of function and performance
- Before installing, be sure to inspect the wood jamb and trim around the opening to make sure they are secure and in good condition for a proper installation.
- Be sure the door frame is square — use a level to decide; if it’s not, use shims to correct the fit