Storm Doors Protect Better than Screen Doors

Written by Angie's List Staff
Updated December 8, 2011
Pella exterior storm door
A quality storm door protects your front door. It also allows light in while keeping pets or children inside. (Photo courtesy of Pella® Windows and Doors)

Door installation experts explain the benefits of storm doors versus screen doors.

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Screen and storm doors are alike in the fact they both provide protection, but who or what they provide protection to differs.

“Screen doors are installed over existing primary doors so that you can allow fresh air and light into the home, and hopefully, leave pests outside,” says Bob Blanton, president of highly rated All Seasons Windows & Doors in Charlotte, N.C.

Keeping pests outside will benefit you and your family, but a screen door provides little protection to the door it’s covering. The Charlotte door installer says his company sells more storm doors than screen doors, “because the glass offers the protection from the weather, and along with a good deadbolt lock, a level of protection from intruders."

Mohsen Salama, of Clear Choice Windows and Doors, in Tigard, Ore., says a storm door provides primary protection to the door over which it is installed.

“If you have a nice, stained front door and it’s exposed to the elements, it’s gonna give that door a little bit of protection from the rain, wind, sun, all that good stuff,” Salama says. “In the summertime when you want your front door open and you have children, it’s nice to shut that exterior storm door and lock it so you can get some wind ventilation from the top of the door but your kids aren’t going to be able to go into the street.

"It allows a light in, but the pets and the children are not just free to roam to the exterior.”

Salama says he does not recommend a storm door installation for all of his Portland-area customers. “It depends on where they live and what they are going to use it for,” he says.

Some of the area neighborhoods are social, and neighbors like to leave their front doors open so their front porches are open and inviting to socialization. For those homeowners in wooded areas or neighborhoods where leaving the front door open isn’t ideal, a storm door wouldn’t be necessary.

Salama agrees with Blanton that storm doors are beneficial in providing extra protection. “You have one more layer between you and whoever is on the exterior that you don’t know that’s knocking on your door,” he says.

Homeowner Tom Deren chose to install two storm doors at his home after experiencing a break-in. Highly rated Sauder Home Improvement of Cincinnati was able to provide the perfect fit.

“Door installation often times involves solving problems with locks and their alignment, and [Sauder] was very good at putting new parts into an old framework,” he says of his Cincinnati door installer.

Though there are storm doors for every budget, Salama says a cheaper door might not be the best investment. A homeowner could purchase a screen door for as little as $125, but it might deteriorate within five years, he says. A higher quality storm door that costs about $700 could provide protection for up to 30 years. When it comes to storm doors, Salama says you get what you pay for.

“With exterior products, that is so true in every aspect of the product,” he says.

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