Doors come in many standard sizes. You want to make sure, however that you don't just grab a door and assume that it will fit. You need to actually measure and then choose the door that you would like to purchase. You may find that measuring as not as easy as you would think it to be. There are a few steps that you probably didn't realize you need to do. If you know some of the words you are already ahead, and this tasks should be pretty easy for you.
In case you aren't familiar with with some of the words that will be used we can go ahead and go over those now.
Door Swing Direction
This is either right or left. This term is used to tell which sides will have a knob and which will be hinged. When you look at your door from outside your home, the hinges are located on the side that you will call the direction. Hinges that are on the right side are right will mean that you have a right-handed door.
This is used to describe the wooden framework which surrounds your doorway. This term does not refer to any casing or trimming that is adhered to your exterior or interior wall surface and used to help hide where your door jamb meets the house, The door jamb is just the framework that the door is set in.
In-swing And Out-swing
Most of the exterior doors that you see are known as in-swing doors. This means that they open up into your home. On occasion though you may see a custom door and it may swing out towards the exterior of your home. If you have an out-swing door your vendor needs to know when you make your door purchase.
This is a decorative piece and it is attached to the exterior and interior walls, as well as to the door jamb. It helps to hide where the surface material meets the jamb. When you are measuring for a replacement door these should not be included.
Now that you know all the terms you are ready to grab the tools you will need and get started.
Removing The Trim
Since the trim is not to be included in the measurements that you take, you will need to remove the interior trim at this time. To do this you can use a utility knife to cut back the caulk. Once you have done this you can then use the pry bar. Take the pry bar and use it to pry the trim away from the jamb.
Don't panic right away if you break a piece. You can often use a bit of wood glue on the broken area and most of the time the break is not even noticeable. If you break it just place it to the side and you can repair it once you are finished.
Make sure to remove the trim from all the way around the door.
Now that the trim is removed you should see the doors rough opening. Before you measure check to be sure that the studs for the door are level. The door studs are beams which are found behind the molding of the door, which frames your rough opening. If you find your studs to be over a ¼ inch out from being plumb, then they should be aligned before you get your measurements, This will ensure that your measurements are accurate.
Start by measuring the width of your rough opening. You should place the tape measure at the stud of one side to the stud on the adjacent side. All the measurements that you take should be written down in inches. And you should measure the width from the top and the bottom. Write this measurement down and list it as the width for the rough opening.
Now measure the height. To do this you will place the tape measure on the floor and bring it up to the rough opening top. Measure in the middle and on both sides. Again write down this measurement.
Now you need the depth. To get this you will take the take measure and measure the front of your rough opening to the back of it. Write this measurement down. Measure again in three places.
Measuring more than once helps to ensure that you have accurate measurements.
Ordering Your Door
You need to look at the swing of the door now as well as the door swing direction. You will need this along with the measurements that you took to select the proper door. The door that you choose will likely have a standard size that you choose. This door size can not be any larger than the smallest of the measurements that you too for the height or the width. This is extremely important to remember.
Your exterior door provides curb appeal to your home. This being said you will want to choose a door that will look great on your home as well as keep your safe from unwanted entry, and your home safe from the outside weather conditions.
Keep in mind that you measuring the front door size for purchasing a new one is much easier than installing the door. However, you can preform the door installation yourself also if you have a bit of experience. It is not a project for a beginner though. Now, you can put the trim back on until you are ready for the new door to be installed.