How to Install a Storm Door: Your 5-Step Instructional Guide

by Team HomeServe
The storm door is covered with snow

Installing a Storm Door at a Glance

  • Tools: Drill, hammer, hacksaw, level, screwdriver, sawhorses, measuring tape
  • Step 1: Purchase storm door
  • Step 2: Install drip cap
  • Step 3: Hang storm door
  • Step 4: Attach hardware
  • Step 5: Test

Exterior storm doors add an extra layer of protection to your front door. They let in natural light and create a warm, inviting look. They can also enhance curb appeal and help keep out bugs and other pests. Whether it offers a full or partial view, a storm door can also add another layer of comfort to your living space.

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Installing a storm door is a fairly simple process — and one you can do yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Tools You'll Need

First, gather all tools and materials in one place. The installation process can vary depending on the style, model and size, but these are the tools you’ll need for most installations:

  • Power drill
  • Hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Sawhorses
  • Measuring tape

1. Purchase a Storm Door

You can install a storm door on any exterior entry door. Storm doors are commonly installed on front doors and back entrances. Before you install a storm door, decide why you want a storm door and the purpose it's going to serve.

For example, if your goal is to add an additional layer of security, you might choose a storm door with reinforced locks or one that has its own key. If you're adding one to improve curb appeal, you might select an option with a design or color that matches your house. For lots of natural light, choose a door with a full glass panel. If that's less important to you, then perhaps one with a partial view makes more sense.

Next, figure out the direction the door is going to swing and where you will place the handle. Most storm doors hinge on the same side as the entry door, but they don’t have to.

Measure the height of your door frame from the top of the header to the threshold. According to WikiHow, you’ll want to measure this distance in three different spots: from the left, right and middle of the header. Use the smallest number as your measurement. Measure the width of your door frame in three places, too: 6 inches from the top of the frame, 6 inches from the center and 6 inches from the bottom of the frame. Again, note the narrowest measurement. Using those two numbers, purchase a storm door in the correct size.

2. Install the Drip Cap

The drip cap is a short metal part that is installed above the storm door to prevent rain from leaking behind the frame. To secure the drip cap into the front door casing, The Spruce recommends running a line of caulk on the drip cap, then using a drill and the screws that came with your door kit.

3. Hang the Storm Door

This step involves lifting and holding the door while attaching it, so you may need assistance. Storm doors typically weigh 60 to 80 pounds. If your storm door has a screen or glass that is removable, you might consider taking it out at this time. Both the screen and glass can easily be installed once your project is complete.

According to The Home Depot’s installation guide, you’ll want to close the storm door before you place it in the opening of the entry door. Next, push the hinge side up against the jamb and measure to ensure the side Z-bar aligns with the bottom Z-bar. Adjust the door until it looks and feels tight, then screw it in place. Make sure the door opens easily.

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4. Attach the Hardware

Install the door handle and lock. You’ll probably want to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for details. Then, install the sweep, making sure its weather stripping adequately covers the width of the door. Test out your door locks to ensure they work correctly.

5. Test the New Storm Door

Test the door after you’ve completed installation to ensure the storm door opens and closes correctly. Make sure the latches are secure and that the storm door doesn't disturb the exterior door. If necessary, re-install any screens or glass inserts you may have removed prior to installing the new door.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Storm Door?

If you opt for the DIY route, it could cost between $175 to $300 to install your storm door, not including the door purchase price. According to DIY or Not, hiring a professional — a qualified contractor or handyman — to install your storm door could cost around $500, depending on hourly labor rates.

Should You Put a Storm Door on Your Front Door?

Adding a storm door provides several benefits. During the colder months, storm doors offer an extra layer of insulation. In the summer, screened storm doors can cool your house by helping to create a cross breeze. Storm doors also protect your exterior door from the elements.

Since we’re all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.