Rochester MN Home Inspector Discussion On Adding Storm Doors To Your Home

What does your home have that can improve its first impression and it’s energy efficiency?  It’s on the front of your home and sits directly in front of your main entrance. I’m talking about your storm doors.  Storm doors play an important role in your homes curb appeal and energy efficiency. They can beautify and prevent drafts. Minor issues with a broken storm door can just be something that blends into the daily noise in our lives. Sticking, slamming, flying open in the wind are a few issues that we face with our doors. A careful inspection of your storm door will help you to determine what may need to be fixed or replaced.

Rather than replace, sometimes storm doors can be fixed. This is more economical that full replacement.  If your door is slamming shut, it is probably because the hydraulic closer is broken. This is the tubular device that attaches to the door and door frame. Its purpose is to pull the door shut in a controlled manner. It can be adjusted to close smoothly. If you cannot adjust the closer, it may be time to replace it.    

Latching issues will allow the door to come loose in the wind, resulting in slamming against the house.  Adjusting the catch on the door frame so that the latch assembly can engage properly should be your first effort. If this doesn’t solve the problem, the latch assembly may need to be replaced.

If the door sticks and is hard to open, make an inspection of the door frame. The frame could be out of square. These thin aluminum frames are easily distorted if not properly installed or if they are damaged.  Screws can be prone to loosening over time. Check for squareness and make sure that all screws are properly secured. 

Sometimes the problems with a door can be beyond repair. It’s time to replace you storm door. 

Storm door prices can start under $100, but typically can cost a lot more than that. The more expensive storm doors are made from extruded aluminum and come with many great features. Some of the more popular features are the built-in or hide-away screen. Instead of having to replace the window with the screen every time the season changes, you can simply slide the glass down and the screen rolls out.

Less expensive screen doors will have options as well. Make sure to check out all of your options before making your selection. Choosing the least expensive storm door may not be your best choice. A super inexpensive aluminum door will also be thin and won’t take heavy traffic well. Often the door has a wood core and a thin aluminum skin that can dent very easily. Plus, some doors are put together so cheaply they will rattle in the wind even if they fit correctly. Make the investment for a good quality door and you’ll find it will last longer and hold up to more abuse.

There are lots of options as storm doors come in many styles. They can be special ordered in a wide range of custom colors and designs. The choices for your new storm door can be almost endless.

Now comes the question of installation. Some of the big box retailers that sell the storm doors often have professionals that can install your door for you for $100-$200. If you have a limited budget and are confident in your Do-It-Yourself skills, put the extra money into getting a better door and do the installation yourself. It is really not that difficult. Also note that is doesn’t hurt to have a helper for this project.

Don’t let that old storm door slam, bang, or squeak through another winter. Add some beauty and energy efficiency to your home.