How to Install a Storm Door for an Entry Door With Sidelights

Lead Image
  • 3-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Storm door
Tape measure
Table saw
Drill bits
Electric screwdriver
Galvanized wood screws
Construction adhesive
Paint or stain
Sanding block
Wood putty
Putty knife

Storm doors, perfect for adding extra home security and protection against bad weather, are easy to install. However, installing a storm door to an entry door with sidelights is slightly more complicated. Don’t attempt this project yourself before reading the article below.

Step 1 – Take Measurements

Measure the height and width of the entry door, as you will be building out the frame of the door to cover it in the following steps. The doorknob should be cleared by at least 1 inch, but the build-out should not extend past the overhang of the frame.

Step 2 – Cut the Wood

Transfer the measurements to the lumber and then cut them out. Cut out one for each side of the frame. Each piece will be the height of the door and the same width as the frame.

Cutting for the Knob

Set the pieces in place, and check that there is adequate clearance for the knob. Measure the distance for the knob, and cut another two pieces until the doorknob is safely cleared. When you’re finished, sand down the rough edges of the cut wood for a clean look.

Step 3 – Install the Frame Build-Out

Apply construction adhesive to one piece of the wood you cut in the second step for each side of the frame, and then place the other piece on top. Once the glue is dry, install them to the frame.

Screwing in the Frame

Place the first piece of wood on the door frame directly on top of the frame. Make sure it is properly lined up, and screw it in place. Place several screws down the length of the build-out. Place the second side and install it in the same manner.

Step 4 – Finish the Build-Out

To make sure the build-out blends in with the rest of the frame, apply wood putty over the screw holes, spreading the putty to be flush with the wood. Sand the putty flat once it’s dry.

Painting the Build-Out and Frame

Then, paint the build-out and the frame. Match the paint or stain color to the rest of the frame. Apply a second coat when the first is dry. Do not install the storm door until the paint or stain is dry.

Step 5 – Install the Storm Door

Now, you can install the storm door the same way as it would have been without the frame build-out. Install the hinges to the storm door, if they are not already in place, with the included screws.

Placing the Door

Then, set the storm door in place over the entry door. Set the hinges flush against the build-out. Place one wood screw in the top hole of the top hinge, and then screw it in place.

Repeating the Process

Repeat with the bottom hole of the bottom hinge. Make sure the storm door is square and level, and then place the remaining screws.