Do I Need a Storm Door?

Bry'Ana Arvie
Written by Bry'Ana Arvie
Updated October 5, 2021
Home entryway door with storm door
OliverChilds/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Storm doors are a budget-friendly way to make your home feel more inviting

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Storm doors may not be the most glamorous home addition, but they can add a lot more to your house’s appearance than you might think. Their design has greatly improved over the years, and they come with more convenient features than ever. But if you’re still torn on whether a storm door is right for you and your home, these FAQs can help you on your search.

What Is a Storm Door?

Storm doors are exterior doors made of wood, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, or steel with glass panels that you install in front of your existing exterior door. They serve different uses but overall, they allow for more light to come through your home, improve insulation, and provide seasonal ventilation.

What’s the Difference Between Storm and Screen Doors?

Both storm and screen doors are the outermost exterior entry door. But the difference between them is that screen doors are doors on a wooden or aluminum frame with screen panels. Their main purpose is ventilation. You can let air in and out of your home without welcoming insects too.

But screen doors are easy to rip, especially if you have pets or kids. And if it’s raining, you have to close your front door to prevent your home from getting wet. 

Storm doors use a glass panel and are more durable than a screen door. Plus, if you still want ventilation, they make storm doors that can switch between its glass and screen panel without a problem.

What Types of Storm Doors Are There?

Cat looking out a storm door
Melissa Ross/Moment via Getty Images

If you’re thinking of adding a storm door to your home, you can choose from a few different options depending on your needs and goals:

Full-View Storm Doors

Full view storm doors have an all-glass panel from the top to the bottom of the door. These doors provide maximum natural light and allow you to see outside without any restrictions. 

Some of these doors also come with interchangeable screens that allow you to remove the glass panel for seasonal ventilation.

Mid-View Storm Doors

A mid-view storm door has divided glass panels covering most of it, with 12 to 18 inches of solid material at the bottom. These doors are perfect if you want ventilation, natural light, and a door that can withstand heavy foot traffic.

High-View Storm Doors

These storm doors have a glass panel only on their top portion, while the bottom is solid material. They work best if you want some natural light but want to limit how much of your home’s interior people can see from the outside. 

This option is also great if you have kids or pets since the bottom half of high-view doors hides finger and paw prints. And you won’t have to worry about them potentially hurting themselves on the glass panels.

Storm Door Pros

Let’s look at some of the benefits you can expect from adding a storm door:

Improves Airflow

Some storm doors offer the flexibility of changing your glass panel to a screen one during warmer weather. So, if your home is feeling a little stuffy, you can easily switch between your panels and allow for a nice breeze to come through your door.

Protects Against Environmental Factors

When it’s raining or windy, your storm door can protect your front door, which can help it maintain its original appearance. Besides your front door, storm doors also provide another barrier between insects and small animals from entering your home.

Boosts Energy Efficiency

Air may seep through the cracks if you live in an older home or your front door isn’t correctly installed. This draft can increase your energy bill and means your home isn’t regulating its temperature. A storm door can act as additional insulation, which can help lower your electric bill by keeping cool air in and hot air out in the summer and vice versa in the winter.

Lets More Natural Light In

With a front door, there’s very little, if any, natural light that’s able to come in. Storm doors, on the other hand, let in all the natural light you want without leaving your home exposed.

Affordable

It’s much cheaper to install a storm door than it is to replace an exterior door. And even if you plan on changing your front door out eventually, these doors are a budget-friendly option that can benefit your home while you work towards installing a new front door.

May Offer Additional Security

Storm doors can also act as another layer of protection. Some storm doors even have keyed deadbolts you can use when you’re away from home.

Storm Door Cons

Storm doors are handy, but they don’t come without their drawbacks:

Inconvenient

While storm doors offer great benefits, not everyone wants to or can go through two doors to get in and out of their homes.

Not Optimal for Every Home

If your entry door is sealed correctly, in good condition, and protected under a porch or roof, you might not need a storm door. Of course, every situation is different, so you’ll want to evaluate your reasons behind getting a storm door before making that investment.

Maintenance

Another door means another thing to clean and maintain. While a storm door will protect your front door from the environment, its glass panels can still show signs of dirt, grime, fingerprints, bugs, etc. And since your storm door will be a focal point to your entryway, you’ll need to stay on top of cleaning any imperfections. 

Also, you might need to replace some of its parts, such as the door handle, lock, and door stopper, over time.

Is a Storm Door Right for Me?

Here are the different factors to consider when deciding if a storm door is best for your home:

Where You Live

Storm doors can trap heat which can cause your front door to warp. This problem is more common if you live in a warm climate and your front door gets direct sunlight a few hours a day. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of getting one, and you’ll have to look into getting a storm door designed to minimize UV rays.

The Door You Have Now

Do you have an older wooden door? If so, it may be prone to drafts, which affect your energy bill. A storm door can help you lower your energy bill. Plus, it can drastically improve your curb appeal.

But you’re less likely to need one if you have a newer model door and it’s airtight.

Your Goals

Storm doors are great, but they’re not a catch-all. If you’re aiming for maximum security for your entryways, then you’ll want to consider an actual security door that’s far better suited to the task.

If you’re looking to lower your energy bill, then don’t rely on a storm door to fix that entire problem for you. There’s no denying that it’ll help, but your entry door probably isn’t the only area in your home that’s affecting its energy efficiency. 

So, before you look into getting a storm door, ensure that you have realistic expectations of how it can help you with your goals.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Storm Door?

To install a storm door, you can expect to pay $180 to $590 for materials and professional installation, though it can be as low as $100 and up to $1,100.  

And depending on the type of storm door you want and the features that come with it, it’ll cost $100 to $950 per door. But to get a more personalized idea of how much your project will cost, contact a storm door contractor near you.

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