What Type of Entry Door Can Be Used With a Storm Door?

Storm DoorsStorm doors provide entry doors with protection from the elements extending the life of the entry door and reducing the maintenance it requires. However, not all entry doors are compatible with storm doors. Among the factors that determine what type of entry door can be used with a storm door are: the width and depth of the door frame, the shape of the entry door and its door frame, and the direction in which the entry door opens. The Home Depot provides an excellent, well-illustrated article on selecting entry doors, while Lowes offers detailed advice on selecting storm doors.

The Width of the Door Frame

Storm doors are manufactured in two standard widths — 32″ and 36. The 36″ width is meant for front doors. Storm doors can be adjusted, within limits, to accommodate door frames of different heights, but there is no adjustment to make them wider. So, while double entry doors are beautiful and impressive, the only type of door that can be used with a storm door is a single entry front door.

The Depth of the Door Frame

Some entry door frames provide enough depth to accommodate both an entry door and a storm door, but some do not. While some storm doors can be hung to open to either the right or the left to provide room for the door handles and hinges of both doors, the door frame still must extend far enough beyond the entry door to provide enough room for the width of the storm door and its hinges.

The portion of the frame where you plan to install a storm door must also support the weight of the door. Some single entry front doors have decorative glass panels on either side. The frame on either side of a single door with such panels may appear to have the necessary depth for a storm door, but that extension in depth may come from a molding that is meant only to highlight the panels and door. Moldings will not be strong enough to support the weight of a door. Doors with decorative side panels may or may not be the type of entry door that can be used with a storm door.

The Shape of the Entry Door and Door Frame

Just as storm doors are manufactured in two standard sizes, they are also manufactured in a standard rectangular shape. However, some unique and extremely attractive entry doors have arched top edges that match an arched door frame. The height of a storm door can be adjusted, within limits, but not its shape.

The Direction in Which the Entry Door Opens

Entry doors can open toward the interior or the exterior of the home. Doors that open to toward the exterior do not allow for the installation of a storm door. The only type of single entry front door that can be used with an a storm door is one that opens to the interior of the home.

Related Resource: Energy Efficient Ratings for Doors