When looking for a new patio door it is important to make sure that you get the correct measurements so that it will fit appropriately. If the measurements are off by just a little you could find yourself with a door that you can't use. This means just fraction of an inch can cause a problem. Luckily, it is not a difficult process to get the measurements for your patio door on your own. You just need a few tools and a little time. As long as you have both of these you are good to go.
Measuring must be done before ordering a new patio door but you can go ahead and be thinking about the type of door you would like while you wait. The measurements will just help you to pick the right size door. Once you have the right tools you will just need to follow the steps to get the measurement that you need for your new patio door.
Remove The Trim
Before you can get the correct patio door measurements you need to remove the trim. To do this you will need the utility knife and the pry bar. You will be working on the inside for this step. First, take the utility knife and run it between the trim and the wall to remove any caulking that may be present. When you are finished, use the pry bar to remove the trim. You should remove the trim at the top and both sides.
If you break a piece while you are taking the molding off don't worry. Most of the time when molding is broken it is broken is a way that it can be glued back together. .You will simply need to get a bit of wood glue and glue the piece back together. If after it is glued you see imperfections you can paint over them to hide the break. Chances are that no one will ever even notice that you broke it to start with. If this should happen to you, fix the piece, set it to the side, and continue on to get your measurements.
Measure The Rough Opening Height
For this step, you need to go outside of your home. This will keep you from having to remove the door completely in order to get the measurements that you need. Now, just place your tape measure at the bottom, beneath the threshold nose, and measure up to the bottom of the head jam. Once you have this measurement written down you can go inside to measure again. This time get the measurement from head jamb bottom to the bottom of the header for the rough opening, write it down. When you add both of these measurements together you will get the height of the rough opening. When measuring it is best that you check the height at the center as well as both sides. You will want to use the smallest measurements of the three that you get.
Measure The Rough Opening Width
For the width, you will measure inside where you removed the trim. Measure in three different areas here as well. Take your measurements from the bottom, the top edges, and as well as in the center. Write each measurement down and again, use the smallest measurement.
Next, you need to measure the jamb depth. Simply hold the measuring tape up to the current jamb and write down the measurement along with the others you have taken. Now, you should have all the measurements that you need.
If you have french doors you need to determine the inswing. To figure this out simply look at your current door when you open it. If the right door opens then it is right handed inswing if the left door opens then the doors are left handed inswing. If you have sliding doors then you can skip this and continue on to the next step. You don't need any additional information.
Replace The Trim
If you are going to be getting your new doors right away then you can leave the trim off if you would like. Otherwise, you can go ahead and put the trim back up. This process does not take long. However, you will need a caulk gun and caulk if it is going to be a while before you get the new doors. Put the trim up and caulk around the edges where you first used the utility knife to remove the molding.
That's it. Now you need to take the measurements that you have and get the new doors that you are looking for. Remember that doors come in standard sizes and you need the size of your rough opening which is what you just did. The standard door size that you select can't be any larger than the smallest of the dimensions that you came up with while measuring for your patio door.