Measuring for a door is easy to do yourself if you know some door specific vocabulary and a few tricks of the trade. Follow these tips – and you won’t arrive home with a door that is too big, or too small.
Jamb – wood framework that surrounds the doorway. It does not include any trim/casing that is usually adhered to the interior/exterior wall surface to hide where the door jamb meets the sheet rock, stucco, brick, etc. The door jamb is solely the framework in which the door is set.
Door Swing Direction – left or right. This is used to determine which sides will be hinged and which will have the door knob. When you open your door away from you, the hinges will be on the side you call the direction. Hinges on the right, mean a right-hand door.
Out-Swing/ In-Swing – Most front doors are In-swing doors, meaning they open to the interior of the home. Often patio doors will swing to the exterior and are called Out-Swing. Interior doors are only identified by their swing direction.
Sweep – Usually a metal or rubber plate adhered to the bottom of the door to prevent leaks and to keep debris from entering through the gap under the door.
Weather stripping – Usually a vinyl strip around the edge of the jamb to prevent air leaks from entering through the gap between the door and the jamb.
Casing – The esthetic piece that is attached to your interior and exterior walls and door jamb to hide where the jamb meets the surface material. It should never be included in any door measurements.
Standard vs Custom sizing – The standard door height is 80″. Standard widths for interior doors are: 18, 24, 28, 30, 32, 34 & 36 inches. Standard widths for exterior doors are: 30, 32, 34 & 36 inches. Custom sizes can add substantially to the cost of your door. Standard doors can be trimmed up to 1/2″ on top, 1″ on bottom, and 1/2″ in width (1/4″ on each side).
Determine what you need.
You just want to replace your door slab. The existing jamb is in good condition and is plumb and stable. You just need to measure your existing door.
You have a finished opening, maybe you are exchanging a bifold door with a standard swing door. You will need a jamb and want your new door prehung.
You have a rough opening and want a prehung door to fit. If you provide your rough opening size and jamb size, we can calculate what door size you need. If this is a new build, you will want to plan your openings to fit standard size doors, thus saving the expense of custom sized doors
Now you are ready to measure.
- Draw a rough diagram of your door or opening. Mark the location of the hinges and handle/knob and you will know which way it hangs. Label it a right- or left-hand door and in-swing or out-swing just to be safe.
- Use your diagram to write your measurements. Measure carefully for a perfect fit
Just the door slab:
If you are replacing an existing door.
|WIDTH||Measure the existing door in at least three places (top, mid-point and bottom) to ensure that the door is a consistent width. For exterior doors – measure the inside of the door for In-swing doors and measure the outside of the door for Out-swing doors.|
|HEIGHT||Measure the existing door in at least 3 places (left, mid-point and right). If these measurements differ, your jamb may be warped and need replacing.|
|THICKNESS||Measure the thickness of the existing door – this is likely to be 1 3/8” (internal) or 1 3/4” (external).|
You want a Pre-hung Door.
Here are the measurements you need to order a pre-hung door:
Rough Opening. Measure the opening width between framing members and from the bottom of the sill to the top of the opening. For existing openings, you have to remove the interior trim to get accurate measurements of the rough opening.
Jamb width. Measure from the backside of the interior trim to the backside of the exterior trim . Specify this jamb width when you order your new pre-hung door. For new builds and renos: 2 x 4 construction has a jamb width of 4 9/16”. 6 x 6 construction has a jamb width of 6 9/16” and 7 x 7 construction has a jamb width of 7 ¼”. Ordering the correct jamb width guarantees that the interior trim will fit flush to the wall without adding “jamb extensions.”
And that’s it.
Bring in your sketch and we can get started on your new door!