measure front entry door

When it comes to first impressions, few things are as eye-catching as the door to a house itself. You might not pay much attention to your Front Entrance Door as you see it every day, but people visiting your home for the first time will. Front Entry Doors say a lot about the personality of the homeowners.

A Front Entrance door tells a story before you even open it, which is why you want to ensure you’ve picked the right one. Not only that, but a good, tasteful and secure entry door will increase the house’s curb appeal and its resale value should you decide to sell.

Today, we’ll show you how to measure Front Entry Doors for replacement or install a new one.

Measuring for a New Door or a Replacement (with frame)

Measuring for a new Front Entry door is easiest when you’ve already got a door frame to use for reference. Which is why we’re starting with that. If you don’t have a door frame, however, worry not. Scroll down, and we’ll show you how to measure for a new front entrance door without the frame.

What you’ll need:

Measuring shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve got a door already. There’s nothing wrong with measuring the existing door across width and height and simply using those measurements for your new door.

If measuring an existing door, you want to:

  1. Ideally, measure the door from inside the home.

  2. Starting with the width, measure the door in three places, from one door jamb to the other: bottom, middle, and top.

  3. It’s not unusual to get different measurements (though you should probably double-check to ensure you measured it right). You always want to take the larger measure when confronted with multiple sizes.

  4. Next, measure the height at the left and right sides. Here, as well, you want to use the larger measure, if different.

  5. Now, you need to measure the thickness of the door. This part is essential if you’re planning to replace your door yet keep the frame. You want the new door to have the same thickness as this one, or else you’ll get an ill-fitting door.

  6. With the door open, measure across the bottom edge from one side of the door to the other.

  7. Next, measure the space inside the frame (rebate) that corresponds to the thickness. These two measurements should come up pretty much the same. If they don’t, share both sizes with whoever is installing your door.

  8. Typically, door thickness in the U.S. is 1 ¾ inch.

Pro Tip: When measuring a door, you want to err on caution. If there are a few extra inches to your measurement, that’s not a problem. It’s better to have a door that’s too big rather than too small.

You can modify a door that’s slightly too big. Am Entry Door that’s too small, on the other hand, will sit awkwardly in the frame and let in drafts, which will, in turn, cause a spike in your energy bill.

It may be that you’ve already got a door frame but not a door and wish to measure the structure to find out what size your door should be. That’s a pretty straightforward process too.

How to measure a front entry door frame (without a door):

While the easiest method for measuring your new door is to use an existing one, measuring using only the frame has a couple of advantages. For one thing, without an actual door inside the frame, you’ve got plenty of room to maneuver and get a straight line inside the frame.

Speaking of straight lines, make sure your tape measure is rigid and straight when measuring. You want the tape to be taut, though again, if you’ve got to choose, add an inch rather than subtract it.

When measuring inside the frame, you want to:

  1. Using your tape measure, gauge the width of your door frame. You don’t need to stick the tape to the ground/top of the frame, but leave an inch or two. This should still give you an accurate measurement.

  2. Measure the width at the top, middle, and bottom, running your tape from one side of the frame to the other. Attention – ensure you keep the tape inside the frame and do not let it overlap with your frame. While you don’t want your door to be too small, you don’t want it to cover the frames, either, since you won’t be able to fit it.

  3. Next, it’s time to measure the frame height. Caution – If looking at a particularly tall frame, you may need to use a small ladder/chair to measure accurately. In such cases, it’s best to ask a friend or a family member for help.

  4. Measure the left and right sides of the door frame, from the top of the frame to the ground, using the larger measurement as a guideline.

  5. Pay attention to any floor coverings. If you’re planning on installing a carpet, you want to take that into account, as well, when gauging the height of your new door.

  6. Finally, measure the thickness. As we did above, calculate the rebate inside the frame, and there you have it.

Measuring for a New Door (without a frame)

It may be that you don’t even have the frame, in which case measuring for a new door suddenly sounds a lot trickier. You don’t need to worry. While frames and existing doors make measuring easier, they’re by no means mandatory.

You’ll need to measure the door opening without a frame to get the measurements for your new door.

  1. You’ll have to measure brick to brick when measuring for a new door set. That means one end of your tape measure will be against the left-hand side brick, while the other end is at the right-hand side brick.

  2. Measuring brick to brick, as above, make three separate measurements at the door opening’s top, middle, and bottom. Here, also, you’ll use the largest measurement for reference.

  3. Measure the height of the door from the top of the opening to the bottom brick (if applicable). Do this on both the left and right sides.

One good aspect of measuring without a frame is that you don’t need to worry about the thickness. Typically, door brick openings will be much more comprehensive than the actual thickness of a door, so there’s plenty of room.

Once you have your measurements written down, it’s up to you. If your manufacturer is crafting a set with a door and a frame, then all you need to do is send the measurements to them.

If, however, you need to provide the frame and door separately, consider the typical measurements of a door frame (or get these from your frame manufacturer), and subtract them from your overall brick-to-brick measurements.

Bottom Line

All in all, measuring for a new door (or door frame) shouldn’t be complicated and shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. Measuring your door yourself saves a lot of time and ensures that you get accurate measurements and a well-fitting door!

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