How To Install A Storm Door

Installing a storm door may appear challenging and time-consuming; nevertheless, developments in manufacture and design have made the process simple enough that the typical homeowner may complete the operation from start to finish in a single afternoon. You can take advantage of the myriad benefits of installing a storm door by following our comprehensive how-to guide that walks you through each process stage step-by-step.

Before You Begin

Prehung storm door kits are available at major home improvement chains and hardware stores, and these kits are typically available in the four most common door widths: 30, 32, 34, and 36 inches. You can order a custom-sized door to fit your door frame or purchase an extension kit to fill the additional space between the door and the frame.

These kits come complete with the necessary installation and operational components, making it much simpler to hang a storm door. Nevertheless, handles and locksets are typically available for purchase individually. Hinge connections allow the storm door to be attached to the frame, and it comes equipped with either a hydraulic or pneumatic door closer that can mechanically pull the door shut.

The conventional white, black, or brown kinds of storm doors that were popular in the past have been replaced by far more fashionable options in today's market. Homeowners can now quickly select a design that complements their exterior and improves their curb appeal, thanks to the availability of a selection of fashionable colors and decorative effects.

How To Install A Storm Door

how to install a storm door


Step 1: Measure your door frame and decide which door swing direction you want.

First, what you need to do when taking measurements for your new storm door is to determine the swing direction of the door as well as the location of the handle and lockset. Because storm doors are typically located outside the primary entry door, they almost usually swing outward (and therefore cannot turn inward). Nonetheless, storm doors may open in either the left or the right direction. Different vendors may refer to this door aspect as its "handedness." 

The handedness of the unit can be determined by looking at it from the exterior of your house. A storm door that opens to the right will have its handle on the right side, whereas a storm door that opens to the left will have its grip on the left. The handle is located on the side of the door that is not adjacent to the hinges. As a general rule, the handle of the storm door should be placed on the same side as the handle of the primary entrance.

When installing a pre-hung storm door, it is essential to obtain the appropriate measurements. To begin, get a level and check to see if your doorframe is level and square. Wood shims can be used to achieve a better fit if changes are required. The following step is to measure the height and breadth of the storm door frame beginning from the interior of the exterior trim components. 

Calculating the width of the door at three points: the top, center, and bottom, is a good idea. If the width varies in any way, choose the storm door with the narrowest width.

Door frames might vary in height from the top to the threshold, so it's essential to take measurements in the center, on both sides, and at the top. Choose the size that yields the shortest value. You need to remember that most storm doors demand that you leave a gap between the door panel and the frame so that there is room for the structure to expand and contract according to the changing seasons. 

This is an essential consideration. You must adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines about spacing. Stand the screen doors up in the opening while in the closed position to ensure it fits properly. Shims made of wood can be used if it is necessary to level the door.

Step 2: Attach the rain cap and hinge-side Z-bar.

The next thing you need to do is secure the rain cap to the very peak of the frame. This part is a short rail installed across the top of the structure and above the door panel to prevent water from seeping between the storm and entry doors. It is also referred to as a "drip cap." Screws are the traditional fastening method for the rain cap.

The next step is to cut and install the Z-bar on the hinge side of the door. First, lay the Z-bar against the opening on the hinge side of the door and then mark the top. Determine the height of the door opening by measuring the distance from the bottom of the rain cover to the very top of the sill. 

After marking a cutoff line on the hinge side of the Z-bar, cut it with a hand saw or hacksaw to have a slight slope toward the outside. This is done to allow the slope of the door sill. Screw the Z-bar that goes on the door's hinge side to the door.

Step 3: Hang the storm door.

When the door is closed, insert it in the opening and push the hinge side of the door snugly against the door jamb. Check to see that the top of the hinge-side Z-bar is approximately a quarter of an inch from the bottom edge of the drip cap. It is essential to check that the door is level and plumb and to make any necessary adjustments. Install screws on the side of the hinge to secure it.

First, check that the door can be opened and closed without problems. Next, measure and cut the Z-bar on the handle side as you measured and cut the Z-bar on the hinge side. Follow the guidelines that the manufacturer provides regarding how much of an expansion gap should be left between the Z-bar and the door (the majority of manufacturers recommend leaving between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch to allow for the door to expand and contract).

Do a final operation check on the door, then use screws to fasten the Z-bar on the handle side.

Step 4: Attach the storm door hardware.

how to install a storm door


Some pre-hung storm doors will already have handles and locksets installed, while others require you to purchase the hardware separately. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to correctly install the handle set and lockset, ensuring that neither the handle nor the lockset creates any obstacles to the operation of the door. The door sweep and the door closer usually are the two additional pieces of hardware acquired together.

Put the weatherstripping for the door sweep in place along the bottom of the door. Most of the time, this will slide onto the bottom of the door; however, some may come with screws. Remove any unnecessary parts.

After the retractable screen doors closer have been installed, the speed with which the door closes can be altered by adjusting the degree to which the more intimate is loosened or tightened. It would help if you placed the safety chain to enable the door to open to a 90-degree angle. Specific versions of door closers come with a safety chain as standard equipment.


1. How long does it take to install a storm door?

A homeowner with basic handyman skills may install a pre-hung storm door in less than four hours. If the door opening requires an extension kit, you should count on spending an additional half an hour to an hour on the project. In addition, for an additional cost, several home improvement stores provide professional storm door installation services.

2. Can you install a storm door on any door?

Storm doors are mounted on the outside of an outside door or in front of it. They are most commonly seen on front entry doors, although depending on the function of the access door, they can be installed on any door that provides access. In most cases, you will find them on single doors; however, there are also possibilities for storm doors that have the appearance of french doors.

3. When should you not use a storm door?

If your entryway is exposed to more than two or three hours of direct sunshine daily, we do not advocate installing storm doors. In this scenario, the storm door can act as a heat trap, which could cause damage to the entry door. Consider purchasing a storm door with low-emissive glass or vents if you are set on having one installed.

Final Words

You can save money on energy expenditures, add an extra layer of protection, and extend the lifespan of your existing entry door by installing a storm door in your home, a home improvement project that is simple, quick, and can be done by yourself. A pre-hung storm door kit can be installed in most homes in about four hours. 

This requires the homeowner to carefully read and follow our guide on installing a storm door, which can be found here. This is a relatively short investment in time and effort that can pay significant benefits over the years.

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Shanly Ciara
Shanly Ciara
I'm Shanly Ciara, a product reviewer of products for everyday life. Years of experience writing product reviews for various websites, companies, and specialty sales applications. I will give you the best choice. Thank you.