For an added feeling of security, many homeowners choose steel security storm doors.
Purchasing Steel Security Storm Doors
You can often purchase steel security storm doors in prehung door kits, which include everything you need to install the door. The kit should include instructions, a list of needed tools, latches, hinges, and pneumatic closers. These are the essentials, but security storm doors come in a variety of styles. You can purchase doors with ornate or plain designs, tempered glass panels that may or may not be removed, fiberglass or steel mesh screens, and more.
Steel security storm doors can be pricey, but that added feeling of security is often worth the extra expense. When purchasing storm doors, you should look for the following important features:
- Hardware-All the necessary hardware should be included in your purchase.
- Door sweeps-Door sweeps not only deter dirt from entering your home, but they also provide a moisture barrier and additional insulation around the door bottom.
- Protective grills-Steel, ornate bars that travel the length of the door will provide an added security level.
- Door closer-You typically have a choice of door closers or door stops depending upon the brand and style of door you choose. These closers will control how fast your door closes and how far your door opens. A "snubber" closer includes a chain and spring device that controls how the door opens and closes. A "pneumatic" closer ensure that a door closes firmly yet slowly and keeps a door from opening too quickly. Pneumatic openers typically include a sliding washer that can be adjusted to hold the door open when needed.
- Exterior-Pay attention to the exterior finish of the door as well. You want a door that will stand up to the elements, so look for one that has been sandblasted and has a powder coating that is compatible with the door surface.
- Steel gauge- For an exterior storm door, you want a heavy gauge steel that includes mitered corners at the top, which will deter any standing water.
- Glass-Look for shatter resistant or laminated security glass that includes weather stripping. Many doors offer the option of removable glass panels that can be replaced with just screens. This is a great option, especially if your door will face direct sunlight in warmer months.
- Locks-If you are purchasing security doors, then you don't want to overlook the importance of purchasing a heavy duty deadbolt lock.
- Hinges-You might not consider the type of hinges you need when purchasing steel security storm doors, but these hinges must be sturdy enough to keep the door from sagging, and they should provide a squeak-free opening and closing of the door as well. Look for hinges that are non-reversible for additional peace of mind. Pins should provide a 4-way locking system as well.
- Door jambs-Door jambs should include bottom sweeps and dense weatherstripping for additional insulation.
- Screens-Screens should be constructed of heavy duty galvanized steel, aluminum, or fiberglass designed to provide circulation but protect from pests. Bronze screens are another option although they do add to the expense of the door.
No matter what type of steel security storm doors you choose, you want to make sure your doors will fit properly. Some pre-hung kits allow you to make minor adjustments so that the door will fit your particular frame. Be aware, however, that adjustments are usually very minor, so choose a door kit that is as close as possible to the size frame you will need. Before you head to a window and door store or home improvement store, measure the exact space that the door will be placed in. This measurement should be taken from the exterior trim pieces, not the interior.
- Width measurement-For a good fit, you should take three width measurements in the door opening-top, middle, and bottom of the space.
- Height measurement-Measure from the top to the bottom of the door space.
- Standard or custom doors-Standard steel doors are usually easy to find and to fit, but if you have a larger than normal opening, you may be able to install an extender that will fill up the extra space. If you are on a tight budget, this will do in a pinch, but for a more precise look, you may have to custom order your doors to fit the opening.
- Installation tips-The door jamb and wooden trim that frame out the door openings should be in good shape and sturdy enough to support the heaviness of a steel door. The frame will have to be square to ensure a proper fit. Again, extenders can be used to even out the fit if necessary.
Visit your local home improvement or door and window stores, and check out these stores online for more information and selection.