How to Install a Storm Door
Installing a storm door can help keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Storm doors help save energy by blocking drafts and keeping hot or cool air from leaking outside, according to Energy.gov. All you need are a storm door kit, a few standard tools and a bit of time.
To get started, you’ll need the following tools and materials, according to DIY Network:
- Storm door kit and accompanying hardware
- Drill and drill bits
- Tape measure
- Screwdriver that works with your door kit
- Sawhorses or a large, flat work surface
Installing Your Storm Door
Once you have your new storm door and tools, it’s time to get started. This process will involve fastening the hinge to the door and fitting the new door into the opening, installing the rubber sweep, latch and doorknob, and lastly, adding the closing mechanism. Follow this step-by-step guide:
Prepare the Storm Door and Opening
First, remove the new door from its packaging and check to make sure the kit contains all the components listed in the instruction manual, The Family Handyman recommends.
- Carefully remove the glass from your new storm door, DIY Network says, as this will make it lighter and easier to work with. You can do this by snapping out the shipping clips securing the glass to the frame.
- Next, you’ll attach the Z-bar to the hinge side of your doorframe. (Better Homes and Gardens notes that a Z-bar helps close the gap between the door and door frame.) If you need to cut the Z-bar to fit, refer to the instructions provided with your door kit.
- If you need to paint the trim on your door entry, do so now, The Family Handyman advises. It should be easier to paint before you attach the hardware to the door frame so that you are not working around it. Allow the paint to dry completely before continuing on to the next step.
Fit the Storm Door to the Opening
Once the Z-bar is fastened, it’s time to fit the storm door into the frame. The Family Handyman offers the following tips:
- Place the door into the door frame as tightly as possible. Attach the door to the hinge-side Z-bar.
- With the door open, insert the top Z-bar; close the door and screw in the Z-bar.
- Mount the latch mechanism according to the instructions provided with your kit.
Install the Rubber Sweep
Next, you’ll install rubber sweeps under the door. According to DIY Network, the rubber “fins” on the sweep help keep drafts from coming in under your door. DIY Network provides the following instructions:
- Remove the expander sweep from the bottom of the door (which is now hanging in the frame). This is the plate attached to the bottom of your door.
- Slide the fine into the channel on the expander sweep and cut it to fit.
- Crimp the end of the sweep to help hold the rubber fins in place.
- Replace the expander on the door, and screw it in on the inside.
Install the Doorknob
Your door kit will typically come with a template and instructions to help with this step, according to DIY Network. (If it doesn’t come with instructions, try contacting the manufacturer or looking online for details.) Follow the template to determine where to drill holes for the doorknob and lock. Once the holes are drilled, line up the lock and knob and install them into the holes, DIY Network says. You’ll want to install the exterior pieces first and then the interior components as described in the manufacturer instructions.
Install the Closing Mechanism
Finally, it’s time to make sure your storm door will latch and stay closed by installing the closing mechanism, or closer, which controls the speed of the door as it shuts. You can then move pins on the mechanism to determine how quickly you want your door to close, The Family Handyman says.
You’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the closing mechanism, but generally you will:
- Assemble the bottom closer with the brackets at each end, DIY Network says.
- Screw the closer bracket into the jamb, which is the side of the door frame, then attach the closer unit and use a level to make sure it’s horizontal, The Family Handyman says. Screw the closer to the door. Repeat for the top closer unit.
- Adjust the closer tension using the door’s glass insert instead of the screen because it will be heavier, The Family Handyman notes (although you might want to readjust when the screen is in place).
By following these steps, you can install a new storm door and enjoy a more draft-free home.