How to Measure a DoorDoors are one of the most important parts of your home if they’re installed correctly. A door of any style can be a great focal piece in any room, and create the perfect transitioning point from room to room or even from inside to outside. But, if a door is installed incorrectly because you measured wrong, it can quickly turn into a clunky, money-wasting eyesore, as improperly installed doors are typically hard to open and difficult to close.
Make sure you avoid the problems of getting the wrong size door for your next project and learn how to best measure for all different types of doors. Here are a few tips and tricks about how to get quick and accurate measurements for any type of door you’re looking to install.
Tools You Need to Measure for a DoorBefore you get started, you need to make sure you have the tools needed to get the job done. The tools you’re going to need to measure for a door are:
- An accurate measuring tape with a minimum length of at least 90 inches. Most doors have an average height of 80 inches, but your door might be slightly larger or shorter depending on the age and style of your home. Whether you have a door you need to replace or just need to measure the door space for a totally new type or style of door, having a long, bendable measuring tape can be helpful.
- A hammer and pry bar. In some cases, you will need to remove decorative molding or other objects to get the most accurate measurement for your door. Be cautious when doing this and try to avoid causing damage, as you will hopefully be able to reinstall the molding once your new door is installed. Sometimes using a pry bar to remove the interior door trim is too much, so you may try something a bit gentler like a putty knife.
- Paper. Always write down your measurements. No matter how great your memory might be, it is always safer to write down your measurements for easy access.
How to Measure for a Storm Door
A storm door is generally installed in front of an existing exterior door and helps to protect the exterior door from extreme weather while still allowing for ventilation. Typically, a storm door has a glass panel as part of its design.
If you want to know how to measure for a storm door, first measure the length of your existing door three separate times. You’ll want to measure on the left edge, then in the center, and again on the right edge.
While you don’t necessarily need all three measurements, measuring three times helps to make sure that your measurements are consistent and enables you to catch any potential errors.
Follow this step by taking measurements of the width. Again, try to take the measurements in three different locations (top, middle, and bottom) to make sure your measurements are accurate.
Each measurement should be the same. If the measurements are not the same, take your time and try again. Keep in mind that if your measuring tape is not perfectly straight, it can throw off your measurements.
How to Measure for a Prehung Door
With a prehung door, rather than worrying about assembling the door hinges to the door and the frame yourself, you purchase a door that has already been installed on a frame. While these take away some of the guesswork when installing, learning how to measure for a prehung door takes more than just a tape measure.
The first thing you need to do is get access to the structural frame of the doorway that you are going to be using. For any unfinished areas, this step can be skipped because you are able to directly access your frame. If you have any interior door trim, you will have to strip it away. To do this, a pry bar or putty knife can be used to gently remove the trim.
After you are done removing the trim, remove any old insulation that is covering the door frame. Once you are able to see the edge of the frame surrounding the door, it is time to measure. Measure three times for both lengths (left, center, and right) and width (top, middle, and bottom).
When you measure the length, keep into consideration any flooring with which the frame is in contact. It’s not the best idea to rip up flooring just to make sure that your frame is accurately measured. Instead, use your putty knife to determine the length of the frame that is being covered by flooring.
How to Measure for a Screen Door
The biggest difference between a screen door and a storm door is the material in the window openings in the door. How to measure for a screen door is exactly the same as you would measure for a storm door.
Measure the screen door you are replacing or the exterior door you will be covering with the new screen door. Take three measurements lengthwise and then three measurements widthwise. Write these numbers down and make sure that they are consistent.
If your door measurements are consistent and do not match a standard size, you might need to consider having a custom door made. While these can be slightly more expensive, it is better to get a door that fits your home than to have one that does not fit.
How to Measure for a Sliding Barn Door
A sliding barn door can work with a variety of styles and forms depending on which type of door and hardware you choose to use. No matter the door style that you’re planning on using, measuring for your door is the same.
Learning how to measure a sliding barn door is a bit more complicated in some ways than other doors. Because the barn door does not have to fit inside the threshold like a traditional door, the measurements of a barn door are directly influenced by your personal style and the style of the room.
At a minimum, a sliding barn door should cover the door opening with a little bit of overlap, so it is important to measure the door space to see how large the door needs to be in order to cover the opening. It can always be larger depending on the style you choose to go with for the room.
For a door opening that has no trim, measure the width of the door opening from the inside of the finished doorjamb three times for both the length (left, center, and right) and width (top, middle, and bottom). Then, add to those dimensions the amount of overlap you want for privacy or style.
For a door opening that has trim, measure from the inside of the finished doorjamb for both the length and width. Once you are finished with that, measure the width of the trim. Add the trim twice to the width, and once to the height of the overall size. This will take into account the trim on the left, right, and top of the door. In addition, add to those combined dimensions of both the door size and trim size, any additional inches of overlap that you want for privacy.
If you do choose to go with a sliding barn door, Artisan Hardware can help you with selecting your door style and mounting hardware. Contact Artisan Hardware today for help with your new sliding barn down and we’ll figure out what options will work best for you!