|Replace a Storm Door Yourself|
Storm doors add to the curb appeal to your home, as well as protect your entry door from weather. An old storm door that doesn't work properly or is broken, requires replacement. There are a wide variety of doors to choose from when it is time to replace a storm door. Most homeowners are able to replace a storm door on their own with a few hand tools. When purchasing a replacement storm door, it is important to get the proper size for your door opening. This saves a lot of frustration and also makes for a quick project.
Tools and Materials Needed
Cordless screwdriver (optional)
Measure for Replacement Storm Door
Open the existing storm door, and measure the width of the door opening between the side jambs with a tape measure. Take the measurement at the top, middle and bottom of the opening. Use the smallest of the three measurements as your door width size.
Measure from the top of the opening to the bottom with the tape measure. Take the measurement from the left, center and right side of the opening. Again use the smallest of the three measurements as your height requirement.
Purchase a replacement storm door through a home improvement center or door manufacturer, using your measurements. Replacement storm doors are also available online.
Remove Existing Storm Door
Unhook the chain at the top of the storm door. The chain prevents the door from flying open, and acts as a stop to prevent opening the door too far. The chain usually has a simple S-hook that hooks into a flange at the top of the door.
Pull the door closer body toward the latch side of the door with one hand. This relieves tension on the pin securing the door closer push rod to the door bracket. Pull the pin out with your fingers, and slowly release the door closer body.
Open the storm door, and remove the screws securing the hinges to the storm door frame with a Phillips screwdriver. One way to save time and energy is to use a cordless screwdriver. The cordless screwdriver especially comes in handy when installing the new storm door. Once you remove the hinge screws, pull the storm door out of the opening and set it aside.
Remove the screws securing the storm door closer to the door jamb with the screwdriver. Pull the door closer away from the opening and set it aside.
Score between the storm door frame and the door opening with a sharp utility knife. This cuts through any paint or caulking that is in the seam.
Remove the screws securing the storm door frame to the opening with the screwdriver. Most of these securing screws are on the front of the frame, however some manufacturers do use screws in the side of the frame.
Pry the frame away from the opening with a small pry bar. It is a good idea to start with one of the side pieces and work your way around the entire frame. Older frames will usually come off in one piece.
Install The New Storm Door
Install the Z-bar hinge on the side of the new storm door according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most require the top of the Z-bar to extend 1/16-inch past the top of the door. Secure the Z-bar hinge to the side of the door with the supplied securing sheet metal screws and a screwdriver.
Measure the height of the door opening with the tape measure on the hinge side of the door. Transfer the measurement to the Z-bar hinge, starting from the top. Cut the bottom of the Z-bar hinge to the measurement with a hacksaw.
Install the expanding door sweep over the bottom of the new storm door, if your door uses an expandable sweep. The sweep fits over the bottom of the door and moves up and down as necessary. Do not secure the expandable sweep at this time.
Set the new storm door into the opening, with the edge of the Z-bar resting against the front of the door opening frame. Place a level across the top of the door to ensure the door is level. The gap between the top of the door and the top of the opening should be between 1/16-inch or 1/8-inch. Secure the Z-bar hinge to the door opening with wood screws and the screwdriver.
Measure the latch side of the door opening, and cut the latch side storm door Z-bar to size. Install the latch side Z-bar to the opening with the wood screws. Measure a cut the top drip plate, which is the header frame of the storm door, to size. Install it at the top of the opening.
Install the remaining hardware according to the manufacturers instructions. Once you finish installing the new storm door, apply a bead of silicone caulk between the storm door frame and the door opening with a caulk gun.
The installation instructions here are very general. Always follow the instructions that come with the new storm door you purchase.
Wear eye protection and work gloves when removing and installing a storm door. The metal from the storm door frame can cut skin with ease, and safety goggles prevent debris from flying into your eyes.
Storm Doors: Andersen Storm Door Installation Guide