Storm Door Guy

The Installation Expert

Geneva Storm DoorLooking for a security/storm door to keep the bad guys out? The Larson Geneva security door is just the thing you need.

With solid, steel frame construction, steel latch cover plate that prevents lock picking and 3″, one way, irreversible screws, good luck getting through this storm door. Unless you have 20 minutes and a welding torch, you are staying out. And while I am not a fan of metal bars on windows (I’m a free man, why should it look like I am in prison?) Larson has added a nice architectural touch to this storm door by adding a curved arch to the top and bottom. I’d say it’s a security door with a touch of class. And it’s cheap. Less than $200 at Lowe’s.

Since it is such a heavy storm door because of the steel construction, it requires an oversize, heavy duty door closer. And because of it’s weight, you may want to add the additional wind chain to the top of the door so the wind doesn’t catch it and hyper-extend the door causing damage to your entry door.

Now, for the review:

GOOD

  1. Steel construction. Since this door is solid steel, no one is getting through it. Most storm doors are aluminum, a much lighter weight metal.
  2. One way, irreversible security screws. The heads on these screws are designed for one thing: to only be tightened. You can’t untighten them, which means once they are in, they’re in. You can’t take them out with a screw driver.
  3. Latch security plate. This plate is a welded part of the door and covers the deadbolt latch door latch on the outside. It means you can’t pick the door open with a credit card because you would have to bend the card 90 degrees to even get it in. Thank you physics!

BAD

Let me just say personally, in my opinion, I HATE this door. It causes more problems than any door I have installed. It has a purpose, and that purpose is simple: to keep bad guys out. It doesn’t keep out bugs. It closes fast because it’s heavy. It is a SECURITY door, not a true storm door. Period. It is a pain in the ass to install. Due to the weight of it it always seems to sag (thanks to gravity). Taking the glass in and out is challenging, and don’t even get me started on 1-way screws. Who’s cruel idea was that? The first door I did many years ago it took me 8 hours to remove 8 screws.

Okay, done venting. If you buy this door, just make sure you have a 24-pack of beer and a bottle of Valium. Your nerves are going to need it.

  1. 1″ x 1″ tube steel frame. Bottom line, because the frame is screwed to the face of your entry door’s trim, instead of wrapping around it with a z-bar frame, the door sits in front of instead of on top of your entry door threshold. Result: gap at the bottom of the door that you can’t close without modifying your entry door.
  2. One-way screws. Misery incarnate. You can’t unscrew them. You need a LARGE flat head screwdriver (civilized countries only use phillips head screws). They are 3″ long. They are 1/4″ thick. Did I mention YOU CANNOT UNSCREW THEM. God forbid you don’t have the door perfectly plumb or level when you tighten these screws down. If you screwed up, it’s easier (and less painful) to shoot yourself in the head or rip your fingernails out and dip your hands in lemon juice then to try to get these screws out.
  3. Heavy duty door closer. Because these doors weigh as much as an elephant with the glass in them, they require a special heavy duty- closer. Problem is with these closers, they have 2 closing speeds: guillotine or slow-mo. In guillotine mode, the door closes so fast it will cut an arm off if you are not careful. In slo-mo mode, the door will take an eternity to close. So, if your OCD kicks in when trying to adjust the closer  just remember these are the only 2 options you have when adjusting the closer’s set screw.
  4. Gapping. This door WILL have gaps in and around the frame. The manufacturer tried to put weather stripping around it, but it was a fail. Bugs will get in, you will see daylight, do not be surprised. It’s the way the door was made. It’s designed to keep people out, not bugs.
  5. Warping. This down is know to be warped, especially in the top right or bottom left part of the latch side of the door. Why? It’s the way its made. On the hinge side of the door, it’s one solid frame. Fine. But in order to weld in the security coverplate for the latch and deadbolt, it requires 3 pieces on the latch side of the frame. SO that means that part of the frame is cut into 3 pieces and welded back together. Let’s just say the door is never perfectly plumb after that.

There you have it, the hard truth. If you want to keep people out, this is the door you want. If you want to creatures with more or less legs than you out, find a different door. And don’t try to install it yourself unless you really have nothing left to live for.

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