The thought of storm doors sometimes conjures up mental images of noisy, rickety aluminum doors. That was yesteryear’s version; today’s are built better and last longer. Plus, home owners may discover one or more of these four benefits to installing them in their homes:
1) Protection of the main door against the elements of weather: Your home’s exterior doors are constantly exposed to the rigors of the weather. Rain, snow, humidity and hot, dry weather all affect its health and performance. The most common problems that can be attributed to weather include warping, paint chipping and peeling, rusting and cracking.
Exterior doors may cost anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. Storm doors, in comparison, typically cost significantly less. It’s often worth paying a few hundred dollars for one to get the extra protection. It can extend the life of your regular door by years. It will also reduce the amount of maintenance and repairing that you’ll have to do.
2) Potential energy savings: Storm doors add an extra layer of protection against weather, as already noted. Not only does this preserve your main door, it may also reduce your energy costs. An extra barrier between the inside and outside will make it more difficult for heat/cool air to escape.
3) Extra home security: You will get one more layer of protection against intruders, too. Home invaders will avoid homes that are harder to get into. It will cost extra time that most criminals won’t find worth the effort and risk.
If home security is a high priority, choose a model that is made from stronger materials. Steel doors are a good example. They tend to be more durable and will last for years. Make sure that you select a model that locks from the inside.
Steel doors don’t have to look plain or utilitarian. Today’s security steel storm doors can be stylized with ornamental bars. Bars can be twisted and formed into just about any configuration imaginable, making them artistic as well as safe. Stylized steel storm doors may even add resale value to your house.
4) Tax savings: The government offers tax rebates from time to time that you might be able to benefit from. Tax benefits may be found specifically for the installation of storm doors (due to the energy savings they provide). They may also be available in the form of general home improvement tax benefits.
Such tax benefits change from year to year. Consult with your accountant, bookkeeper or local tax preparation experts to find out about applicable rebates.
Home owners who choose to install them can do a number of things to ensure they get the most from their investment. This includes:
* Making sure the door frame is level. Homes settle over time. Frames can warp or crack. This makes it more difficult to hang storm doors and get a proper seal. A good fit is necessary if you hope to see a reduction in energy costs after installation. Your local hardware store can help you find solutions if your frame needs adjusting.
* Checking hinges and latches regularly. Adjust them if they are loose. Otherwise they will wear out faster. They may even cause permanent damage.
* Adjusting the tension on your closer. The closer keeps your storm door from slamming shut (like those old-fashioned aluminum ones you remember). You can adjust the speed at which it closes by twisting the screws at the end of the cylinder.
* Being diligent about maintenance. Storm doors may be treated with a weather-protective coating. This coating may need to be re-applied periodically in order to prevent water/moisture damage. Check with your manufacturer for recommendations about weather treatment.