How To – Adding a Chain to Secure your Storm Door

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    Storm Doors are great features for homes and they provide a variety of different features from security to increased protection from wind and rain.

    The one feature that most storm doors do not come with is a chain that restricts how wide the door can open. This really is an important feature for most home owners because wind can pull a door out of your hand and cause it to hit something. Also children, friends or even the mail man that visits may not be so careful and opening the door to its fullest extent may mean damage to the door or other features on your home.

    When installing our storm door I found that a chain was needed to restrict the door from hitting a outside light on our porch.

    The whole process takes under an hour depending on how long it takes you to get and put away your tools. The tools needed are pretty basic.

    You will need

    Tape Measure

    Masking tape and a Pencil

    Center punch and Hammer

    Philips Head Screwdriver

    Drill and Drill Bits

    The first thing you want to do is read the directions for your specific chain set. Almost all of these chain sets install the same way but follow the manufacturer’s directions when they differ from the ones we provide.

    The Chain will be installed at two points by screws. The first point is the direct center of the door opening on the frame of the door. This side will retain the spring side of the door chain.

    On the actual door you will need to take a measurement that will be a few inches off-center on the top of the door frame to attach the retaining clip.

    Before you begin place a few pieces of masking tape on the door frame and door to allow you to mark the locations on the tape rather then the painted surfaces.

    You will need to drill holes in the door frame and door top to receive screws for the retaining clips.

    Measure for the center of the door frame opening and mark it then using the clip that will retain the spring side of the chain place it where it will go and mark the holes for drilling.

    Before you drill the holes in the door frame you want to use your center punch to mark the location. This will give you a starting dimple in the wood so your drill bit won’t slide when you begin drilling.

    Install the clip and screws for the door frame side of the chain but do not install the chain yet. You are simply starting the screws in the wood.

    Once you have the door frame clip installed you can install the clip on the door.

    Take your measurements from the manufacturer’s directions and place a center mark on the door.

    Once you have the clip location set you can repeat the process above and use the center punch to mark the location of the screw holes for the clip.

    Before you begin drilling holes on the door you must mark your drill bit for the depth of the door.

    First double check that the screws you are using won’t go all the way through the door by placing them up against the open door edge.

    The holes that you will drill must not go through the door but they must be deep enough that when you screw in the clip there won’t be dents from the compressed wood in the door.

    Place your drill bit against the edge of the door and mark it about 3/4 of the way into the door. You want to pay close attention to the molding around the edge of the door because it will make the door seem about a 1/4″ thicker then it actually is.

    Mark the drill bit with masking tape. Use a few loops around the bit so it will not move while you are drilling.

    You can now drill the holes in the door safely.

    Once the holes are drilled you want to attach the clip and make sure the screws tighten it down securely before you install the chain.

    Install the chain on the door frame first.

    Once the fixed side of the chain is secure you can open the door and hold the chain in place to get the measurement for the adjustable side that will mount on the door.

    Make sure that you give plenty of distance between the door and any obstruction.

    When the door chain extends to its widest position the spring on the chain will allow it to extend a few more inches so take that into account and install the adjustable side on the clip a few inches shorter then the full maximum amount the door will open.

    Secure the clip and chain then check your work by opening the door and pulling on it lightly to expand the chain spring to its maximum distance.

    If the door is hitting or coming close to an object reposition the chain and test again.

    Final Note

    This is a pretty easy project but you must be careful about the spring loaded chain measurement.

    Just make sure that if a heavy wind took the door out of your hand or someone else threw the door open fast that there is no possibility the door could hit anything .. like the light we are trying to protect in this project.




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