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Old 03-05-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


I have never installed a storm door before, but I thought it would be a relatively straightforward project. I'm having some issues, though. I bought a higher-end Larson storm door over a month ago, and have finally had some weather warm enough to try to hang it.

As per the instructions, I attached the hinge rail to the door, mounted the door to the frame, and installed the drip cap. Butted up the latch rail on the opposite side and closed the door to make sure everything was straight, and that's as far as I got when I noticed that there is quite a big gap at the bottom of the door. The hinge rail appears to be straight on the frame, the top of the door seems to fit nice and straight under the drip cap, yet there is a gap at the bottom - I'd say almost 1/4" between the edge of the door and the weatherstripping on the latch rail.

I can post some pics if need be, but if anyone can offer any suggestions as to what I may have done wrong, I'd appreciate it. I really have no idea what to look for to try to address this. I can take the whole thing off (which I'm probably going to have to do anyway), but without knowing where the problem lies, I'm stuck.

Any ideas?

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Old 03-05-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Post your pics. It will help us, help you.

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Old 03-06-2011, 07:15 AM   #3
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


There is narrow dimension range that most stock size storm doors will fit, usually 80-80 3/4". Did you fit the hinge side the way the directions said?? That step is VERY important. If your door fall into the guidlines, and you did the hinge side correctly, the bottom filler should easily fill the gap.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


The bottom door sweep should be adjustable

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Old 03-06-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Post your pics. It will help us, help you.
Will do. DIY'ing isn't my specialty, but photography is. I'll snap a few shortly.

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There is narrow dimension range that most stock size storm doors will fit, usually 80-80 3/4". Did you fit the hinge side the way the directions said?? That step is VERY important. If your door fall into the guidlines, and you did the hinge side correctly, the bottom filler should easily fill the gap.
I'm going to visually double check (my work and the instructions) before I do anything else. I'm pretty sure I installed the hinge rail properly. I don't really see how it would be possible to install that wrong, as it can only mount one way, right? Still, if there's a way to mess it up, I'd be the guy to do it.
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The bottom door sweep should be adjustable

The problem isn't the sweep. I do have it set in place at the moment (not screwed in as the sweep installation step is one of the last steps in the instructions).

The problem is that the door itself is a little bit crooked. It closes fine at the top on the latch rail side, but there is a gradually widening gap going down to the point that, at the bottom of the door, it doesn't even come in contact with the latch rail.

My explanation might not be very good. I'll get the pics up.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Quote:
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The problem is that the door itself is a little bit crooked. It closes fine at the top on the latch rail side, but there is a gradually widening gap going down to the point that, at the bottom of the door, it doesn't even come in contact with the latch rail.
Are you SURE your opening is square? I don't have a single 'square' opening or corner in my house (but 200 years of settling has a habit of doing that).
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


A few items: Did you check both sides of the brick molding(what the rails are attached to) for plumb?
The hinge-side rail needs to be plumb regardless if the molding isn't. The latch side should be eyeballed for the same gap top to bottom, not worried about what the instructions say.
They are printed for installing in a perfect world where everything is square and plumb.
Are the measurements close between the frame you're installing the storm door to? Say you have 36 1/4" at the top, is the bottom anywhere near that.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay 78 View Post
The problem is that the door itself is a little bit crooked. It closes fine at the top on the latch rail side, but there is a gradually widening gap going down to the point that, at the bottom of the door, it doesn't even come in contact with the latch rail.

My explanation might not be very good. I'll get the pics up.
Is the "Gap" you're describing between the inside face of the door and the weatherstrip?

...or is it between the edge of the door and the z strip?
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Old 03-06-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


What the OP is probably refering to is a gap between the inside face of the door and the weather strip. It is caused by the hinge side and lock side brickmold not being in plane with each other(hinge side plumb in to out and lock side out of plumb), or the door has a slight twist in it. I usually just shim the lock side rail out untl the weather strip makes contact then fill any gap with caulk.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Well explained Paul!
I think that's the problem.
We call it cross legged in the door business.

RC/DG
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Got it straightened out, literally and figuratively!

Thank you very much to everyone who replied. You guys were right, the frame wasn't plumb. I simply shimmed behind the lower third of the door on the hinge side, and now it closes perfectly against the latch rail at both the top and bottom. For future reference, I now know to measure both the top and bottom of the frame before hanging the door, and what to do to compensate for a frame that's not square. That's a small but very important detail.

Thanks again to all who took the time to post. I don't have an internet connection at the new house yet, or I would have replied sooner.

Now I can move on to the latch....
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Still take a picture to document your success!
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #13
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Still take a picture to document your success!
Absolutely!

I replaced the old wood front door - which may have been the original from when the house was built in '43 - with a steel one, and now with the new storm door up, the combination (with brushed nickel hardware on both doors) looks infinitely better.

On a semi-related note, the steel entry door was relatively easy to install, particularly because it was already attached to it's frame. It was just a matter of slapping it up there and screwing it down. What threw me off about the storm door was that all the pieces were separate, and I wasn't expecting that.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #14
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


The finished product:



I think it turned out really well. Not crazy about white-on-white, but I'll be painting the steel door.....just as soon as I get a garage built.

It's a shame the door doesn't face the street...
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:36 PM   #15
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Storm Door Not Hanging Straight


Nicely done, Jay!
The doors look great together.
From the looks of your "ground cover" I would say
that you will get lot's of use out of that storm door!!

RC/DG

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