Pella Full View Storm Door Installation Review: Two Big Thumbs Up!

Seven years ago when Mrs Happy and I moved into our humble home, we bought a full view storm door.  It wasn't a Pella.  It wasn't an Anderson and it wasn't cheap either.  I remember spending nearly $250 at the time for the full panel glass door.  It had black edges with a  nice etched full glass view, but it also had ugly gold hardware.  I'm not sure what we were thinking.

After I got the box home, I realized I couldn't put it together.  I opened the box, laid out all the pieces and realized the kit required me to do things I had never done before.  It required taking exact measurements and chiseling out the wood for the locking mechanism.  I was just exiting my medical school and residency for the previous seven years.  I had absolutely no construction experience. Installing a full view storm door may as well have been like gross anatomy on my first day of school.

I abandoned my plans for self installation  and hired some guy to come out and do it for us.  I think he charged us $100 or so to install the door.  Over the last several years, the door stopped closing tightly and we could never get the storm door to lock without heavy maneuvering.    This year the glass started falling out of its casing.   Every time we opened the storm door, the glass risked falling out.  Mrs Happy's father in law thought we should screw in supporting screws around the edges.  We decided it was time to buy another storm door.

We went down to Lowe's to check out their offerings.  We like the Pella Select brand 3 in 1 full view storm door.  We got to pick our frame color, our handle hardware color  and our glass design separately as three individual purchases.  The guy at the store said he had the full view storm door set himself and they were really easy to put together.

We settled on the Pella Select 36 inch white frame (#147635) with the antique brass hardware (#109513) and the clear unetched glass (#251220).  We got it home and I went work on it.  The advertising material showed a picture of a woman putting it together in  less than 60 minutes.  I can assure you while it didn't take me less than 60 minutes to put together, it was much easier than I thought it would be.

This model basically came with its own door frame.  There was no chiseling of the  wood required.    The directions were fantastically simple.  The parts were very well marked and easy to find.  The only thing I had to do was buy a 1/4 inch piece of wood to shim the side of my door hinge, an unexpected finding that added about an hour to my project.

Otherwise this Pella full view storm door installation was a piece of cake.  Mrs Happy had her doubts about my abilities to complete the project.  But fear not wise women.   Your shining  Happy came to the rescue.  We now had a fully functional full view storm door that closed tightly and latched shut with no effort at all.  The door  hinge technology on this model  was a major upgrade from my last storm door.  The hydrolic mechanism appears to be much more visually appealing.  There are no chains hanging down.  There is a button to keep the door open and  the same button releases the door to close.

What was the price of this full glass door, hardware and frame?  The frame cost me  about $170.  The glass cost me about $50 and the handle hardware set me  back about $50 as well.  With tax, the total came to just under $290.  Hopefully, it lasts another seven years.  

Pella-Full-View-Storm-Door-InstalledI would say the storm door took me closer to four hours to fully install, but  that's because I had to shim the door and remove some hinge hardware from the previous storm door that had stripped screws. That was a nightmare.  If anyone knows how to  easily remove stripped screws, I'm all ears.     Short of that, I probably could have finished the job in under two hours.  I saved us $97, the charge for Lowe's to install full view storm doors,  and I got our door up so Mrs Happy and our pups could  once again sit and enjoy the sunshine without letting all the bugs in.

For now, we decided to leave the screen on and keep the glass off.  What's my review of the Pella installation process?  Two big thumbs up!  Congratulations Pella on building a quality door that is easy to install especially for those foks with limited experience in putting things together.   

We are in the midst of a full first floor home remodel and the drywall, paint and dust can unbearable at times.  I'll be posting some remodel pictures in the near future to show the transformation of a construction grade home built at the height of the housing boom into one with some personal designer elements and class.

Update 2013!  The door is still holding up quite well, except to say I've had to replace the hing bracket for the hydrolic mechanism.  A big gust of wind yanked the door open with such force that is cracked and snapped the plastic hardware.  Unfortunately, the replacement bracket ($10 or so from Lowe's) is still having issues and I might have to replace it again.   This isn't a big deal though.  The door is holding up quite nicely.  

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