Emco 300 Storm Door
The Emco door is sold at Home Depot, and I recommend it. It’s an aluminum door with a wood core. It has 2 removable triple-track windows. Not only is this a well-designed door, with a retractable screen, but it’s easy to install.
They stock both the 78” and the 80” inch doors in the 300 Series. When you first take the door out of the box you can removed both sections of glass, if you want, which lightens it for ease of installation. However, I just installed the door without taking them out, but if weight is a factor for you, take them out.
Installing the Storm Door
After the door is installed there is no reason to ever take them out again, and this is a good feature. One of the last installation steps to attach the retractable screen to the top window frame. Then when you lower the top section of glass the screen is pulled down and top glass slides on behind of the bottom section of glass.
First thing I did was to take the door frame components to the doorway and make sure they fit, height and width. That wasn’t on the instruction sheet but I just wanted to get an orientation. What I then noticed was that frame pieces fit perfectly on the top corners. Other storm doors required that you cut the frame pieces in the top corners, but that’s not necessary on this door.
By holding the frame pieces up to the doorway, you are checking their height as well. Brick molding to which you are attaching the storm door should be plumb, particularly on the jam side. You are going to want check the measurements of the width of the door too.
The opening width can be at most ¼ inch smaller than the nominal width. So, if you have a 30-inch-wide door the opening can’t be any less than 29 3/4 inches. The doorway can be up to 3/8 inch wider than the size of the door. There is a provided shim used to push the hinge side jam out if necessary, but I didn’t need it.
Following the Instructions
The instructions are accurate and easy to follow and the installation process has been well thought out. First, you’re going to install the hinge-side frame to the storm door. You’ll either put it on one side or the other depending where you want the handle. Usually the handle goes on the same side as the exterior door handle, and you’ll want to make sure they don’t collide.
Also, you’ll want to attach the door sweep before moving the door into the doorway. Again, follow the instructions.
Moving the Assembly to the Doorway
I love this next step. They have given you 2 shims, which go on the bottom and the latch side corner. The bottom spacer lifts the door the right distance so you don’t have to muscle it up until you get a few screws in! Whoo, that was easy. Now you’ll put in the rest of the hinge side frame screws, both in front and the inside. Now, follow the instructions to install the top and latch side of the frame pieces.
Again, they come to the rescue with spacer pads to adhere to the latch side of the door. These are used to space the latch-side frame at the precise distance from the door as required for good operation.
Use the Handle Template
Next, you’ll install the door handle, which is included in the box. Some doors require you to buy the handle separately. I installed one of those earlier in the year and customer didn’t know they needed a separate handle, so there was no handle to install. I’ll never do that again, but I digress.
For this job you’ll need a 7/16 and 5/8-inch drill bit. Tape the handle template onto the door at the desire height, and drill the holes. I started with a 1/8-inch drill as a pilot hole, then went through with the final size drill. Be sure to drill both sides of the template rather than straight all the way through, which will align the holes perfectly.
Installing the Closer, Easy!
Next, you’ll install the door closer. Again, follow the instructions exactly, because they work. I’ve never had a closer work so well right out of the box by just following the instructions exactly. There is another spacer provided for this as well, and I’d recommend that you use it.
Last thing is to attach the latches to the door frame for both the handle and the lock and you’re done. I had to put a ¼ inch strip of wood I cut from the side of a 2 x 4 about 8 inches long as a shim. I needed this to space both the latch and the lock. Then I also used one of the provided shims for the latch.
There are 2 possible installations for the latch. One just requires you push the latch to open it from the inside, while the other requires you to turn the handle to open the door. I chose the push to open setting but you can do what seems best to you.
Very nice storm door, and I highly recommend it. And if you’d decide not to do it yourself, and you’re in the Havertown, PA area, I’ll be glad to do it for you.