Storm Doors, solar screens for exterior front and back patio doors.

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Solar Screens for storm doors, how do they install?

You can mount a solar screen on to storm doors one of two ways. A solar screen can fit into the framing of storm doors just like this one shown here by the following picture.

This storm door has a solar screen inset within the framing of the storm door. Not all storm doors allow for this way of a solar screen to be installed. Very few storm doors actually do allow for a solar screen to install this way. Most storm doors have to be surface mounted by being screwed on.
This storm door has a solar screen inset within the framing of the storm door. Not all storm doors allow for this way of a solar screen to be installed. Very few storm doors actually do allow for a solar screen to install this way. Most storm doors have to be surface mounted by being screwed on.  Just like we would install any solar screen on a patio door.

Or the solar screen can attach with screws, to the trim that goes around the glass.

How it would attach would be by screwing it with four small self-tapping screws on to the trim around the glass or the metal door itself.

When I install a screen this way, I just direct screw it anywhere I can that looks good and does not involve getting near the glass.

Solar screen inset into a storm door.

This is a full-length shot of the solar screen that is set within the storm door. You can kind of see you there in the middle of the screen a support bar going across. It is that support bar that is holding that screen tight. That support bar is what is keeping and maintaining the shape of that solar screen. That support bar is installed just like support bars we put on your windows for solar window screens, concealed over the break of the window. Concealed so you cannot see it from the inside. The glass there behind that solar screen moves up and down. Because the glass moves up and down there's going to be a break in the window. It's that break in the window where we put that support bar. For screens that are screwed on, you DO NOT need a support bar because the screens are screwed on and they're not moving. They are being held in place by screws.
This is a full-length shot of the solar screen that is set within the storm door. You can kind of see you there in the middle of the screen a support bar going across. It is that support bar that is holding that screen tight. That support bar is what is keeping and maintaining the shape of that solar screen. That support bar is installed just like support bars we put on your windows for solar window screens, concealed over the break of the window. Concealed so you cannot see it from the inside. The glass there behind that solar screen moves up and down. Because the glass moves up and down there’s going to be a break in the window. It’s that break in the window where we put that support bar. For screens that are screwed on, you DO NOT need a support bar because the screens are screwed on and they’re not moving. They are being held in place by screws.

Some storm doors allow for a full-size solar screen to fit into it, while others do not.

Not all storm doors allow for a full-size solar screen to fit into it like this one. If you have a storm door that you are looking to put a solar screen on, and you have an existing bug screen that is full size, meaning that your existing window screen made for bugs is the entire height and width of that opening.  Your storm door may come with a full sized bug screen and if it does, then you may be able to use a full-size solar screen. If you have a bug screen that’s only half the size, then we can not insert a full-size solar screen.  We would need to surface mount the full-size solar screen.

Are there some windows that can take a bug screen over the entire window?

These are pictures showing solar screens surface mounted to storm doors.

By way of the following picture, you can see how the solar screen fits over the trim that goes around the glass onto the storm door. The solar screen attaches by means of a handful of small screws.

We used a black 90% fabric solar screen outlined with white framing for this mobile home storm door.
We used a black 90% fabric solar screen outlined with white framing for this mobile home storm door.

Here’s another storm door where we surface mounted one of our solar window screens on to. We attached the solar screen to this storm door using six small screws. 3 small screws on the left side and three small screws on the right side.

Where to get the actual storm doors.  I recommend getting them from either Lowes or Home Depot.  They both have reasonably priced installation services for the doors. 
Storm door of a mobile home wearing a black 90% solar screen with white frame.
Storm door of a mobile home wearing a black 90% solar screen with white frame.

This storm door did not allow for a full-sized screen to sit within it. To attach solar screens to storm doors like this, you have to surface install them with screws, as shown here. To keep the fabric tight, so the screen look good, I like to put 3 screws into each leg side of the frame. I like to put a screw 4-6″ from the top, one 4-6″ from the bottom to hold the corners. Then put the center screws in. When putting the center screws in, I’ll put the first one in, then pull the opposing sides frame to make the fabric nice and tight, then put the last center screw in.

This is very similar to how I install the solar screens on to residential swing doors for back patios. For the most part, residential swing doors for back patios will have a thick wide piece of molding that goes around the glass and it is this molding that I will screw my solar screen to.

Solar screen on storm door with turn clips

Solar screen on Storm door with turn clips
Used turn clips around the door handle.
Austin storm door with solar screen
Used turn clips and screws to hold this screen on.

I was able to screw in most of this solar screen to the storm door except for the left side. For the upper, bottom, and right sides of the screen, I had enough overlap. I was able to have enough overlap that allowed me to put my screws outside of where the glass or operations of the window would be. But for the left side of the screen, if I was to put a screw through the solar screen framing, that would have put me too close to the glass. So because of this, I put the screws to the left of the solar screen framing. I put them to the left and used casement clips to hold the screen. I put multiple casement clips all around the handle for sturdiness.

The key is when I adhere a solar screen to a storm door, I want it to stay attached. That storm door opens and closes, has a lot of movement. The wind can slam it open and closed forcefully. This being the case, you really need to make sure like I did that the screen will stay attached long term.