How to Choose the Best Type of Storm Door for Your Home

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated October 27, 2016
House with glass storm door covering green front door
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You probably put a lot of thought into choosing the right style of front door for you—after all, it’s the first thing that welcomes you home. As such, you want to keep it looking good and protect it from the most unpredictable force—Mother Nature—which is where adding a storm door comes in.

A storm door comes before your front door and gives it extra protection from rain, snow, sleet, and other weather events (or a pesky raccoon that seems to like scratching up your front door). There are a few different types of storm doors you can choose from, so read on before you make your purchase.

1. Vinyl-Clad Storm Doors

Vinyl-clad storm doors are popular and tend to hold up well against every type of climate. So whether you have 6 inches of snow or rain, you’ll find this type of door is excellent at keeping out any form of water.

While this type of storm door holds up well against the forces of nature, it’s not the most stylish door style on the market. Even if you end up opting for a color that matches the rest of the home, there’s a good chance the color will fade from the sun. Most people will opt for white or a similar color to avoid fading.

Who Should Choose a Vinyl-Clad Storm Door?

Virtually anyone can choose a vinyl-clad storm door. The only drawback is the fact that your color choices are going to be a lot more limited. These doors work well against high winds, rain, and snow, making them ideal for every climate.

2. Steel-Clad Storm Doors

Steel-clad storm doors are a step up in terms of strength. They’re heavier and will hold up the best against debris from high winds during a tornado or hurricane. The color of these doors also tends to hold up better in the long run, though you still won’t have a particularly vast selection.

Who Should Choose a Steel-Clad Storm Door?

If you live in an area that tends to see high winds, you might want to consider a steel-clad storm door over vinyl or aluminum. These areas include those along the East Coast, around the Gulf of Mexico, and those living in Tornado Valley. A local storm door installation company can further guide you on your options.

3. Aluminum Storm Doors

White storm door on green two-story house
Philippe Intraligi/EyeEm via Getty Images

Aluminum doors are lightweight but tend to hold up rather well against all types of weather. The biggest pro to choosing an aluminum storm door is the ability to choose from more colors. The colors available range from neutrals to bold tones like blue to red, and you can mix and match as you see fit.

Who Should Choose Aluminum Storm Doors?

Aluminum storm doors typically come in at a more affordable cost than steel-clad storm doors, making them a popular option. The wide variety in colors also makes them a great choice for those that don’t want to sacrifice style in favor of protection. Aluminum storm doors only come slightly behind steel-clad options when it comes to durability.

4. Wood-Core Storm Doors

Wood-core storm doors aren’t all wood. Instead, the frame is wood, and then the rest of the material is either vinyl, steel, or aluminum. Because of this construction, these types of storm doors do well for aesthetics but tend to fare the worst against Mother Nature.

Who Should Choose a Wood-Core Storm Door?

If you live in an area where storms of any kind only come once in a blue moon, you may want to opt for a wood-core storm door. These doors still offer quite a bit of extra protection, and they’re relatively budget-friendly. However, they’re not the best option for those who can expect a hurricane, tornado, or major blizzard at any point in the year.

Choosing a Storm Door Style

Once you’ve decided on a material for your storm door, you can start the process of picking out the style. When you’re talking about the style of a storm door, you’re typically referring to how much visibility you want your door to have.

1. Full-View Storm Doors

Full-view storm doors are exactly what they sound like; they offer a full, visible glass panel that fits into a narrow frame on the door. However, some storm doors opt for two glass panels and split the door horizontally down the middle. In these instances, you can typically slide the top panel down to act as a window during the non-stormy season.

You should opt for a full-view storm door if you want your front door to be a home’s focal point and want to let in plenty of natural light. In this way, you’re still showing off the color and style of the front door, and you’ll still get some protection from the storm door.

2. Half-View Storm Doors

Rather than having that second glass panel on the bottom, half-view storm doors instead utilize whatever material the frame is made of and make that section solid. This style makes the door sturdier than its full-view option.

You should go for a half-view storm door if you want the best of both worlds by allowing some natural light in and also providing plenty of protection.

3. High-View Storm Doors

High-view storm doors are mostly made of your chosen material, with the exception of a small glass panel located at the top of the storm door. This style maximizes the protection at the cost of visibility. 

A high-view storm door should be in your future if you know you live in a very high-risk zone for high winds. Ideally, you’ll want to pair this with a steel or aluminum storm door for the best protection.

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