Storm doors have several different quality levels. The most basic door protects your exit door, but will not last for more than a couple of years. The most advanced screen door is guaranteed to last indefinitely, and often comes with a lengthy warranty. Here is why you would want to pay more for your storm door than the usual $100–$300.
Low Quality Storm Doors
Sure, they are cheap and you are working on a tight budget. However, the problem with low quality storm doors is that they are really only effective for preventing mild winds and rain. Usually constructed of wood or aluminum frames, the doors start breaking down almost immediately. Furthermore, the glass in these doors will shatter if something hard is thrown at them. The doors meet the basic building codes required for a storm door, but you will either have to repair the glass in them more often than you wanted to, or you will have to replace them as soon as the aluminum rusts and the wood rots.
High Quality Storm Doors
Some of these doors run close to $1,000, but if you find that you have had to replace your low quality storm doors more than once, you should just invest in a high quality door instead. Many of these are equipped with low-E glass and carry the Energy Star label for energy efficiency. They exceed the expected standards for screen door building codes, and it does not stop with the glass either. New high quality storm door frames are made of extruded PVC, reinforced during the melting and extrusion process to withstand tornado and hurricane wind speeds and projectiles propelled at them.
Choosing a High Quality Door
There is very little that can destroy the glass in a high quality storm door, and most manufacturers back the glass with a guarantee that the glass will not warp, cloud, trap moisture or break. If you buy a storm door with low-E glass that is FEMA-approved for safe rooms, you are virtually guaranteed a storm door that will never shatter, twist, rot or rust. Other doors that are sold as safe room doors but should not be used for that purpose are still very effective and efficient storm doors. High quality doors can also be custom-ordered with decorative features not available to low quality doors, as well as special size doors to fit narrower door openings on older homes.