Full view storm doors: what to know

February 19, 2015

When cold wind blows, do you notice air seeping in through the openings around your front door? If the door looks okay and the weather-stripping is new, then the wind is just too intense. It overwhelms the parts of your door designed to keep air out. The solution? A storm door. But these days, that doesn't mean you're stuck with one of those non-painted, all aluminum doors. Now you can find one that is attractive, functional, and fairly easy to install.

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Installation is actually easier than ever. Andersen has two easy-to-install options. One can be installed in under an hour; the other should take less than two hours. Larson has an EZ Hang door that can also be installed with two hours of labor. Of course there are still smaller, local manufacturers that make pre-hung doors in all the traditional styles, but these are not designed to be installed as easily.

As far as design goes, there are many storm doors available in different colors, sizes, and operational capabilities. One you may want to consider - especially if you're reluctant to buy a storm door - is the full view model.

As the name implies, full view doors show off the whole front door they're protecting. If you have purchased an expensive, decorative entrance door, you may not want to cover it up, but with a full view, you won't have to worry that your purchase went to waste. Full view doors usually have a removable glass panel that can be replaced by a screen in the warmer months. But both glass and screen storage may be a problem; they're big and need to be stored in a safe place when they're not in use.

If the storage is going to be a problem, look into a self-storing full view door. These have a separate compartment within the door where the screen and the glass can be stored. Many of these doors have a retractable screen that works similar to a blind. You simply pull it down, and the glass panel to which it is attached slides down to be stored behind the lower glass panel. Be aware, though, that there is a horizontal bar in the middle of the door that serves as a border to the glass.

However, these models are particularly effective in situations where pets or children will push on and destroy a screen. The screen on these doors is in the top half of the door only - the bottom is strong glass that you won't need to worry is getting scratched and ripped.

Prices for these doors run between $250 and $425, depending on the colors sizes and features, which does not include labor costs if you're not installing the door yourself. Non-standard sized doors run about $100 additional

These functional doors provide protection from the cold in the winter as well as afford ventilation in the summer. If you need a storm door, look for one that complements the style of your home, and consider the full view door to get the same unobstructed look you have now.

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