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Old 08-22-2011, 10:16 AM  
allen_kcCard allen_kcCard is offline
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Storm Doors for French Patio Doors

I just finished finishing our unfinished basement, and with the drop ceiling installed I can see now just how damn much our french patio doors on the floor above it are leaking. The doors are in a hardwood floor room, and when it leaks the water seeps down into the basement below and the last two times it has rained is has done it. The damage it is doing to the hardwood is bad enough as it is, and the basement below it being finished has me getting anxious to get it fixed.

I looked online, and is sounds like this is a pretty common issue with french doors. I know in the winter when the wind blows fromt he direction of these doors, the wind pushes the doors in where they meet in the middle enough that there is a cold breeze coming in, and I assume that is also where the water is runnining in from. There were some suggestions of a weather stip with a sort of a drip overhang to stop it on some of what I read online, but I am wondering if a storm door would be better, so that it could stop the rain from getting to the doors to leak through and also buffer all that wind in the winter that is screwing with my gas bill.

The question that comes up, is if there are storm doors for french doors that work well? Or do they even make them?

I saw some mention online of storm doors that have a kit to work for french doors, which I assume means that you buy two of them and alter them to work as french doors.

With the door handles of the french doors both in the middle, wouldn't storm french doors be knocking handles with the other? Or are they offset somehow?

I kind if like the idea of being able to open both french doors on a nice day and have a storm door with good screens opened up to let a breeze in, but the main concern is stopping that winter air, and definately incoming rain, so I was also wondering if it would be better to go with a full glass door instead of trying to get one with screens.

Just wanted to see if anyone else had any good input on french storm doors.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:20 AM   #2
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I just put in two regular storm doors with a striker post between them. Don't have any pics on this computer, sorry.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:21 AM   #3
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I presume that the default position for French doors is wide open, right?
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:22 AM   #4
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Never done it, never seen it. If your door is flashed and installed properly you shouldn't be having this kind problem.

I'm guessing you could upgrade your french doors to something more efficient more affordably than you could have storms modified to fit. Maybe. I don't see how a french storm is going to work without major customization to the middle of that door.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock View Post
I just put in two regular storm doors with a striker post between them. Don't have any pics on this computer, sorry.
So, just two identicle storm doors hung as mirrors to each other, and a striker post?

Do storm doors typically have a different height for the handles so it won't hit the other door?
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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Properly installed french doors shouldn't leak. Are you using the throwbolts in the door to secure them?
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Phobia View Post
Never done it, never seen it. If your door is flashed and installed properly you shouldn't be having this kind problem.

I'm guessing you could upgrade your french doors to something more efficient more affordably than you could have storms modified to fit. Maybe. I don't see how a french storm is going to work without major customization to the middle of that door.
*groan*

I wish we never put the damn things in. The ****wad kids that used to love behind us shot out the glass in the original sliding patio door, and we thought french doors would be nice, so we payed over the insurance money to upgrade the doors on that level (they also shot out the sliding door below it in the basement, but we moved the good door from upstairs down and combined the money of the two doors to get the french for upstairs) and it has proved to be a bad decision.

I replaced the weather stripping on the bottom once already hoping it would fix it, but it keeps coming down to the way the two doors latch together that is the problem, which adjusting to try to make it latch tighter seems to come down to re-hanghing the whole damn setup from what I have been able to tell so far.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allen_kcCard View Post
So, just two identicle storm doors hung as mirrors to each other, and a striker post?

Do storm doors typically have a different height for the handles so it won't hit the other door?
My storm doors have the handle approximately 6" above the knobs on the interior door. I assume that's some kind of standard, but I don't really know.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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But like a lot of people are saying, you're going to want to fix the real problem before you move on to putting in storm doors.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mikeyis4dcats. View Post
Properly installed french doors shouldn't leak. Are you using the throwbolts in the door to secure them?
Yes, the lefthand door had those bolts, and we never open it because the damn things are so freaking tight and hard to bolt/unbolt. The righthand door latches with the other one, but things don't seem to line up quite right. To throw the deadbolt, for example, we have to slightly unlatch the main latch, but even latched shut as fast as it can go, if winds blows against it things shift into the room a bit and there is a free air gap all along the seam in the middle.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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But like a lot of people are saying, you're going to want to fix the real problem before you move on to putting in storm doors.
K. Guess I will take this route first and see if I can figure something out. Hopefully I can just adjust the throwbolt holes on the lefthand door to where it lines up better with the other and see if I can get a better seal.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #12
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Just have Phobia come over and fix it.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allen_kcCard View Post
*groan*

I wish we never put the damn things in. The ****wad kids that used to love behind us shot out the glass in the original sliding patio door, and we thought french doors would be nice, so we payed over the insurance money to upgrade the doors on that level (they also shot out the sliding door below it in the basement, but we moved the good door from upstairs down and combined the money of the two doors to get the french for upstairs) and it has proved to be a bad decision.

I replaced the weather stripping on the bottom once already hoping it would fix it, but it keeps coming down to the way the two doors latch together that is the problem, which adjusting to try to make it latch tighter seems to come down to re-hanghing the whole damn setup from what I have been able to tell so far.
What are they made from? I have some commercial aluminum weather strip that may look attractive and seal up your gap cheaper than rehanging the whole thing. There's a reason french doors and sliders cost a chunk to install and it's not necessarily because they're bulky. It's a challenge to get those things perfect, especially in a hole some other guy framed.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:34 AM   #14
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Just have Phobia come over and fix it.
I'm actually interested in seeing your striker post solution. I don't know everything.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:37 AM   #15
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What are they made from? I have some commercial aluminum weather strip that may look attractive and seal up your gap cheaper than rehanging the whole thing. There's a reason french doors and sliders cost a chunk to install and it's not necessarily because they're bulky. It's a challenge to get those things perfect, especially in a hole some other guy framed.
Wood inside, aluminum outside. Where does the weather strip go...one that goes along the middle somehow? Not sure how it all works.

We still need to get a time lined up with you to get the siding on the front of our house that is rotting fixed anyhow, so if it is something that is pretty complicated to resolve I might just give it up and see if I can kill all the birds and the freaking bush as well.
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