Screen Door Vs Storm Door – Which To Choose?

If you've been thinking about adding a screen or storm door to your house, you're probably wondering what the differences are between them and which would be the best for you. We have researched both storm doors and screen doors extensively and can tell you which door is the best for your situation. 

Both storm doors and screen doors are installed over your existing exterior doors. They can provide extra protection from the elements for your exterior door. They can also let more natural light into your house. Storm doors have glass panels while screen doors have screen panels. If you're looking for more light but need to keep your house insulated, a storm door may be the best choice. If you want extra ventilation, then a screen door is the perfect option. 

There are good reasons to choose each type of door. In this guide, we'll discuss how they are built, what purpose each serves, and other common features of each. So be sure to keep reading!

A man measuring and cutting a screen to fit into a door, Screen Door Vs Storm Door - Which To Choose?

Screen Doors Versus Storm Doors

Now let's cover each type of door in greater detail. 

Screen Doors

A red screen door

It's common for screen doors to have wooden frames and screen panels. They are great if you want to allow fresh air in while keeping flies and other pests out. Simple screen doors are the least expensive option as well. You can buy a screen door starting at around $50. Screen doors can be bought finished or unfinished. If you want, you can paint or stain it to match your exterior door's color.

Screen doors are also a good choice if your exterior door is exposed to more than three hours of direct sunlight a day. Storm doors can trap heat and cause excessive wear to your exterior door. 

Click here to see this screen door on Amazon.


Screen door frames are most commonly made of wood or aluminum. These two materials are very durable and can withstand the elements fairly well over time. A screen mesh covers the openings of the door frame, keeping insects and other pests out while allowing fresh air in.  

Want to know more about the associated costs of screen doors? Check out our post on the topic: How Much Does A Screen Door Cost? [Price By Type Of Door]


Installing a screen door is a rather simple DIY project that can be done in a day. Your individual screen door should come with instructions for how to install it. It involves fitting the door in the opening, installing the hinge, then installing the handle and latch. For a visual, check out this Youtube tutorial from HGTV:

Storm Doors

A glass screen door and wooden panel sidings painted in white

Storm doors provide more security than screen doors. A storm door also provides more energy efficiency for the entryway. They are usually made of wood, glass, plastic, and metal. The glass on a storm door is double paned to provide insulation. Storm doors are a great option for letting more light in your house without letting heat or air out.

Storm doors are more complicated than screen doors, so they are more expensive. These doors start at around $100, but most doors cost in the $200 to $300 range. 

Click here to see this storm door on Amazon. 

Types Of Storm Doors

Both combination and traditional storm doors come in different types. The two most common types of storm doors are half-view and full-view.

Full-View Storm Doors

Full-view storm doors have a full panel of glass to provide the most viewing area. There is usually a solid pane of steel or aluminum-covered wood at the bottom. Most full-view storm doors have two panels of glass. The top panel slides down to provide an opening for a retractable screen. Some, however, are simply a single panel that doesn't open. 

Half-View Storm Doors

Half-view storm doors have a glass panel at the top and are solid at the bottom. A half-view door may also have one or two panes of glass. They may also have a retractable screen. 

Pet Storm Door

If you have a beloved cat or dog that needs the freedom of a pet door, you can choose to have a storm door with a built-in pet door installed. With one of these, your pet will have the freedom to come and go as they please. 

Click here to see this pet-friendly storm door on Amazon.


Most modern storm doors are made of foam core that is covered in aluminum. These doors are lightweight and provide good insulation properties. Some doors are covered in steel or vinyl. 


Storm doors are usually sold without handle sets, so you will likely have to buy a handle separately. Handle sets are available in the most common colors and are easily installed with a few screws. 

Click here to check out this handle set on Amazon.

Installing a storm door is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project. Storm doors come with a Z-bar that can be hung on either side of the door casing. The door can be opened from the left or right, whichever you prefer. It will be helpful to have a partner hold the door level while you install it. 

If you don't want to install the storm yourself, you can have it professionally installed.  The cost of installation can vary from $150 to $500, depending on what type of door it is. 

Combination Door

Many doors offered today are combination doors. They are built with a storm door frame but offer interchangeable or retractable screen panels for ventilation when the weather is nice. Retractable storm doors have a screen panel built into the door that you can pull down for ventilation. 

Interchangeable storm doors allow you to swap out a glass panel for a screen panel when you want to use it like a screen door. You can use the screen panel during the spring and fall when the weather is nice. When it's too hot or too cold, you can put the glass panel back in for insulation. 

Do Storm Doors Come With Screens?

Combination storm doors can come with screens, or they may have screen panels built-in. Either way, you can use the screen when you want to allow in fresh air or you need to ventilate your house. 

Will A Storm Door Help With Drafts?

Storm doors will definitely help with drafts. When you install a storm door or have one installed, it should fit securely against the frame of your house. There will be weatherstripping around the edge of your door that provides a weatherproof seal. 

If you have a storm door that doesn't fit properly, you can install an aftermarket weatherproofing strip that will help stop drafts until the door can be properly installed. The weatherproofing strip is simply cut to fit the door and attached with an adhesive strip. 

Click here to see this weatherproof stripping on Amazon.

Will A Storm Door Keep Water Out?

A misting window of a house due to cold weather outside and humid air indoor

As with drafts, storm doors that are installed correctly will keep out water. Storm doors are designed to be weatherproof and keep out wind and water. 

Should You Remove Your Storm Door In Winter?

Modern contemporary home with wooden paneled sidings covered in snow due to snow blizzard

There's no reason to remove a storm door in winter. One of the benefits of having a storm door is being able to open the exterior door and let in extra light during the gloomy winter months. Storm doors also help retain heat and improve energy efficiency. 

Another benefit to having a storm door in the winter is that it will help protect your exterior door from the harsh elements. Snow and ice can cause wear and tear on your main door. A storm door will provide an extra layer between your door and the elements. 

How Long Do Storm Doors Last?

A new storm door should last 25 to 50 years, depending on what it's made of and the quality of the craftsmanship. Regardless of your budget or style, you can find a screen or storm door that fits your needs and adds beauty and value to your house. 

In Closing

Both storm doors and screen doors are excellent additions to an exterior door. They each have their own unique characteristics, so you're sure to find the right match for your needs. Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts that we think may be of interest to you:

How Much Does A Storm Door Cost?

Should Front Door Match Shutters And Trims?

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