I just bought a storm door for my house's front door (HD custom order). Of course, I followed directions measuring the door opening, but without considering that I have an old house, and the door frame itself is a little odd. I've attached photos because that's much easier.

The door itself measures 36x80. As you can see, the door is deeply set back. There are two pairs of 'lips' on the sides. One set is small, protruding 1/2'' on the middle of the side. The other set, which are sealed to the brick, is about 1'' wide and faces the exterior. Additionally, the top of the door has a header 4-5'' tall that is inset 1'' from the exterior. And the bottom aluminum piece has an upward slope that gains about 1 from the cement bottom.

Naturally, the 36x80 storm door I bought won't fit. The door itself wants to sit flush on the cement, and on the sides with the 1'' lips. I'm looking for solutions to attach the door.

Is it safe to drill the door into the 1'' wide trim on the sides? Is the door meant to sit close to the cement bottom or should I try to elevate it when installing it?

And most importantly, what to do about that header? Is my door simply too short and I should try to track down a 36x84 door to cover the header? Can I fill in the header by attaching another piece of wood to make it flush with the exterior lips, painted to match the storm door color, and screw the door into that?

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1 Answer 1


There's nothing wrong with screwing the door to those two lips on either side. Depending on the weatherstripping on the bottom of the door, it should fit right up to the cement bottom, or top of that sill. Adding an additional "header" piece should not pose much of a problem. It could even extend a bit below the existing one if necessary for a good fit. Hardest part will be cutting those two angles. A saber saw will do the trick if you don't have a miter saw.

  • 2
    My thoughts as well. Install a filler to bring the head casing out flush with the side casing, and be sure to consider the door sweep when you set the vertical jamb location. The kit instructions should make it clear how to do this. If your storm door is white, a vinyl board might work well for the filler. Use longer screws that go all the way into the original head casing, though, and not just the filler strip.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 17:02

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