I've become a fan of storm doors. New storm door models are energy efficient and provide a layer of protection between your home and the elements. Moreover, these doors are versatile, allowing you to swap out secure glass inserts with ventilating bug screens when warm weather comes a-calling.
Visit any of your local home improvement stores and you'll see a wide range of storm door options. Most models are manufactured to common, pre-measured sizes. You may want to use a professional installer if you have a custom front door.
Choosing storm doors that fit your needs and budget
You already know that you get what you pay for. There are metal, full-view storm doors that sell for under $100. On the other end of the scale, a full-light dual pane, wood-core, energy efficient door with three-point locks and heavy duty screens can run as much as $400.
Generally speaking, a vinyl storm door is positioned at the least-expensive end of the scale. Extruded aluminum doors hold the middle price range of the market. At the premium end, wood-core vinyl doors cost the most, in exchange for the most secure, energy efficient options available to consumers.
When shopping for storm doors, balance the quality and your needs against your budget. You won't need to compromise on features if you really need them. Let's look at a few factors:
Where do you live? If you have a harsh, bitter winter, consider insulated doors with double-paned windows. If you live in a neighborhood where additional security will help you sleep nights, shop for a sturdy door made from 16-guage steel with keyed locks. If you live in a temperate climate, you may want storm doors with a quick-change insect screen/glass window system. Doors with movable glass panels and slide-away screens can provide superior ventilation when you need it.
Storm door installation
If you're installing replacement doors, you should always ask yourself if your home improvement skills live up to the cost and quality of the product that you've invested in with hard-earned money.
Having a proper fit can spell the difference in energy efficiency, security and long-term peace of mind. I've been in homes where the storm door clanks and crashes shut, whistles with the wind, and merely takes up space.
Given the wide selection of materials, colors and looks, it won't be difficult to find just the right storm door for your community, climate and comfort.