Buying a Storm Door

We're in the market for a new storm door (the front door is also being replaced). I was looking at the Larson line at Lowe's and of course, there are many different materials, models, and marketing terms for the various name brands. The folks who provided quotes all basically said to pick one out and they'll hang it when they are here for windows and the front door, but didn't really seem interested in "selling" the storm door. This makes me think that there's not much difference to be determined...the front door will be fairly basic, without a lot of frills.
Our current door has a one-pane top-level window with retractable screen and/or glass. That feature is nice, but not a necessity in the new door.
How much consideration do I need to consider regarding the frame? Obviously, warping is a concern, but from reading on the net, the storm door is not designed to be air tight or really provide much of an insulation factor (compared to the front door).
What features are important to consider, or would be recommended (frame, vinly-coated, brand recommendations, any major theory differences between the "handle on same side as front door, or opposite")?
Weather-wise, we live in the northeast US.
Thank you
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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I think they are as much decorative as anything else. A house without a "storm door" tends to look unfinished.
If you have heavy winds it can keep the air from being forced in around your main door seals. For security it provides a barrier between you and whoever is outsiode when you open the door.
KW
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Cheap doors are just plain bad....
Bought a cheap storm door when we added deck and door out of living room...
Door literally fell apart, moisture between panels just YUK.
Were definetely replacing are main front door this year. both storm and regular door.
I have decided to purchase door with removeable screen. kinda hard to describe the idea is we can leave the glass lower and remove screen altogeter easily for halloween nite. so we can hand out treats but dogs cant get lose.
in any case cheap door are made cheapily... the door will be there a long time.
spend some bucks so you dont have replace the door soon
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ken snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hi, Decoration is secondary, it serves a purpose. I live in Albetta where winter is very cold. It's a must. I have a aluminum clad wood core Larson(one of the top model) and this house is built in '94. The doors still work great.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

And it came with two closers(one at the top and another one at the bottom). I installed it myself.
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ken snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

check with the door's instruction. i put a steel door in a addition i did the door said it would not warrant it if a storm door is used. a lot of heat can build up between the two doors. my door faces north and is covered with a overhang. it may just be my brand of door, stanley or they have changed the warning. just make sure your door ok's a storm.
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My son, in spite of warnings on the Stanley door, painted his steel front door a hunter green. It was very nice in the winter, but come the first summer and strong sun, he got a burn from touching the door. It was H O T and a danger with a big glass cover over it. About two days later the door was painted a very light color.
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Interesting -- I was thinking that adding a storm door would protect the wood on our main door from exposure to the elements so that it would require finishing less often and would lead to less drying out of the wood.
Am I wrong in my assumption? Our main door is an old Victorian heavy wood door with a mid-level glass pane. We were thinking of adding a storm/screen door with as large as possible window area so as not to obscure the detailing of the main door or the transparency of its window.
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ken snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes:

I don't think I could DISAGREE more strongly, at least as regards older and more historic homes.
Our regular doors are beautiful heavy wood doors. In fact, the biggest downside with any storm door that we are considering now is that it will look "cheap" and "flimsy" relative to the main door -- biggest fear is that it will make the house have the look of a 60's ranch if not done right.
On the other hand, protection from elements and insulation is the major factor in favor.

Again, I tend disagree. Most doors have relatively light construction and light duty locks relative to the heavy, solid wood main door and the associated high quality mortise locks.
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The purpose of the "storm" door is to protect the front door in a storm. Years ago, having that extra door did two things. It offered a way of keeping rain from damaging the paint on the main wood door, and it offered ventilation when a screen was put in place. Since you are putting up a new front door, look at the new Masonite, or steel doors and if you don't need the screen, just eliminate it as it is not needed with a good door of fiberglass or steel.
Assuming you want one anyway, IMO, aluminum is still the best. Larson is good, but there may be others that I'm not aware of. I got out of the business 35 years ago.
As for handles, you want them both on the same side. In a few cases, it may be better to swap them, but on the same side it is much easier to open the main door, put the key in the lock etc. Probably 99% are installed that way. If you have a very nice frond door, to show it off get a full view door that has a large glass panel.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Or wood. A solid wood door with copper weatherstrips and an interlocking threshold doesn't need a storm door, unless you want the ventilation.
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I'll take a fiberglass over a wood door any day. But I also like the storm door to get some fresh air . Bob M. wrote:

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If one has an old door, Is it still a good idea to get a storm door to protect the door from the elements?
We have an old Victorian wood main door with a central glass area. The wood detail is nice and is stained rather than painted. The entrance is sheltered by a covered porch, but I was still wondering whether adding a storm door (with a large glass panel) would be helpful to protect the door and minimize the need for refinishing.
Also, wouldn't I get some good insulation value given that the door itself is solid and the window in the door while thick beveled glass is still only a single pane?
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Sure, it will keep the rain off of it and acts as a windbreak for any flying debris and dust.

Glass is a poor insulator, wood is mediocre. The air buffer between the two doors will help considerably. I'd put a storm door on an older style door in severe climates. With the new insulated doors and excellent finishes, it is not needed as much for protection as it is for a screen for ventilation.
A friend of mine build his house about 18 years ago and had the front door painted in an auto body shop. It is protected by a small roof overhead and does not see the direct sun. It looks as good today as the day it was hung.
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