How to Install a Storm Door

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON: Our next stop today is Brentwood, New Hampshire.  Like the pilgrims, Sue and Marcus Sutches, came to New England from Old England.  And they’ve decided to make this country their home. And did I mention their daughter, Hannah? 

HANNAH SUTCHES: Hannah!

RON HAZELTON:  Now, who’s this?

HANNAH SUTCHES:  Marble!

RON HAZELTON:  Marble! What a nice cat! So, Hannah, do you know why we are here today? Sue wants to dress up the front of the house a bit, with a sturdy yet decorative storm door.

SUE SUTCHES:  We want to have it open, we want the light to come in, we want the breeze to come in.

RON HAZELTON:   While Hannah and Marcus start on another project, Sue and I get down to work. Let’s see, here are the directions for how this goes. Just kidding! This manufacturer actually provides excellent instructions, and that’s a big help because people are often intimidated by hanging a big door. These steps are really pretty simple. Now the first thing we are going to have to do is decide which side we’re going to hinge the storm door on. In almost every case it is hinged on the same side at the entry door hinges, which would put this on the left.

SUE SUTCHES:  That’s fine.

RON HAZELTON:  Okay, so the first thing we are going to have to do is attach the hinges to the left side of the door over here.

SUE SUTCHES: Okay.

RON HAZELTON:  Now these hinges are actually built right into the left side of the frame as you see right here, all four of them, and we’re going to start by putting the entire frame and all of the hinges on the left side of the door. Now to make this easy for us, the manufacture has given us an index hole right here.

SUE SUTCHES:  Okay.

RON HAZELTON:  Good. Now the rest of the holes we are going to have to drill ourselves. Now this is called a self-centering drill bit. It’s ideal for installing hinges because this outside sleeve retracts allowing the pilot bit to place that hole directly in the center of the hinge hole. 

SUE SUTCHES:  That’s a really clever drill bit.

RON HAZELTON:  After we drill the pilot hole, Sue secures the hinges with screws. Now we determine the height of the door to determine the length of our hinge plate.  Okay, I am getting about 80 and 3/8ths.

SUE SUTCHES:  So have I.

RON HAZELTON:  Next, we mark off 80 and 3/8ths on the hinge plate. Now we are going to use a hacksaw.  The hacksaw makes quick work of shortening the hinge plate. There we go. Good. Sue, let’s flip this over very carefully, I want to take the glass and the screen out.  Okay. Just lift her up. That’ll do. Okay, let’s get her up the house. It’s much lighter without that glass in it, huh?

SUE SUTCHES:  Yes, it’s much better.

RON HAZELTON:  Okay Sue, let’s stand this right up. I’m going to put this in place. Now I am going to use my foot to support the weight of the door and lift my heel to guide it into place. Just hold it right there. Now go ahead and use one of the screws to screw it in. Another one right here. Good. Now we’re going to open this up.  Come around here if you would, Sue.  And if I could have your screw can for just a second, we’re going to put some screws right in the jam right here, right through the hinge. And for this we are going to be using a flat head screw. So once again let’s drill a pilot hole.  Good. Excellent, okay, now let’s put the screws in.  Now, it is really important not to over tighten these, just snug them up, okay? With the other screw driver there. If you over tighten we can distort the hinge. So we just want it snugged up.  Now this is called drip cap right here, see this little J shape piece right like this? It’s designed to catch water that’s coming down the side of the house and channel it away from the doorway. So we are going to apply this to the top of the door frame here. Before we do, though, I am going to put some caulking up here. I just feel that this is a little bit of insurance here if we keep any water from running down behind this. Now I slide the drip cap over the top of the door. It should extend just beyond the left and right sides. Then, Sue secures the drip cap with screws.  Drip cap in place, we add the molding to our doorframe.  Oh, is that perfect or what, we couldn’t be any closer than that. Okay, so this piece of metal trim just snaps over this channel right here and conceals all of the screws we used to put this in. Sue and I simply snap it in place all around the doorframe.  Now here is something really helpful.  The manufacturer includes a stick on template to show us exactly where to drill the holes for our latch set.

SUE SUTCHES:  Okay.

RON HAZELTON: This spring loaded punch will help the drill get a accurate start. Next I bore pilot holes, still using the template as a guide. Finally, with a larger bit, I make the final holes for the latch set. With the drilling completed, Sue attaches the latch to the door with screws.

