How To Install A Larson Storm Door & Screen Insert [Step By Step Guide]

Are you planning to install a Larson storm door and screen insert, and do you want to know how to do it correctly? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Here is a summary of what you need to do to install your Larson storm door and screen insert:

  1. Install the storm door expander.
  2. Install the hinge rail.
  3. Install the rail extender.
  4. Install the storm door.
  5. Install the drip cap.
  6. Install the latch rail.
  7. Install the handle and strike plate.

Learn the detailed steps to install your Larson storm door in the succeeding sections. There is also a section that tells you how to swap out the glass panel with a screen panel.

Read on!

Panorama Glass entrance door with concrete steps day light. - How To Install A Larson Storm Door & Screen Insert [Step By Step Guide]

What is a storm door?

A storm door is an additional door that you install over an external door. It comes in different sizes to match the possible sizes of external doors. They can be made of wood, metal, or PVC.

Storm doors normally have interchangeable panels—glass or screen—to match the weather.

Why install a storm door?

Exterior of a front door with blue star, doorbell, vinyl siding walls and windows. There is a storm door with mat and decorative white door frame beside the window and a path with plants and tree.

A storm door provides additional light or ventilation during nice weather days by allowing you to open your main door. A storm door also protects your main door from harsh weather. This effectively lengthens the service life of your main door.

It also adds another layer of insulation against extreme temperatures and possible air leaks. This benefit helps improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Another benefit of having a storm door is an increase in security. Some storm door options include protective grills and security glass. There are storm door models that include three-point locks as an option.

A storm door discourages potential thieves because if they can get through the storm door, they still have the main door to worry about.

How to install a Larson storm door?

Panorama Glass entrance door with concrete steps day light

Here are the simple steps to install a Larson storm door in your home and gain all its benefits.

Preparing For The Installation

  1. Prepare the tools that you will use for the installation.
  2. Determine if your front door is left-hinged or right-hinged. A Larson storm door has a Universal Hinging feature that allows a left hinge or right hinge installation. However, you have to know beforehand which direction you will install your door to know where the parts should go.
  3. Make sure that the parts of your primary door will not interfere with the parts of your storm door.
    • Your Larson storm door has rails that will need a mounting surface that is one inch wide and one inch deep. Check that your door frame has this available space.
    • Check that there is enough space for the handle of the storm door and that it will not interfere with the handle of the main door.
    • If there isn’t enough space, adding a trim might give you the space that you need.
  1. Check the height and width of the storm door and make sure it matches the height and width of the main door.

Installing The Initial Placeholder Screw

  1. Position the hinge rail on the door frame. Position it on the left side of the door frame if your door's hinge is on the left side.
  2. Push the hinge rail to the very top of the door frame. Make sure that the side skirt is flush with the door frame.
  3. Look for the topmost hole on the hinge rail. It will look like a circle that is combined with a racetrack shape. Use a pencil to mark the middle of the oblong.
  4. Remove the hinge rail.
  5. Get a placeholder screw from bag 'A.'
  6. Drive the screw through the mark on the door frame. Leave at least 1/8 inch of the screw outside the door frame.

Preparing The Storm Door Expander

  1. Slide the rubber sweep on the storm door expander.
  2. Crimp both ends of the channel to prevent the door sweep from sliding out.
  3. Use a sharp utility knife to trim any excess rubber sweep.

Installing The Storm Door Expander

Master knife cuts off excess foam. Installation of doors using polyurethane foam mounting. Cylinder Foam. insulation, Foam construction

  1. Lay the storm door interior side up on a flat surface. Place something soft under the storm door to prevent scratches.
  2. Slide the storm door expander at the bottom of the storm door. Take note of where the bottom will be, considering where you will connect the hinges. Do not install any screws on the expander just yet.

Installing The Hinge Rail

  1. Look for the locator hole at the top of the door.
  2. Turn the hinge to align with the locator hole.
    • The front of the storm door should be almost flush with the hinge rail.
  1. Get a hinge rail screw from bag 'B.'
  2. Secure the hinge rail by installing the screw through the locator hole.
  3. Get the rest of the hinge rail screws from bag 'B.'
  4. Align the hinges to your storm door, following the position of the hinge on the locator hole.
  5. Install the rest of the hinge rail screws into the rest of the hinges.
    • Start the installation of the screws at the bottom of the door.
  1. Position the mortice hole cover along the same side of the storm door where you have the hinges of the hinge rail.
  2. Screw the mortice hole cover in place.

