The Best Storm Doors for Your Home
Keep pests out while letting light and breezes in with the storm door that suits your style, privacy preferences, and budget.
If you’re like many homeowners, when the sweltering heat of summer gives way to the golden glow of autumn, you long to throw open your doors and welcome gentle breezes. Of course, an open door invites flying insects, creepy crawlies, and other potential pests—so that’s where a storm door comes in. Not only does it block bugs while letting in natural light, but it also serves as an insulating layer against both hot and cold air when the exterior door is closed. If you’re in the market for one, read on for the features to look for—and to find out why we’ve chosen the following four as the best storm doors for most homeowners.
- BEST ¾-VIEW STORM DOOR: EMCO ¾-View Self-Storing Aluminum Storm Door
- BEST FULL-VIEW STORM DOOR: LARSON Tradewinds Full-View Aluminum Storm Door
- BEST STORM DOOR FOR EASY INSTALLATION: Pella Rolscreen Full-View Aluminum Storm Door
- BEST STORM DOOR FOR PET OWNERS: EMCO K900 Series Vinyl Storm Door
Know What You Need: Storm Door vs. Screen Door
While some folks use the terms interchangeably, there’s a difference between a screen door and a storm door. Screen doors serve the single purpose of letting in air and light while keeping bugs at bay. Storm doors, as the name implies, are generally a bit sturdier and, while they often have a screen—either as a removable panel or a retractable screen—add an extra layer of protection against rain, snow, and wind.
Choosing the Best Storm Door
Most of today’s storm doors are made from lightweight aluminum over a rigid foam core, but steel- and vinyl-clad storm doors are also available. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a basic vinyl- or aluminum-clad storm door and up to $1,000 or more for a high-end storm door with beveled glass panels or custom brass hardware.
- Vinyl-clad storm doors are inexpensive and stand up well to snow, ice, and rain, but their baked-in color has a tendency to fade over time if they’re on the sunny side of the house. If you want a vinyl-clad door, opt for a fade-resistant light color such as white or almond.
- Steel-clad storm doors are rugged and long-lasting, strong enough to hold up to the bumps and slams of an active family without denting and come in a variety of colors.
- Aluminum is just as durable as steel, but it’s lighter in weight, making it the most popular storm door material in today’s market. Aluminum-clad storm doors come in a variety of colors.
Storm doors feature a variety of glass panel options to either let in as much light as possible or to block light at the bottom of the door and let it in only at the top. A number of design options are available.
- Full-view storm doors feature a narrow frame around their perimeter and a full-length glass panel. While a few full-view doors come with a single pane of glass, most offer two panes—one on the top and one on the bottom. The top pane slides down if you want to open the window and a retractable screen pulls down to cover the opening. This is called “self-storage,” and it’s a popular feature on many of today’s storm doors.
- Half-view storm doors are solid on the bottom half, but feature one or two glass panes on the top that operate in a self-storage manner similar to a full-view storm door.
- For more privacy, a high-view storm door offers a glass panel at the top and the rest of the door is solid. The door may be self-storage or the window may be fixed in place.
Other Design Details
- Virtually all of today’s storm door glass is tempered, meaning that, if broken, it will shatter into tiny pieces rather than dangerously sharp shards. Some storm doors have double panes or even triple panes and may come with low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, which is designed to block heat transfer and conserve energy.
- Homeowners can choose from plain glass panels or etched, frosted, stained glass, and even double glass panels with operable mini-blinds between the panes.
- The two most common storm door colors are almond and white, but many manufacturers fill custom orders in a variety of colors including brown, evergreen, brick, and sandstone.
- Some storm doors come with a handleset, but many require purchasing the handleset separately.
- Storm doors with built-in pet doors are perfect for animal lovers who want to let their furry family members come and go as they please.
Storm doors come in standard sizes to fit entry doors. To get the right size, measure the height and width of your existing entry door. Standard exterior doors are 80 inches high but the width can vary. Most entry doors are 36 inches wide, and most back and side doors are 32 inches wide, although a few doors are either 34 inches or 38 inches wide.
Many storm doors are reversible, meaning they can be installed to open either on the right side or on the left side. While it’s your call, most homeowners prefer a storm door to open on the same side as their entry door. If you see a storm door labeled as “right-opening,” that means the handle is on the right side when you’re facing the door from outside the home.
What’s in the Box?
Unlike exterior entry doors, storms doors do not come pre-hung in their jambs. Rather, they come in boxed kits that include the door, a top jamb (frame), a hinge jamb (the side with the hinges), and a strike jamb (the side with the latch). Storm doors also come with a closer (the pneumatic bar that allows the door to close slowly or used to brace it open). A handleset may or may not be included. Installation instructions are in the box, and installing most storm doors is a relatively simple DIY task.
Our Top Picks
All of our top picks will fit standard 80-inch high existing entries and each has an operable window and screen option.
BEST ¾-VIEW STORM DOOR: EMCO ¾-View Self-Storing Aluminum Storm Door ($196)
When you want to let in plenty of light but have a bit more privacy than a full view storm door provides, consider EMCO’s ¾-View Self-Storing Aluminum Storm Door. It comes in 32-, 34-, 36-, and 38-inch widths and is available in six attractive colors, including white and almond. Manufactured from lightweight aluminum, the EMCO can be mounted to open on the right or the left and features a retractable screen that rolls into the top of the door frame when not in use. Its two glass panes come in clear glass, with colonial grills optional for a traditional look, and a choice of a nickel or brass handleset. Home Depot buyers give the Emco 4.2 out of five stars for easy assembly, durability, and good looks. Available from The Home Depot.
BEST FULL-VIEW STORM DOOR: LARSON Tradewinds Full-View Aluminum Storm Door ($313)
When you want to see as much of the outside world as possible, you won’t go wrong with LARSON’s Tradewinds Full-View Aluminum Storm Door. It’s available in 32-, 34-, and 36-inch widths, and it comes in six colors, including cranberry and sandstone. The Tradewinds is made from lightweight aluminum and features a retractable screen that pulls down to let in a fresh breeze. The door can be mounted to open either on the right or the left but you’ll have to order the LARSON Quick-Fit Handle separately, also at Lowe’s. Satisfied Lowe’s buyers give it 4.5 out of five stars for quality, value, and well-written installation instructions. Available at Lowe’s.
BEST STORM DOOR FOR EASY INSTALLATION: Pella Rolscreen Full-View Aluminum Storm Door ($250)
Those concerned about DIY installation should check out Pella’s Rolscreen Full-View Aluminum Storm Door, which boasts an exclusive Express Install system that makes short, simple work out of mounting (to either the right or the left). The lightweight aluminum door comes in 32- and 36-inch widths and is available in six colors, including white and putty, but the Pella handleset is sold separately at Lowe’s. It includes a retractable screen and features Low-E glass panels to reduce heat transfer and conserve energy. Lowe’s customers give the Rolscreen storm door 4.5 stars for quick installation, the door’s “substantial” feel, and for the Low-E glass that protects carpets and upholstery from fading. Available from Lowe’s.
BEST STORM DOOR FOR PET OWNERS: EMCO K900 Series White Vinyl Storm Door ($239)
To allow your pet plenty of freedom, the EMCO’s K900 Series White Vinyl Storm Door features a 10-1/2-inch by 15-inch pet door pre-installed at the bottom. The door features vinyl cladding over a durable composite core, can be installed for either a left or right opening and has half-view glass panels and a removable screen panel. A black handleset is included, but the door is available in white only. Home Depot customers award the K900 Series storm door 4.1 stars for its convenient pet door, easy-to-clean vinyl, and overall good looks. Available from The Home Depot.