Measuring to get a front door sounds frightening! Doesn’t it? How about if you do something wrong? How about if you omit measuring a section? Well, yes! Measuring with utter precision is vital. But on the other hand, think of that. Do you think the door replacement contractor won’t measure? Then, why bother, you may wonder! People usually want to have an idea of how big a door they want in order to ask for a quote or to see their options.
Now, things are usually easier when you seek a door replacement – compared to seeking a door for a new home. Or compared to home improvements that involve tearing down the whole front entry section to install a larger door. Or a door with sidelights. Let’s see.
First things first. The anatomy of your front door
Even roughly knowing the anatomy of an exterior door will help you be more careful when measuring. A door is much more than a panel, as you most likely know. There’s a frame, mule posts, a sill, a threshold, the jambs, often sidelights. How is this helpful when measuring?
When looking for a replacement door, you may only need the panel – not all the components. And so, you need to measure accordingly. If the threshold and the side jambs are already there, your measurements are different than if you would want to change them too.
Measuring to get a replacement door demands more than a tape
Assuming that you want the existing door replaced, you can measure its height and width. You need to know the rough opening, the jamb size, the dimensions of the storeylight – if any, the sill – everything. Even if you don’t replace all the components of the door, it’s good to know how much space they occupy.
One of the tricks here is whether the front door at your home has a standard size or was custom-made. A door installation company can easily understand the size of a standard door, even if the measurements are entirely accurate.
Things become a bit more complicated when you want to replace a custom door and especially, if you want to replace its components as well. In such cases, you need to measure all parts, all distances – know all dimensions to get a more accurate estimate.
Is this a new construction? Check its structure before you choose the front door
Something similar happens when you need to get a front door for a new construction. While the empty space seems easy to measure – something, like a blank canvas, you need to consider the dimensions and give them to a door installation contractor emphasizing that you haven’t included the components, like the threshold or the jambs.
One of the things we often forget to measure, when it comes to new homes, is the space outside and indoors. In the existing home, you already know if this particular front door size is convenient for you, in the sense that it opens all the way, without obstructions or difficulties. How about the space in the new home?
Many properties hardly have space to stand outside the door. Or they have steps right after you open the door. Or there might be a wall that will keep the front door from opening entirely. So, it takes particular attention when you construct or buy a new home that has no doors and must be equipped with everything, from scratch.
Of course, in such cases, you will have the door installers at your place from the beginning since they will have to measure all parts of the home where you will have doors and windows installed. But it’s good to keep in mind that the architectural structure of the new home may also influence your decision about the front door – or at least, its size or the way it opens. Isn’t it important to pay attention to such things? As you can see, you don’t only need to measure the door opening, but the surroundings too.