If the existing door on your home’s exterior isn’t doing it for you anymore, you might be considering getting a replacement. But there’s a lot to consider when selecting a new main entry door to ensure it’s right for your home. You want it to have curb appeal, but you also need an exterior door with a good energy efficiency rating. You want it to let in plenty of natural light, but you also need it to comply with local building codes. And most importantly, you want to select the right size door that will fit naturally with your home’s setup.
So, what is the standard front door size? How do you consider all the factors involved in your home and entryway to calculate the ideal exterior door size, and how do you choose from all the different styles of entry doors? Read on below to find out.
What Size Is Normal for Exterior Doors?
While this is a very common question among homeowners looking to change up their entryway’s existing door, it is somewhat impossible to answer. That’s because, due to all of the variation among exterior doors, there is no such thing as a standard exterior door size.
The ideal size for an exterior door for your home is going to depend on a whole bunch of factors, and so the best front door size will be different for every homeowner. Based on the material the door is made of, the style of the door, and the size and configuration of the home’s front entryway, the ideal door size will vary considerably.
What Size Should a Front Door Be?
Optimal sizes vary from home to home based on several factors, but there are some common standard door sizes whose measurements seem to work for many different homes. For instance, 80 inches tall by 36 inches wide is relatively popular as a standard door size, but it is by no means the only option for height and width. 96 inches tall by 32 inches wide is just as common for exterior doors, and both door sizes seem to be suited to the configuration of most homes.
Standard door thickness is another important measurement to consider. The standard thickness for most entry doors is 2 inches, and any changes to this thickness may lead to necessary changes in the other measurements.
How Wide Is Entrance Door?
As with all door sizes, the ideal widths will vary for every home. However, according to the international residential code, the minimum width for front doors should be no less than 32 inches. This door width regulation is a matter of safety precaution and ensures you comply with building codes.
Of course, 36 inches is a much more common door width, but door widths can increase far beyond this, depending on the style. For instance, if you are interested in installing double doors in your front entryway, the unit will be much wider than 36 inches. Even the smallest double door unit will be at least 60 inches wide.
What Is the Standard Size for an Entry Door Frame?
Another important factor to consider when installing a new door is the size of the frame. While there isn’t a standard door frame size, these measurements will depend on the size of the new door and the size of the rough opening. The term “rough opening” refers to the space left in the wall where both the door and frame will be installed, so it must be bigger than just the door opening itself.
According to the standard building codes, the rough opening for an entry door should be taller and wider than the frame by 3/8 inch and 3/4 inch, respectively. This leaves enough space to securely fit all the parts that need to go into the rough opening.
Is the Door Frame Accounted for in Door Panel Measurements?
The standard door measurements mentioned earlier, 80 inches by 36 inches, do not include the measurements for the frame. Listings of door dimensions include measurements for only the door panel itself and nothing else. When figuring out the total dimensions, you’ll have to add the figures for the frame to those for the standard door size.
Because standard door sizes do not include frame measurements, you need to ensure the rough opening is well over 80 inches tall. If the current rough opening is exactly 80 inches or less, you will need to either find a door that is shorter than 80 inches tall or make the opening larger.
Calculating the Ideal Door Frame Size for Your Entry Door
Finding the right size for the frame requires you to take some precise measurements. Know the exact dimensions as well as the rough opening before you purchase or construct a new frame. Remember to leave a margin of 3/8 of an inch and 3/4 of an inch on each side of the panel so the frame has enough room to be installed.
Don’t forget to measure from the furthest edge of the door jamb when calculating the width. The door jamb needs to fit properly, which is why the measurement has to start here. If the dimensions of the door jamb are not accounted for when taking these measurements, your door will not be able to open and close with ease.
How Do You Determine the Right Entry Door Size for Your Home?
When you’re looking to get rid of your entryway’s old door, there are many factors you need to consider to choose the right door for your home. Doors are available in many different shapes and sizes, so you need to think hard about your goals, preferences, and limitations before you make a purchase or start removing your old door.
Establishing Your Goal
If your goal is to achieve a grander entrance, you might want to upgrade to a larger door or make the switch from a single door to a double door. However, if you’re trying to downsize or go for a cozier feel, you’ll probably want to narrow your search down to smaller doors. Be sure to plan and consider all your options before making any impulsive changes to your doors.
You always want to ensure that your home’s doors mesh naturally with its general aesthetic. If your home has a particular vibe or style going for it, you don’t want to get doors that clash. Unless you’re planning a total home makeover, try to let your home’s existing style guide your decision. That’s the best way to ensure that your new doors feel natural and cohesive.
All kinds of different doors are available on the market, so you’ll have to consider the ideal style for you. Most vendors stock exterior doors in various materials, so whether you prefer wood doors or steel doors, your local hardware store should have you covered.
For a back entrance, fiberglass doors are a great option to have. Most homeowners love a sliding glass door for easy backyard access, but there are plenty of different styles of patio doors to choose from.
While glass is the usual choice for a patio door, you could just as well have a patio structure made of wood or steel. If your home is suited to a rustic style, you might even decide to install barn doors as a back entrance! With so many different patio doors to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits you well. You’ll even find that custom doors are available from most vendors.
Slab Doors vs. Pre-Hung Doors
When planning your door installation process, you have two options to choose from: the pre-hung door and the slab door.
A slab door is just the panel of the door. If you choose this option, you’ll have to get the frame separately and install everything yourself.
With a pre-hung door, however, everything is already done for you. Pre-hung doors come already attached to a frame and have a hole for the doorknob. Using a pre-hung door is a great way to save time during installation. However, a pre-hung product is only available in the standard size, so it is not suited to customization.
Factors to Consider
Before making your decision, you need to ensure the products you choose will fit where you want them to go. If you have a small entryway, large or double units probably aren’t the option for you. If you have a grand foyer, however, a small single structure might look out of place.
What About Interior Doors?
When it comes to interior doors, vendors stock doors in many different styles. Bi-fold doors are a great option for a bedroom door. Bi-fold doors and French doors add a nice stylistic touch to a space. Bi-fold doors are great to use as passage doors and closet doors, while a pocket door is also a good option for the latter.
A door width of 36 inches and a height of 80 inches is the usual standard interior door size. It may be difficult to find an interior door larger or smaller than the standard size.
Never Underestimate the Power of an Optimal Exterior Door
Whether it’s a standard size or custom model, with the right planning, you’re sure to choose the perfect option for your home.