Inserting The Rail Extender

  1. Locate the rail extenders.
    • There are two rail extenders. One has an 'L' mark, and another has an 'R' mark.
    • These marks correspond to the storm door's left and right hinge orientation.
    • Use the one with the appropriate mark for the orientation of your storm door.
  1. Slide the rail extender into the bottom of the hinge rail.

Installing The Storm Door

  1. Align the placeholder screw with the topmost hole on the hinge rail.
  2. Insert the screw into the hole and slide it towards the racetrack-shaped side of the hole.
  3. Let the door down gently so it would hang against the placeholder screw.
  4. Tighten the placeholder screw.
    • Never overtighten the screws that you install into the door frame.
  1. Locate the rest of the holes along the hinge rail.
  2. Align the hinge rail with the door frame and install the rest of the hinge rail installation screws from bag 'C.'
  3. Slide the hinge rail extender at the bottom.
  4. Continue by installing the rest of the hinge rail screws for the outside skirt. Use the same hinge rail installation screws from bag 'C.'
  5. Trim and install the provided weatherstripping at the bottom of the hinge rail.

Installing The Drip Cap

  1. Open the storm door.
  2. Position the drip cap on top of the door frame.
    • Align the drip cap on the top of the hinge rail.
  1. Close the storm door. Make sure that the gap between the drip cap and the storm door is the same throughout the width of the storm door.
  2. Fasten the drip cap using the installation screws from bag 'C.' Start with the hole closest to the hinge rail.

Next: Install The Latch Rail

  1. Locate the other rail extender.
    • If the 'L' rail extender is at the bottom of the hinge rail, you will use the 'R' rail for the latch rail.
  1. Insert the rail extender into the bottom of the latch rail
  2. Position the latch rail on the door frame.
    • The outside edge of the latch rail should align with the outside edge of the drip cap.
    • Check that the storm door can close freely without hitting the latch rail.
  1. Fasten the latch rail using installation screws from bag 'C,' starting from the top
  2. Trim the weatherstripping and install it at the bottom of the latch rail.

Installing The Handle And Strike Plate

  1. Position the template on the door and align the arrow with the notch on the door.
  2. Drill a 3/32-inch pilot hole on the areas with a mark on the template.
  3. Use the provided spade tip to drill a larger hole using the pilot holes as the center.
  4. Insert the lock body and slide down.
  5. Tighten the top screw.
  6. Insert the deadbolt spindles into the lock body.
  7. Install the exterior faceplate, and align it with the interior hardware.
  8. Tighten the screws with your fingers.
  9. Insert the handles through the lock body.
  10. Press the handles together and tighten the set screw with the provided Allen wrench.
  11. Tighten the faceplate screws.
  12. Align the strike plate with the holes on the latch rail.
  13. Fasten the strike plate to the latch rail with screws.

DEWALT DW1306 3/32-Inch Drill Bit is available on Amazon through this link.

Finishing Up

  1. Lower the expander at the bottom of the storm door and fasten it with screws from bag 'D.'
  2. Install the rail covers.
  3. Install closers. The closer with the touch-and-hold button should be at the bottom of the storm door.
    • Never install the closers on any retractable parts or removable panels.
    • The bottom closer should be flush above the expander.

See Larson's full instructions below: 

How to swap the glass insert with the screen insert?

Install the door handle with a lock, Carpenter tighten the screw, using an electric drill screwdriver, close-up.

  1. Use a blunt object like a coin to remove the retainers on the hinge side and the latch side of the door.
  2. Carefully remove the glass insert. Store the glass insert in a safe place for next use.
  3. Install the screen insert.
  4. Reinstall the retainers on both sides to keep the screen insert securely. Start the installation from the top and work your way to the bottom.


Installing a Larson storm door and replacing the glass insert with the screen insert is easy with the right tools and instructions.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might find the articles below equally enjoyable to read:

How Much Does A Storm Door Cost?

Screen Door Vs Storm Door – Which To Choose?

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