SUE SUTCHES:  Is that tight?

RON HAZELTON:  Hm-hm. Good. Now go back and do the top one. With the latch set installed we can now test the door. Alright, Sue, let’s see if it works.

SUE SUTCHES:  Oh, very clever.

RON HAZELTON:  Sue, it is starting to get a little chilly here in New Hampshire, so let’s get the glass panel in instead of the screen. I’m going to get the base of it started down here. Caper strips are used to hold the glass in place.   Let’s start at the top. Now squeeze this together. Push it up like that. Now that was easy.

SUE SUTCHES:  That was easy.  It looks so nice!

RON HAZELTON:  Very nice!

MARK SUTCHES:  Look at that.

RON HAZELTON:  Hey, Mark! Hannah! Come on out. Well you’ve been busy.

MARK SUTCHES:  Well, we’ve got a pie for the storm door team.

RON HAZELTON:  Well, what do you think?  You like it?

MARK SUTCHES:  Oh, that is beautiful!

RON HAZELTON:  You know what? You guys are great to work with and I can’t wait to go in and have some of that pie!  Alright?

MARK SUTCHES:  Alright!

SUE SUTCHES:  Hooray!

RONHAZELTON:  Good job! Good job!

Learn to Install a Storm Door to Add Function, Light, and a New Look to the Front Door

Feel the summer breezes or keep winter's blasts at bay, all the while admitting light after you install a new storm door. A storm door kit with good instructions makes assembly and installation a one-day project that's easy for the average home owner.  The result is a handsome storm door with a white aluminum frame and a beveled glass panel.

Install Storm Door Hinges Using the Manufacturer's Index Hole
Step 1

Install Storm Door Hinges Using the Manufacturer's Index Hole

Install the storm door hinges on the same side of the door frame as the existing door. Use a power drill to drive the first screw into the single index hole the manufacturer has provided to position the frame properly.

Match Hinge Holes as You Install the Storm Door
Step 2

Match Hinge Holes as You Install the Storm Door

Install a self-centering drill bit to bore the remaining holes for the storm door hinges. Its retractable sleeve lets it match the hinge holes to install storm door hinges precisely. Secure the hinges with screws.

Cut the Hinge Plate to Length to Install the Storm Door
Step 3

Cut the Hinge Plate to Length to Install the Storm Door

Measure the door height to determine the length of the hinge plate. Mark the measurement on the hinge plate on the door and cut off the extra length with a hack saw before proceeding to install a storm door.

Position and Install the Storm Door without Glass or Screen
Step 4

Position and Install the Storm Door without Glass or Screen

Remove the glass and screen. Stand the storm door upright in the doorway with hinges on the left. Both hands and feet help to install a storm door! Secure the recessed track/channel to the door frame with screws.

Secure the Hinges to Install the Storm Door
Step 5

Secure the Hinges to Install the Storm Door

Drill pilot holes through the hinges with the self-centering bit. Drive flat-head screws into the jamb through the hinges to install a storm door securely. Snug the screws, but avoid over-tightening them and distorting the hinges.

Caulk the Drip Cap as You Install the Storm Door
Step 6

Caulk the Drip Cap as You Install the Storm Door

Caulk the back side of the drip cap and slide it over the top of the door to center position. Drive in screws to secure it as an important water-proofing part of the project to install a storm door.

Conceal the Screws as You Install a Storm Door
Step 7

Conceal the Screws as You Install a Storm Door

Secure the molding to the door frame. Snap the metal trim over the tracks/channels to conceal the screws as you work to install a storm door. Work all the way around the door frame's perimeter.

Make Holes for the Hardware in the Storm Door Kit
Step 8

Make Holes for the Hardware in the Storm Door Kit

Mark holes for the hardware to install a storm door kit. Use a spring-loaded punch to start the holes. Bore with a power drill and small bit, but switch to a larger bit to complete the latch set holes.

Secure the Latch to Install a Storm Door
Step 9

Secure the Latch to Install a Storm Door

Attach the knob and latch mechanism to both sides of the door with screws and a hand-held screwdriver. Open and close the door, latching and unlatching it as the real test of success when you install a storm door.

Add the Glass to Install a Storm Door
Step 10

Add the Glass to Install a Storm Door

Insert the glass panel. Secure it with manufacturer's taper strips, squeezing the sides of each pre-cut strip together to insert it at the edge of the glass. You've completed your project to install a storm door.