Storm doors are the unsung heroes of our entryways. They protect our exterior doors from the weather and add a layer of insulation in the winter. In summer months, their screens let in cool breezes. And year-round, a locking storm door offers a little extra security.
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Most storm doors these days are made from aluminum, fiberglass, or vinyl. Wood doors offer a nice period touch, but beware-they're bears to maintain. In general, look for smooth hinge operation, sturdy construction, and welded corners in metal and vinyl doors.
Before you shop for a new door, figure out the appropriate size for your opening and which side your door needs to be hinged on. Storm doors are usually hinged on the same side as the entry door, but in some cases doing so would create an awkward traffic pattern. Evaluate your entry layout and choose accordingly.
Then consider your design options. Full-view doors have a large window panel, so they're great for showing off an entry door, but you'll need to switch out the entire glass panel for a screen in warmer months.
Ventilating storm doors have a smaller opening with glass panels that slide up or down to reveal the screen. Some designs have retractable screens that roll down when the top glass panel is lowered.
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