If you were to step outside and take a walk down the street, odds are, you’d be able to see some variation in front door styles. Some would be elaborate, while others would be more on the minimalist side. Most would probably have doorbells to the side of them, though a few might only have knockers. But there’s one other quality you’d be very likely to find — some houses would have two front doors, one right in front of the other.
In these cases, the outer door is typically known as a storm door. Many homes come equipped with at least one storm door to protect the regular doors from various elements. If your home isn’t among them, you may want to look into installing a storm door. They can be beneficial in several different ways, and they’re necessary in some homes to protect against many different types of damage.
What Is a Storm Door?
A storm door is a special type of door that can be placed over a regular one. Unlike most doors, which consist almost entirely of a large slab of wood, storm doors are made mostly of glass panes. These panes are bordered in a frame, usually made of wood or metal, which keeps the door sturdy. Some storm doors have a single long glass pane that makes up the entire door, while others are divided into multiple panes.
The purpose of storm doors is to protect the interior doors from outside damage. This damage can come from things like insects, weather or other factors. Storm doors provide protection from these things, allowing the interior door to remain in good condition.
A common alternative to a storm door is a screen door. Screen doors are very similar in terms of structure, except instead of glass, they have a wire screen filling the interior of the frame. However, the two are used for slightly different purposes. Unlike storm doors, screen doors won’t keep out water. They will, however, let air through when the regular door is left open. This feature allows air to travel into the house from the outside without being accompanied by insects.
In many cases, storm and screen doors are combined. In these doors, the glass panes are removable, so the door can serve different functions at different times of the year. In winter, you can leave the glass in for insulation, but in summer, you can remove it, so you get outside air coming into the house.
What Are the Benefits of Installing a Storm Door?
If you’re like a lot of people and don’t live in a hurricane zone, you may feel you don’t need a storm door. But, having a storm door installed in your home brings many different advantages, which you may not realize until you install one. Some of these are rooted in the primary purpose of the door, but others are more of an added bonus. Before you discount the idea of installing a storm door, consider these benefits:
1. Regular Door Appearance
A storm door can keep the door behind it looking nice. Various elements can ruin the look of a door, and you probably don’t want to spend a day every month refinishing and repainting it. This benefit is especially helpful if you’re using it for your front door. You may have a beautiful front door. Perhaps you even painted it or put some money into it yourself. Whatever the case, you want to keep your front door looking great, and a storm door is ideal for protecting it from everything from a hailstorm to an aggressive paperboy.
2. Added Security
Another benefit of a storm door is that it provides an additional barrier for potential intruders. While burglars are often depicted as entering through windows, that’s not likely to be a thief’s first choice. Doors are made for entering through, so they’re easier to use.
But, if you install a storm door, you’ll ensure that any intruder who chooses to enter through the front door will have to go through two doors instead of one. Getting through a locked door isn’t often an easy process, so doubling it is significant. This feature can serve as a means of deterring or hindering potential thieves, should there ever be any.
3. Extra Openness
While at night, you might want two locked doors for safety, during the day, your storm door can allow you to keep your regular front door open. Since the storm door is almost entirely made of glass, it will let much more natural light enter your home, creating a feeling of more space.
If your storm door is currently functioning as a screen door, it will let in light and outside air — without any of the bugs. This arrangement can be particularly convenient in the summer, when it can be nice to have an additional source of airflow through the house.
4. Extra Insulation
Extra openness is great for summer, but in winter, you’re probably just interested in keeping warm — the last thing you want is to leave a door open or have outside air coming in. Fortunately, storm doors can help with that, too. Just as two doors are better than one when it comes to keeping out intruders, the same is true for keeping out the cold.
It’s harder for warmth to escape the house when it has to go through two doors instead of one. Storm doors provide an extra layer of insulation, trapping heat inside your home to give you additional warmth in the winter.
5. Protection Against Water
Another thing storm doors can guard against is water damage to your home. This water damage could occur from natural events like heavy rains or flooding. In certain cases, like flooding, water can seep under your regular door and into the house, causing damage inside as well as outside. Storm doors can keep out much of that water, though, sparing you costly repairs.
6. Protection Against Insects
Insects can be a pain for many reasons. To start with, they can cause your regular door’s appearance to deteriorate, both from direct damage and from simply splatting on the surface. But much like water, they can also infiltrate gaps around doorways to enter your home, thus causing problems both inside and out.
Storm doors offer protection against all of these effects, keeping bugs off the regular door and adding an extra layer that they have to penetrate to enter your home. Screen doors accomplish the same function, so you can open your front door to allow a breeze in without allowing the accompanying pest infestation.
