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What Size Door is Right for Your Entry?


on August 9, 2019

Guy measuring window width

If you're considering replacing your door, one of the most important details to know is how big it is. In this post, we'll discuss standard door size, common variations of that standard and things that may impact your entry door size in order to help you make an informed decision on your replacement.

What is a standard exterior door size?

It's one of the most common questions about front doors. But when it comes to doors, there really is no such thing as an "average" size because there is so much variety in the way that homes and entryways are constructed. One of the most common front door sizes in American houses is 36 inches wide by 80 inches tall, and almost 2 inches thick.1 However, not all doors will have these measurements. Doors can be as narrow as 30 inches and as tall as 96 inches, and thickness can depend on the door material.

Entry doors are available in single- and double-door configurations with additional options like matching sidelights and transoms. These options can impact the overall size of your entry door.

Pella entry doors are available in a wide range of standard and custom sizes designed to fit your needs.

Your entry door may not be considered a standard front door size, especially if the home is older or has custom finishes. The only way to know for sure is to measure the door. Measuring your door will give you an idea of the rough opening, so that you can begin your shopping process. It also helps you determine how much room you have within your entry if you are considering changing the size, style, or configuration of your door.

Before placing an order, consult with a professional to make sure your measurement is correct and your entry can accommodate your chosen products including the material, hardware, door locking system, sidelights, transoms and extras.

Standard Door Frame Size

The average measurement of 36 by 80 inches refers to the door panel itself, not including the frame. The frame extends beyond the panel and is installed into the rough opening. The rough opening should be at least ¾ inch wider and inch taller than the door frame. The exterior siding/wall cladding should be approximately ½ inch wider and ¼ inch taller than the door installation fin (door width measurements use the outermost edges of jamb installation fin; door height measurements use uppermost edge of the head fin to door frame sill).

For example, a 3 foot by 6-foot 8-inch door is a common size. This door panel can have a frame that measures 3 foot 11/2 inches by 6 foot93/4 inches with a rough opening of 3 foot 21/4 inches by x 6 foot 101/4 inches. Dimensions will depend on the type of installation method, as well as wall depth. See installation instructions for details.

How big should your entry door be?

If you are replacing your door, you do have the option of making it larger or smaller, assuming the door dimensions work within your current rough opening. An upgrade from a single door to double doors can make your home look more sophisticated and elegant. A larger door, even just an increase from 32 to 36 inches, can make your home feel much more open while giving you more room to welcome guests or carry in groceries or new furniture.

However, there are a number of factors you need to consider before you decide that you want a larger door. For example, you should consider the size of the foyer, or entryway of your home. Having double doors at the front entrance may sound like a great idea, but if your entryway is too small for this feature the space might feel crowded and cramped on the inside. Consider whether making the opening larger or smaller is worthwhile for your home.

Take note of the depth of the wall that is parallel to the front door when it is all the way open. Is this wall deep enough for you to increase the size of your front door? Some homes have a staircase close to the front door. Is there enough space between the entryway and the bottom step for you to install a larger door?

The Importance of Finding the Right Exterior Door

In addition to size, there are other factors you should consider when you are weighing the possibility of changing your entry door. Consider the style of your home and whether the additions you are considering will work well with your current entry. Entry door styles can vary from classic and traditional with a wood-paneled door, or modern and artistic with decorative glass. Elements like sidelights, transoms or decorative inlays on front doors can add visual interest as well as additional light. Pick a front door that matches your budget, style and preferences.

The front door is what gives your guests their first impression of your home and also has a large impact on curb appeal, so don't underestimate how important it is to find the right door. Take the time to think through all of your design options, visit a showroom to get ideas or simply drive through your neighborhood and take note of doors that you like. Choose an entry door that makes your home feel welcoming, comfortable and content. Set up a free in-home door consultation to get started today.


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