Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The best storm door

Andersen 4000 fullview storm door
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.
Andersen 4000 storm door, black w/bronze hardware
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 hrs. 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.

4.5 / 5
Andersen 4000 storm door reviews:  


Video:   Installing  an Andersen Storm Door
Video:  Changing Glass on the 4000 Fullview Storm Door

23 comments:

  1. Gordon thanks for a great job installing our storm door last month. You're a real pro and a pleasure to work with!

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  2. 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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  3. How are the 3000 SlideAway / self storing storm doors?

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    1. 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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  4. I have been looking to replace two storm doors. I live in a condo and need the color to be brown. The brown that I am seeing is almost black. I have been trying to compare the Larson and Anderson doors. I like them both but Anderson doors are getting bad customer reviews. Larson is getting pretty good customer reviews. Is there a company who manufactures a dark brown door that looks more brown than black?

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    1. I've never heard a complaint about the Andersen 4000 doors. There are several color options available at http://www.stormdoors.com/storm-doors.php . I don't think there is a true brown, but terratone or bronze might work.

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  5. 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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  6. Hi! I am looking for a good storm door that would allow a small doggy door to be installed in bottom. Any suggestions? Thank you so much.

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  7. 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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    1. My opinion is that thermal panes would be heavy and stress the storm door frame. Thermal panes are also unnecessary - the space between the entry door and the storm door is not heated.

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  8. Thanks for the helpful information. I'm looking at installing the two 32"x80" Series 4000 Full View doors for a double french door set up using their double-door kit. Appreciate your opinion or any tips you might have.

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    1. Hi John -- I haven't had the experience of installing double storm doors with the double-door kit. Let us know how it went and any observations.

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  9. I live in the city and also need a security storm door. Do you have a recommendation for this? Thanks.

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  10. The Andersen 3000 and 4000 as well as other models come with locks and keys. A storm door helps prevent the main entry door from being pushed in or the lock picked, but not high-level security.

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  11. Thanks for the post, and I was just wondering if investing in a storm door is really worth it?

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  12. Yes it's nice to be able to open the front door and let in light during the winter. We definitely need the screen during the summer.

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    1. Opening the front door to let light in is one reason to order the door with thermal pane glass. It is heavy but the frame of the door is quite capable of handling the load.
      Our main entrance door is about 90 years old so any additional insulation is welcome.

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  13. Hi. Have you ever had to use the narrow mount kit? I can't seem to find any information on it online. I have the two side lights on my door and know I have to build it out about an inch. Also the dimension between the two side light vertical wood is 35 1/4 so not sure what door to choose as it seems to fall out side their choices.

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  14. Thank you for the helpful information. I wonder what your v opinion is regarding security feature of these doors vs. standard security doors. I suppose the laminated glass adds an extra serious level of protection.
    Thank you.

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  15. 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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    1. 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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  16. Thanks for the info it has helped a ton...I like the idea of the 4000 series Andersen...However, I am looking for a Black 32" 4000 series and am unable to find one. Are you aware if they make such a product?

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    1. Yes the 4000 is available in standard sizes and several colors, including black, through Home Depot. I have the 36" black door on my house.

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