Does A Storm Door Need A Frame?

A storm door protects the outer door from inclement weather and allows for more aeration in warmer weather conditions while keeping out insects and bugs. If you are considering installing a storm door, you are probably wondering whether the door needs a frame. For your convenience, we brought you the answer.

A storm door needs a frame since it is the frame that provides overall support for the door. The storm door may come pre-hung on its frame or as part of a boxed package that contains the door, its jambs, setup instructions, and a pneumatic bar. The frame should be sturdy and suited to withstand the elements.

There are several things to consider when choosing a frame for your screen door. You may also be wondering how to frame a storm door or whether you can put a storm door on a metal frame. Keep reading to find out more.

Professional carpenter installing a door jamb. Does A Storm Door Need A Frame

Do Storm Doors Come With A Frame?

Storm doors typically come with a frame. Sometimes the door is pre-hung on the frame, and other times it is part of a boxed package. Most manufacturers will also include an installation kit that contains all the materials you will need to fix the storm door successfully.

The frame is needed, as it supports the door such that it hangs correctly in relation to the floor. It ensures that the storm door opens easily and closes properly and does not leave gaps that could permit elements or bugs to pass through.

Storm door hinges are attached to the frame. These hinges facilitate the proper opening and closing of your storm door, as they hold the door in place and allow it to swivel. The frame should be solid and free from dry rot to support the hinges.

How Do You Frame A Storm Door?

You begin installing a storm door by fixing its frame. A solid frame allows for a much-needed sense of protection from theft.

Before framing the door, ensure that you get some of these tools, as they will come in handy:

  • Power drill
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Hacksaw
  • Screw driver
  • Sawhorses
  • Spirit level
  • Measuring tape

You will also need protective clothing such as gloves, earplugs, and safety goggles. You may also need some additional tools to fix the frame depending on its make and model. The extra tools will be listed in the instruction manual that comes with the door.

wood storm door with wooden frame

Steps To Follow When Framing Your Storm Door

  1. Use the level to confirm that the adjacent studs are level and square. If the studs are not level, the door frame will not be level. Consequently, the storm door will not open and close properly. It will also have higher rates of wear and tear.
  2. Hammer the side, top and bottom jambs to the adjacent studs.
  3. Ensure that the jambs are level and square. You can use shims to fill any gaps that may arise during leveling and squaring. It is advisable to use plastic shims, as they are moisture and decay resistant.
  4. Hold the shims in place by drilling screws or nails through the jambs and studs.
  5. Trim the protruding shims and smooth out until they are even with the jambs.

If you opt for a pre-framed storm door, you will not need to follow any of these steps, as the manufacturer will have done the hard work for you. Ensure that you measure the door opening correctly to get a door that fits just right.

You can also get the help of a technical expert to frame and install the storm door for you if you do not have the tools or lack time to do it yourself. An expert also assures you of a professional finish to the installation work, which could be significant considering that this is the entry to your home.

Can You Buy A Frame For A Storm Door?

You can buy a frame for a storm door if it doesn't come as part of the installation kit or if the frame is damaged and the door slab is still in good condition. The standard size for entry storm doors is 36 inches, while back doors are 32 inches.

Make precise cuts to ensure that your new frame fits with the old door. The accurate measurement will reduce waste during installation and also ensure that the storm door functions optimally.

Check for warping or deep scratches in the frame to determine whether you should replace the frame for your storm door. Additionally, assess the viability of your chosen frame by evaluating its durability, security, and energy efficiency.

You can also consider the aesthetic components of your new structure and how it blends in with your styling choice.

Check how well your frame is holding up to wear and tear frequently. Further, perform simple maintenance processes such as washing and applying a protectant every so often to take care of your frame and door.

How To Install A Storm Door Without A Frame

A storm door is hung on a frame and can only fulfill its intended role when fixed correctly. Thus, if your storm door does not have a frame, it is prudent to build one first. We have already discussed how to frame your storm door.

You can install a storm door without replacing the frame if the frame is not buckled or weakened by elements. In this case, you purchase the storm door slab only and use the hardware, such as hinges and closers, from your old door.

Professional carpenter removing an old door at home

Fixing The Door Slab

  1. Ensure that the door framing is level.
  2. Measure the length and width of the entry door. For the width, measure at the top, the middle, and the bottom of the door. Ensure that the door slab is the same size as the entry door. You can achieve this by making slight adjustments on your slab. Alternatively, you can get a custom door that fits your door opening.
  3. Hinge the door slab in place using hinges and screws. Most storm doors are reversible. As a result, they can open on either sides. You can therefore decide whether to install the storm door such that it opens the same way as an entry door or differently.
  4. Install the locking system on the storm door.

Can You Put A Storm Door On A Metal Frame?

You can put a storm door on a metal frame, although this is more labor-intensive than installing the door on a wooden frame, as you would have to drill holes in the metal frame before turning in the screws. The metal frame can either be hollow or pre-finished depending on the gauge steel.

Ensure that the door fits squarely in the frame, as this will minimize any trimming needed.

It is crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages of a metal frame before putting a storm door on one.

Advantages Of A Metal Door Frame

  • Sturdy in that it can endure earthquakes and storms
  • Fire resistant
  • Increased security since you cannot easily cut through it
  • Not prone to rot or damage by insects
  • Durable as it is not easily damaged by elements

Disadvantages Of A Metal Door Frame

  • Susceptible to corrossion
  • May not look the best

carpenter using a claw hammer to adjust door frame installation. Does A Storm Door Need A Frame

In Closing

Whether you are keen on installing a storm door or replacing an existing one, we hope that the information provided in this post will guide you in picking the right frame if it comes as a separate package. If the door and frame are a unit, we hope you will choose the door with a sturdy frame.

To find out more about doors, please read these articles:

What Is The Best Material For Storm Doors?

Should A Front Door Be Painted On Both Sides?

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