The best storm door

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I replaced a dozen storm doors this year, and the best by far is the Andersen 4000 Fullview series, priced at $279 – $319.00 at Home Depot. Construction is similar to the less expensive 3000 series, but the unique mechanism for switching screen and glass panels in the 4000 models makes it worth the difference in price.

Lower end units use thumb screws to hold the panels in place, which worked but is unsightly. Andersen answered this in the 2000 and 3000 series by using plastic strips that snap in place around the panels. These strips are hard to get in without a hammer and block, and even more difficult to remove without breaking them. Most homeowners never switch the glass and screen panels because of this difficulty. Not so with the 4000 series.

The 4000 series storm doors have mechanical locking tabs hidden in the door frame that are operated by the handle. Simply push the safety button up, allowing the handle to be raised to a vertical position. This disengages the tabs, and the glass or screen panel comes out by simply leaning it toward you. Put the other panel in place, and turn the handle back down to its normal position. You’re done– it takes less than a minute.

Both the 3000 and 4000 series storm doors are thicker with a solid feeling, and have redundant weatherstripping that makes them airtight when installed properly. Be sure to read and follow all instructions. The frame legs and door edge cover will have to be cut to fit your door opening. Installation takes approximately 3 hours.

*Update: The series now comes pre-hung, cutting the installation time in half.

If you are removing an older door, this is a good time to repaint the exterior door casings before installing the new storm door, especially since the aluminum frames on these units are about 1/4″ narrower than older models, and old paint lines will show.

16 comments

  1. Thanks for this! We're currently shopping for storm doors, found this model at Home Depot and liked it, but having no experience with these previously, felt uncertain about the quality. If we were in your area, we'd ask you to install ours.

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  2. I've installed the Anderson 3000 self-storing doors. They work fine and some people prefer them for the convenience, but aesthetically to me they're like having an old fashioned storm window stuck in your entry door. I much prefer full view or 3/4 view glass. The 3000 full view doors are structurally similar to the 4000 full view doors, but the plastic strips you have to remove each time you want to switch from glass to screen are very difficult to re-insert.

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  3. 10 out of 11 reviews at Home Depot give the Andersen 4000 door either 4 or 5 stars. One person complained that it was difficult to remove the storm panel, which suggests that the hardware may not have been installed properly. Ease of removal and solid construction is why I install this product. Color choices are white, black, sandtone, almond, bronze, green and wineberry, and terratone but brown is not a listed color. Bronze comes closest and it is indeed dark.

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  4. Thank you for this insight. We are looking at the 4000 series and your post has confirmed our decision. One question… we are debating between the single (standard) glass or the double (thermal insulating) glass. Do you have any opinion regarding the two of these glass options?

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  5. Thank you for this great info! We have had problems in the past with wind blowing the storm door open. Even with wind chains and the door closers installed, the wind will catch the glass panel storm door and rip the door from the hinges. The hinges of our door are connected by sheet metal screws and it's very difficult to replace when they leave big screw holes in the door. Are the Anderson 4000 series better at this?

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  6. Your problem is very common. The Andersen 3000 and 4000 series doors have two closers, one at the top and one at the bottom, replacing the need for a spring at the top. This makes the doors slightly harder to open, but I have generally found that it is more effective against wind. Make sure the closers adjustment screws are set so that the door latches when it closes.

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  7. I have a second question, Gordon. Folks have posted online about wind problems with the 3000 and 4000 storm doors, with the wind catching them when they open, which destroys the doors. One reviewer said the problem is the 3000 has only one closer. What about the 4000? We live in a really windy area.

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      1. Thank you, Gordon. We also need a retractable screen door. Do you know anything about Anderson’s Luminaire retractable screen door?

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