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"What is the best storm door?"


This is another question I get asked a lot. The short answer again is it depends on what you need. Do you want added security or just ventilation? Do you have pets or kids that could damage a low screen? What color do you need?

There are 5 different styles of storm doors: midview, fullview, ventilating, retractable screen and security.


A midview storm door is simply a door where the glass doesn’t go all the way to the bottom of the door. Typically there is about a 12-18″ metal kick plate area at the bottom of the door. It’s mainly to keep pets in and not allow them to break the glass. Personally, I prefer the fullview style, but some people prefer this more traditional look. Here is what a midview storm door looks like:

Brown Larson Tradewinds midview storm door


A ventilating style storm door is simply where the glass and screen reside in the storm door at the same time. And you can simply move the glass up or down to reveal the screen and “ventilate” the house. The ventilating storm door can come in either a midview or a fullview model. The nice thing about the ventialting option is that during the hot days, you can crack the window to reduce the buildup of heat between the storm door and the entry door, which will prolong the life of your entry door. And if you happen to have a crisp, cold day like in the fall or late spring, you simply raise the window to keep the heat in the house. And you don’t have to take out either the glass or the screen ever … they both remain in the door at the same time. Here is an example of a ventilating storm door:

Lady opening a retractable screen storm door


A full view, like the name implies, allows you to have a “full view” out of the storm door. Typically, the door is a full length window panel or a full length screen without obstructions. This is a traditional door as well. While this style won’t take away from showing off your entry door (because I think it just frames it nicely), the down side to a fullview door is that yo can only have EITHER the glass oR the screen in the door at one time. You can’t have both. This means you have to take out the glass in the spring in order to put in the screen, and then take out the screen in the winter to install the glass. It also means you have to store whichever piece your are not using somewhere in the house. A fullview door looks like this:

White Andersen 4000 series storm door


Like the name implies, the security style storm door is designed specifically to keep people out … not bugs. Security storm doors are typically made of solid steel, and most have decorative steel or iron bars in them. Good luck to whomever wants to get through them, unless you have 20 minutes and a welding torch, there’s no breaking through. To make matters worse, most security storm doors also come with one-way, irreversible screws. So even if the would-be-burglars think they can just take the storm door frame off of the house, they can’t. The screws are designed to be installed, but the screw heads are specifically designed so that once installed you can’t take them out again. Here is an example of a steel security storm door:

Custom fabricated steel security door

Okay, now that you’ve learned all about how much storm doors cost, size, style, and type of storm door you need, it’s time to research the best one. And your research begins with discovering all of the different manufacturers of storm doors. There’s actually only 4 major players: Andersen, Emco, Larson, and Pella.

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