how to measure a door for replacement

Measuring The Dimensions Of A Front Door For A House
Tools Needed
1 Tape measure
2 Ink Pen
3 Notepad/Tablet
Materials Needed
1 Pencil
2 Paper
Total Cost
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
5-10 Minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

Measuring Front Door Dimensions

Enhanced security and safety, improved peace of mind, increased home value, and enhanced aesthetics are among the many reasons homeowners replace the doors in their homes. Doors are of great importance for each of the above characteristics, so it is easy to understand why homeowners are selective when choosing their new door. It should be perfect, warming the heart at first sight, blending well with already established decor, and offering a value for your budget.

Taking precise door measurements is absolutely necessary when replacing this household essential. One mistake could cost you considerably since, the door won’t properly fit if it is measured incorrectly.  An ill-fitting door not only affects the appearance, but also the ease of opening, closing, and otherwise using the door as desired.

Fortunately, measuring a door for replacement is a simple job that takes little time to complete. Before you replace your door, use the step-by-step guide below to learn how to measure a door for replacement the right way.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Familiarize Yourself with the Lingo

List Of Front Door Dimensions

Learning the names of the parts of the door you’ll measure is important. How can you ever take measurements if you’re unfamiliar with these terms? Before you attempt to take measurements, ensure you’re aware of the different parts of the door.

  • Jamb: A piece of wood framework surrounding the doorway. A door jamb doesn’t include casing or trim attached to the interior or exterior wall surface. The door jamb is used to hide the meeting point of the jamb and the housing material.
  • Out-Swing/In-Swing: Usually, exterior doors are in-swing doors, or doors that open to the home’s interior. Custom-made doors may sometimes swing to the exterior.
  • Door Swing Direction: The door swing direction is always left or right. You must know the door swing direction to ensure you purchase a new door with the hinges and door knobs on the right side. Open the door to determine the door swing direction of your door.
  • Trim/Moulding/Casing: Trim, moulding, or casing refers to the decorative piece attached to the door jamb to hide the metal surface to the interior and exterior walls. Never measure the trim, casing, or moulding when replacing the door.
  • Weather Stripping: Weather stripping is a rubber or metal plate affixed to the bottom of the door to prevent air leaks, dirt, and debris from entering between the door gap and the floor or door jamb.

Organize Yourself

Different Front Door Dimensions Chart

A quality photo of the door makes life easy. Take the photo in good lighting, and snap a couple shots to ensure a good photo.  Standing outside the home, photograph the door. Don’t worry; no need to get the door all dolled up for this photography session.

Determine the location of the knobs and hinges to determine the door swing direction. It’s also good to go ahead and label the door as whether an out-swing or an in-swing door.


Take Measurements

Writing Front Door Measurements

To measure the height of the door, use a tape measure to measure from the sill to the underside of the exterior trim. Write the resulting measurement down. Again using your tape measure, measure the door width the the top, center, and again at the bottom.

Opt for the shortest of the measurements if you get varying numbers each time. To measure the door thickness, remove trimming or moulding attached to the door. Measure from the jamb edges to attain proper measurements. Typically, door jambs are one of three sizes:

  • A 2x4 frame with ½” drywall typically measures 4 9/16
  • A 2x4 frame using drywall or stucco usually measures 5 ½”
  • A 2x6 frame measures 6 9/16”

Plan Your New Door Installation

Plans For New Front Door

After measuring, write the numbers on the photograph you took of the door.  Write the exact measurements and beside those numbers, write the number rounded to the nearest inch in parentheses. Do not measure anything besides the door. Have some inclination of the style door you want to purchase. This will save time and frustration when shopping for your new door.

With accurate measurements, it’s now time to order your new door. Take your measurements and photo to the door contractor of your choice to order the door. This expert will help you learn more about the different types of doors available and help you select the right one to accommodate your needs.

After your new door arrives, it is time to plan your installation project. Luckily, this is also a DIY job that takes only about a half a day to complete. A few tools is all that is needed to install your new door.


Learning how to measure a door for replacement is a simple way to ensure the right size door is purchased, eliminating worry, confusion, delays, and other headaches. 

Choose a quality tape measure for the task, take your time while measuring each of the three areas of the door, and soon, you’ll proudly own the perfect replacement door to enhance the ambiance, safety, and value of your home.

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