How to Install a Storm Door

How to Steps on Installing a Storm Door

By Mark J. Donovan

Installing a Storm door is an excellent way to reduce your home’s winter heating bills and to enjoy the warm weather months without the insects. In addition, a quality storm door can also add another level of security to your home.

Storm doors come in a variety of styles and sizes. You can find inexpensive storm doors made out of wood, to high end aluminum clad doors. Storm doors offer a couple of basic window types, either full height windows or half height windows.

Standard door widths are available to fit 2’6”, 2’8”, 2’10” and 3’ wide entrance ways and they are capable of being hinged on either the left or right side. Storm doors also come in standard heights, including 6’6” and 6’8”.

Required Tools for Installing Storm Doors – Hacksaw, Measuring Tape, Pencil, Screwdriver / Screw gun, Drill with, Drill bits, Hammer, Level, 2 Sawhorses, Safety glasses, and Second pair of hands.

Before buying a storm door, it is important that you measure the door opening correctly. When measuring for a storm door, measure between the doorframe (top-to-bottom, and left-to-right).

How to Install Storm Door Instructions

Storm Door installation can be done by the do it yourself homeowner, as storm doors come with detailed instructions and templates to help make the installation go smoothly.

Prior to installing a storm door it is best to set up a good work space with a large flat space to lay the storm door down on. A couple of sawhorses can be very helpful.

First attach the top horizontal rail to the top of the door jamb. You may need to trim the top rail with a hacksaw to the appropriate width. (Make sure you are wearing your safety glasses when cutting the storm door frames.)

Second, attach the vertical door hinge to the side of the storm door where you want it to hinge. It is best to attach the vertical door hinge so that it extends about ¼” beyond the upper edge of the door.

If the storm door has a sweep, attach it to the storm door.

Next, measure the height of the door jamb and transfer this measurement to the vertical door hinge. After marking the door hinges use a hack saw to trim the bottom edge of the door hinge.

With the vertical door hinge and sweep attached, place the storm door into the door jamb and secure it with screws. It is best to install the upper screw first, and then using a level, adjust the door so that it is plumb (perfectly vertical). With the door plumb secure the door to the door jamb with additional screws.

With the storm door attached, open and close it to see if it swings freely. Assuming it does, it is time to move on to install the other vertical frame member.

Again, measure the height of the door jamb opposite the hinge side. Transfer this measurement to the second vertical member and trim accordingly with a hacksaw.

Storm door

Attach the second vertical frame to the door jamb opposite the hinge side with screws.

Again, swing the door open and close to see if the door closes smoothly up against the non-hinged vertical frame.

Installing Storm Door Hardware

Attach the door handle and locking mechanism to the storm door and the storm door frame. Usually a template is provided to enable you to mark the locations for pilot holes. This is an area of the installation that you need to get correct so take your time.

Next attach the Door Closer/Operator assembly to the storm door and the door jamb per the manufacturer’s instructions. Some storm doors come with Door Closer/Operator assemblies for both the top and the bottom of the door.

Once you have attached the Door Closer/Operator assembly to the storm door, open and close the storm door to see if it swings freely and closes on its own. You may need to adjust the Door Closer/Operator unit by adjusting a nut on the back of it.

Once you have confirmed the storm door is working properly, attach the safety chain mechanism to the Door Closer/Operator assembly and the door jamb. This safety chain helps to ensure the Door Closer/Operator is not damaged by being opened too wide, e.g. during high winds.

For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

Related Information

Additional Door Resources from

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