7. Saved Money
Thanks to many of their other benefits, storm doors can save you a lot of money. Installing one can keep you from having to pay to upkeep your regular door due to damage. Plus, if you take advantage of the extra openness and insulation at different times of the year, you can save on your utilities. Natural light through the door can eliminate the need for as much electric lighting, using a screen door in the summer can limit your reliance on air conditioning, and the added insulation in winter can bring down heating bills.
You might think that if storm doors need to be replaced every so often, they might not be worth the investment. However, once you install one in your home, it will probably be quite a long time before you have to start thinking about replacing it. When combined with the benefit of having lower utility expenses, you may even end up saving more money over the years as a result of your storm door than you spend on it.
9. Easy Installation
Attaching a whole new door to a house might sound like something that requires a lot of mechanical knowledge, experience and time. Fortunately, though, it’s a very simple process. Some professionals will even install it for you when you purchase it.
10. Customizable Design
Despite always featuring the same basic components, not all screen doors look exactly the same. There’s quite a bit of room for customization, regarding both function and appearance. You could switch up the number of glass panes used, or opt for a door that transforms into a screen door. Several different customization options are available for storm doors. Here are a few such options:
- Full-size pane: One of the more common formats for storm doors, this option is composed of a single glass pane spanning the full length of the door within the frame on each side.
- Half-size pane: In this format, only one half of the door — usually the top one — is composed of glass. The lower half is typically constructed from the same material as the frame, so that visibility is more limited.
- Wire screen: As noted earlier, some doors come with the option of wire screens instead of glass, or in addition to them. These offer slightly different benefits than normal glass storm doors.
- Frame options: Though most of the focus is put on the door’s fill, the frame can be just as important to the way it looks. You can get a simple, unadorned frame or one that has the color and design to complement your regular door or siding.
- Kick plate: If your door only has a half-sized glass pane at the top, it leaves room for you to install a kick plate near the bottom. These protect the door against any damage it might sustain by being pushed open by people’s feet when their hands are full.
- Bottom sweep: Adding a bottom sweep to your storm door will help it produce better insulation, keeping drafts from going underneath it and entering the house. It also guards against possible flood damage.
How Do You Know If You Need a Storm Door?
Do you have to have a storm door? For some homes, the answer might be no — however, that doesn’t mean they can’t still be good to have. But while nearly anyone can enjoy the various benefits offered by storm doors, plenty of homes legitimately need them.
Different factors can determine if a storm door is necessary. Depending on your circumstance, it may be particularly helpful for you to look into investing in one. Here are some of the main features of your home that can indicate the need for a storm door:
- Natural light: If you have a preference for natural light over artificial light — especially if your home doesn’t have the benefit of a sunroom — a storm door is probably a good investment.
- Pest problems: If your home has frequent issues with pests coming inside, a storm door is one measure you can take to secure your house against them.
- Poor insulation: If your home’s insulation isn’t very good, your air conditioning and heating bills can skyrocket in an effort to compensate. A storm door can help balance out this problem.
- Extreme temperatures: If you live in a region of the country that gets especially hot in summer or especially cold in winter, you’ll again have very high utility bills during that time of year, making storm doors helpful to have.
- Old doors: If the doors on your home are reasonably old, they’re more vulnerable to damage from the various elements. These doors, in particular, need to be equipped with a storm door to keep them in good shape.
- Wild weather: If you live in an area that experiences a lot of harsh weather, whether it be constant rain or occasional full-blown hurricanes, you’ll want a storm door for its most literal purpose — guarding your home against storms.
Where Can You Get a Storm Door?
If you live in Toledo, throughout the northwest Ohio region or in southeast Michigan, give Quality Overhead Door a call at 419-578-8700, and we’ll install your storm door in a matter of hours. Just one quick call, and soon, you’ll have a great new storm door to call your own. We can even customize your door to provide as much or as little ventilation and visibility as you want, as well as according to your color preferences.
Quality Overhead Door has been installing garage doors, storm doors and patio doors for years, with experience dating back to our founding in 1982. Our reputation for quality and service has earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the Angie’s List Super Service Award and plenty of testimonials from satisfied customers.
We think once you see how easy it is to install a quality storm door and how much it enhances your home, you may want to install them on all your entry doors. Whatever your door needs are, we’re happy to get them done fast and right, with a commitment to customer service as strong as any business you’ll find in the Ohio-Michigan area. Contact Quality Overhead Door today for a free estimate on your new storm door installation or to request service.
Additional Resources on Garage Door Weather Tips:
- Is A Storm Door Necessary?
- Garage Door-Friendly Ice and Snow Removal Tips
- How Does Summer Weather Affect Your Garage Door?
- How Does Winter Affect Your Garage Door?