Choosing a storm door that doesn't clash with original doors?

jlc102482August 16, 2011

The time has finally come to replace the ugly storm doors on my 1850s home. The house has three identical doors - they're tombstone style and the front door has stained glass panels. I'm having a really hard time finding a style of reproduction wooden storm door that doesn't clash with or hide the design of the existing doors.

Here is a photo of the front door, and the storm door that will be replaced:

Here's a photo of the front door that shows its shape and design better. Excuse the Christmas decor.

Does anyone here have similar tombstone doors and if so, what style of storm doors do you have?

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jlc, unless you opt for a full view model, I'd rather see no storm door at all--just weatherstrip the edges of the opening you have! Since your door looks very well maintained, it can stand up to the elements as it has for so long. Being metal, that storm door actually does little to stop heat transfer--it's just keeping the draft down, something that proper weatherization will do on it's own.

Such a great house--what did you decide for the view from the side porch?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 6:38PM
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My parent's old house in Arkansas had the double-arched door, and I made this (over the top) Victorian screen/storm for it.

Later, I added the stained glass:

The door was made 1 3/8" thick of old white pine, there was a 3/8" deep depression in the rear so that the removable screen panel would sit flush, and the corresponding plexiglass panel was switched in for winter.
You may not want to go quite so ornate, but the principle of a storm, to keep the weather off the original door, is a sound one.
This summer, I built this door for my kitchen door. It's quite a bit simpler, but keeps the view clear.

Building a screen/storm is something any hobby woodworker should be able to figure out. There are countless shops that could make you a simple door for about $400. I just had my screen panel made for $40+, and the 3/16" plexiglass costs about $100.
Using the best material is key! The wood has to be chosen carefully, and prepared so as to be free from any warping. Mortise and tenon joints are crucial for a long life.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 6:55PM
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We got our screen door or our new screen porch from the place linked below. It was expensive, but is very high quality. You can tell them the dimensions that you need (so the windows are not covered) and they will make it. It is wonderful to leave a door open and not have the bugs come in. You can get windows that go in in the winter. We will buy another one from them once we decide on the style for our new front door. Of course we could drive our truck over (I'm in NH) and thereby avoid shipping charges.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maine storm/screen doors.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 9:46PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Do away with the storm door, there were no such things in 1850

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 4:34AM
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I know it would look better with no storm, but with our winters I would worry a lot about the doors (especially the one with the glass) getting damaged. Also, screen doors in the summertime are a must so we don't roast!

concrete, thanks for the link. I didn't know about this particular company, and it's always good to hear a testimonial from a happy customer!

Sombreuil, those doors are drop dead GORGEOUS. They look really wonderful. I couldn't build a door myself (I wish!), but perhaps I could buy a very basic model and then dress it up like you did with yours.

Columbusguy, thanks! When you say "full view" door, I assume you mean a door that's basically just a frame with no ornamentation or board in the middle, correct?

To answer your question, the view from the side porch is currently of two long, wide porch shades that I purchased from Coolaroo, LOL. They are striped and they actually doesn't look too bad. The big Queen Annes on the next street over have similar shades on their porches so I figure if they can do it, then my little house can too. I think until I win the lottery and can buy the house next door to fix up, the shades are my cheapest, quickest fix for an unfortunate view. ;)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Jlc, yes, the door is basically a frame for a single sheet of glass. I think you could also get screens for them. To minimize the impact, I'd have it be the same color as the front door.

I understand the shades--I need to replace mine on the front porch, one end looks into the neighbor's porch ten feet away, the other has a 50 or 60 foot look into another porch and side yard. I'm glad you've found a temporary solution to your 'view'...maybe you can still do the trellis thing in a few years? :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Re: the trellis, I sure hope so! I was all set to do it and then my trellis budget suddenly turned into a front yard garden budget. The giant bushes in front of the house had to go, and then something had to go in their place, and...the rest is history. :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:02PM
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