We have a metal front door that faces south. We would like to add a storm door but have heard that this may not be a good idea because of heat built up.
The door has shade from two very large trees. What are your thoughts on this?
Elenoreo 1-21-07 8:48pm
Storm doors are one of those products that remind me of horse shoes. They used to be in great demand, before we had cars, that is! Storm doors had an important purpose when most of America used wood exterior doors. Wood doors had their limitations. Due to swelling, shrinking, cracking and just plain old wear and tear, your house almost always needed the additional layer of protection offered by the storm door.
When steel doors came along, most consumers kept up the "habit" of installing storms doors, even though the steel doors were generally quite storm proof on their own. However,problems began creeping up when heat from the sun was magnified from the greenhouse effect of being trapped between the storm door and the entry door. In many cases, the plastic trim on the storm doors, used for the frame around the glass, actually melted and warped, resulting in a very unsightly appearance.
Today, even steel doors have many limitations that are beginning to make them nearly as obsolete as those old horse shoes. Besides rust and the need for regular repainting, they are not very energy efficient. The best entry doors available today are made of fiberglass. Fiberglass is strong, incredibly energy efficient and very strong. Therma-Tru  is one of my favorites. They invented the fiberglass door category and have a technology called "Accugrain" that makes their appearance virtually indistinguishable from real wood. The security is also superb, with multi-point locking systems (think bank-vault) where pins extend from the door at the top, bottom and side jambs to secure the door to the frame.
Today, the only real value of a storm door is the screen. For that though, you can purchase just a screen door for half the cost.
Reaching Tom: If you have a home improvement question or comment on this topic, please post it here. For answers to other home improvement questions, please email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org  so your question can be used in future blog entries.