When it comes to storm doors, there are the older ones that previous generations have used and modern ones still in use today.
The popularity of storm doors has dropped off significantly but modern versions are still far better than the storm doors from a generation or three ago.
Storm doors aren’t necessarily tacky but they have probably outlived much of their usefulness. Homes built today generally include features in their framework and exterior doors that insulate and protect from inclement weather.
Since that is exactly what a storm door is designed for, it would seem rather redundant. Fortunately, for the poor storm doors of the world, there is still a small demand for them, especially in areas where wintertime is particularly brutal.
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What is a Storm Door Exactly?
If you don’t know anything about storm doors, you’ve probably seen plenty of them without realizing what you were looking at. Storm doors are the heavy, glass doors situated in front of a home’s front door (sometimes the back door as well).
They are designed to be very sturdy and if you have ever tried to remove one, their heavy, bulky feel is the first thing you would notice. Some come with removable glass panels for screens and some are designed with simple swap-out features.
The storm door is a physical barrier. It creates a pocket of still air between the front of your door and the outside world. Within that pocket of air is absolute calm, protecting your front door from the ravages of severe weather (which also means it’s protecting your home).
It also provides a layer of thermal protection and insulation for your front door, since it may not have the best seal in the world or it may be particularly vulnerable to heat and cold conduction. Storm doors may not be as popular as they once were but they still offer some benefits.
- Shielding for your front door
- Increased home value
- Curb appeal
- Fresh air when using the screen
- Increased natural light
- Increased safety (thanks to a heavy outdoor door that also features a locking mechanism – a locked storm door and locked front door is double protection)
Do People Still Use Storm Doors?
They sure do.
While they don’t enjoy the immense popularity that arrived when storm doors became all the rage for replacing outer, screen doors, they’re still viable and useful. A lot of people that don’t have storm doors assume that others think they’re ugly.
For whatever reason, that seems to be one of the driving forces behind the recent, decreased popularity. Not only are they not ugly, but they also come in a variety of materials and design aesthetics.
Another driving force behind their drop in popularity is the improved energy efficiency in modern homes. Of course, the big picture is largely missed here. Storm doors are more than just capsules for holding in heat and cold throughout the seasons.
They’re also a defense mechanism that keeps your front door from turning into a raw, damaged chunk of aluminum on hinges a decade down the road. Now, if you have a sizeable front porch, there is a degree of protection there and it may not necessitate a storm door.
But, the reality is, storm doors are often worth far more than the common perceptions give them credit for.
Are Storm Doors Still Popular?
Not as much as they once were. However, they are more common in areas where extreme weather is prevalent.
States like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, among others, experience blizzards and heavy snow. Storm doors make a lot of sense in these areas.
Then there are places like tornado alley and hurricane-prone areas all along the Gulf of Mexico. It doesn’t take a hurricane to do damage to a front door when you’re living on the coast. Frequent and violent storms are not uncommon along the Gulf and storm doors are far more prevalent there.
While they may not be the defining characteristic of “popular,” many homeowners still see the distinct advantages of owning a storm door and opt for one anyway, even if there aren’t a lot of storm doors in their area.
How Can I Make My Storm Door Look Nice?
One often overlooked advantage of storm doors is that you can decorate your front door without ever needing to worry about the wind or rain knocking your decorations off. The storm door is more than capable of protecting your decorations.
As far as the storm door itself, one of the simplest and most popular things you can do to make it look nice is sand it down and paint it. The glass panes are often removable so you don’t have to do much in the way of masking.
Prepping it is simple as well. All you need is some fine-grain sandpaper to sand down the metal and some all-weather, exterior paint for metals and you’re ready to go. If you don’t want to remove the glass panels, masking up the inner outline is easy enough.
Oil-based paint options are more expensive but also the most durable (something you want on a storm door) for exterior use. Since they’re high-fume paints, it also makes sense to use them on the outside and pretty up your storm door to match your home’s trim.
All Things Considered
Storm doors aren’t as popular as they once were and that’s mostly for reasons that boil down to misconceptions, such as thinking they are only useful for energy efficiency. The fact is, there are still a lot of uses for a storm door.
With the proper prep, you can make it look pretty good as well as maintain an efficient source of protection for your front door and home.