By Gene and Katie Hamilton
You can expect a lot more out of a combination storm and screen door today than protection from the weather. A new breed of storm doors made with a heavy-duty frame, decorative grill and deadbolt lock offers added security. These features help deter intruders and the replacement screen and panel glass create a strong barrier that keeps bugs and nasty weather outside.
A carpenter charges $404 to install a good quality, 36-inch-wide security storm door, which includes the labor and material, but, in a few hours, you can buy the door for $325 and install it yourself, saving 20 percent. You can install the new storm door in about four hours and it will cost you more time and money if there's carpentry work needed to repair or paint the doorjamb. These doors are sold at home centers in standard sizes ranging from 30- to 36-inch widths; a custom size will cost more.
To see the types of security doors go to Larson Security Storm Doors.
To install a security door, you'll need basic carpentry tools: measuring tape, hacksaw, pliers, screwdriver, chisel and an electric drill. Before shopping, carefully measure the door opening. Measure the width of the opening, jamb to jamb, and the height of the door from the head jamb to the threshold. The frame for the door can be installed for a left- or right-hand swing.
If you’re replacing an old storm door with a new security storm door, consider painting the door jamb and trim around it. You’ll get the best looking results (without drip marks) if you schedule the painting after you’ve removed the old door and before installing the new one.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a security storm door with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020