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How to Measure a Door for Replacement in 5 Simple Steps

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Q: How do you measure a door for replacement?

A: Measure the width, the height, and the door thickness, and then run on over Dan’s Discount Windows and Doors and buy one that matches.

Right?  WRONG!
If you’re interested in replacing a door in your home, the first thing you need to do is learn how to measure a door for replacement.  You definitely don’t want to arrive home with a door that is too big, or too small, for your existing door frame. There are a few more steps to measuring a door than you might have thought, but it’s easy to do yourself if you know some door-specific vocabulary and a few tricks of the trade.

Door Vocabulary:

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 view your door from the exterior, 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 exterior doors are In-swing doors, meaning they open to the interior of the home. Occasionally, custom doors will swing to the exterior and you’ll want to let your door vendor know if this is the case.

Sweep/weather stripping – Usually a metal/rubber plate adhered to the bottom of the door, and/or door edge to prevent air leaks or to keep debris from entering through the gap between the door, the ground, and/or the jamb.

Trim/casing/moulding – The decorative 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 replacement door measurements.

Now you are ready to measure a door

Follow the simple steps below:

Step 1: Take a picture of the door and print it out, or draw a rough diagram. Take it (or draw it) from the exterior view. Appropriately indicate the hinges and handle/knob and you will know which way it hangs.

Step 2: Label it a right- or left-hand door and in-swing or out-swing just to be safe.

Step 3: Use the printed diagram to write the appropriate measurements – Now you can take a measurement of the width, height, and thickness, or edge, of the door.  Make sure you do not include any other features, like weather stripping or the door sweep.  ONLY measure the door. Write down the exact measurements and, in parentheses, round them up to the nearest inch.

Step 4: Measure the width of the door jamb.  Again, do not measure any of the trim materials.  When you face the jamb, you will take the measurement from the back of the interior trim piece to the back of the exterior trim piece.

Step 5: To be on the safe side, it’s worth measuring the height and width of the framed door space – not including any trim materials.

Now you’re an expert in how to measure a door for replacement.  Your accurate measuring techniques will help you and the customer service representative to choose a door that will fit perfectly the first time you install it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Call us at 1.877.579.1994 or click here to price your project. Come and see us for a Dan Good Deal at 199 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 2C1.