How to Install a Storm Door

A step-by-step guide to storm door installation

Storm doors offer a solution to drafts and high heating and cooling bills, as they create an effective barrier against thermal transfer and seal gaps that allow air to escape. While most manufacturers of storm doors sell their products in ready-to-install kits, it still helps to know the basic techniques used to install storm doors. You'll need some basic tools, including:

  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife
  • Power drill
  • Pencil
  • Center punch
  • Hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Pliers
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Sawhorses
  • Shims

Installing Storm Doors

Follow these steps:

  1. Rest the door on your sawhorses, and fasten the Z-bar to the hinge side of the storm door.
  2. Fit the storm door to the frame, and shim it into place if necessary. Be sure to leave at least ¼ inch of clearance at the bottom of the door.
  3. Remove the bottom expander from the door, insert the plastic sweep into the channel, then reattach the bottom expander.
  4. Install the door's latch. Fasten it in place with your screwdriver.
  5. Hang the door in the frame and attach the hinges.
  6. Check to make sure that the door opens and closes properly, and make any necessary adjustments if it doesn't. You can sand away some length off the bottom of the door if there isn't enough clearance. (This is the most common issue when it comes to improper opening and closure.)
  7. Go inside your home and bring the door into its closed position.
  8. Make sure the door closer is level, and mark the spot where the bracket will go.
  9. Install the bracket using screws of the appropriate size.
  10. Adjust the bypass valve as necessary if you want to alter the speed at which the door closes.
  11. Add the safety chain, if one came with your kit. Make sure it is positioned at a right angle to the door itself.

These installation instructions apply to all types of storm doors, including aluminum doors and patio doors. However, there may be variations in the exact procedure. Always refer to and follow the instructions which accompany your storm door kit to ensure the installation yields the desired results.