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Installing a Storm Door in the Quad Cities

Measuring The Rough Opening

Old front storm door

If you're thinking about installing a new storm door, the first thing you'll want to do is measure the rough opening of the door. Most exterior doors are standard size with the front door being 36 x 80 and the back door being 32 x 80. However, some doors are not standard size so you may have to get a storm door custom made to fit. To do this, first measure the width in three places, the top, the middle and the bottom, record the smallest measurement. Now measure the height on both sides and record the shortest measurement. This will be the rough opening for the door.

Choosing a New Storm Door

You can choose from a wide variety of storm doors. Some come in different colors. You can also choose different styles. Some have full glass, others come with sliding glass with screens that you can open to let a breeze in on those warm summer days. Some brands even have doors with retractable screens. If you're not sure what brand to buy, Larson claims to be America's #1 selling storm door and I install a lot of them. However, there're other brands that make good solid doors.

Getting a Storm Door Ready to Install

Now that you have purchased your new storm door, it's time to get it ready to install. First, if you have an existing storm door you'll need to remove it. To do this, remove the side and top rails and then remove the door closer and hinge side. Some doors have safety chains on them at the top. If yours does you'll need to remove it also. Lay your new door flat and open the box. You can use a pair of saw horses and two 2x4's for a work area. This will make it much easier to mount the hinge rail to the door.

Installing a Storm Door

Installing a storm door is not very difficult. Lay the door flat on your work area with the interior side up. Locate the instructions and decide whether you want a right or left side hinge installation. Place the hinge rail on the side you choose and slide it to the top and mark the top screw hole with a pencil as indicated in the instructions. Attach a placeholder screw but don't tighten it all the way. Install the sweep. Use liquid soap to make it easier. Trim excess. Slide the expander on the bottom of the door but don't fasten it yet. Mount the hinge rail on the right or left side of the door.

new front storm door

Install the rail extender and hang the door on the placeholder screw and tighten. Then slide the rail extender to the sill. Install the rest of the screws for this rail. Install the drip cap and opposite side rail. Install the handle. Make sure you drill the holes for the handle in the proper place. You don't want the storm door handle to interfere with the entry door knob. Install the closer. Adjust the expander as needed and mount it to the door. Check the door for proper operation.

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