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Quick simple door measuring question


try2diy's Avatar
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12-30-12, 02:12 PM   #1  
Quick simple door measuring question

We are wanting to replace a set of French doors leading out to a rear porch. It looks to me like it's a standard size. I measured the existing doors at 72.5 " wide (measured jamb to jamb), 79.5 " high (bottom of the doors to top of the doors) and measured the jamb depth at 4 9/16". From what I am seeing at sellers online, this looks to me to be a standard size set of doors.

I'm just looking for verification that taking these 3 measurements of the existing doors would be enough for me to go and buy a replacement. I read an article about measuring for a replacement door and it had me practically doing brain surgery to get all these different measurements. I guess what I am asking is are the 3 measurements that I took enough to determine the right size replacement to buy.

Thanks!


Last edited by try2diy; 12-30-12 at 03:05 PM.
 
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XSleeper's Avatar
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12-30-12, 02:50 PM   #2  
when you replace the doors, the entire old frame will be coming out. So you really don't want to measure jamb to jamb, because that isn't telling you what size the opening will be once the old door is torn out. You really want the rough opening size, which is stud to stud, and header to subfloor (not finish floor). Then compare that to the rough opening required for your new door.

Many older doors were shorter than their modern counterparts, so many companies (like Andersen) will offer 2 standard doors to fit rough opening heights. (6-8... which is 80"... or 6-11... which is 83").

If the finished floor has had a different floor covering added since the door was installed, it can cause clearance problems if the door is inswinging and you have a thick rug to wipe your feet on. So this also has to be taken into account. Most inswinging doors will have a 1 1/4" thick threshold, so for instance if you have 1/2" CBU and then another 1/2" of tile on top of your subfloor, you aren't going to have any room for a rug if you install the new door directly on the subfloor. You'd need to install the door higher, which means you have that much less room between the top of the door frame and the header.

The other factor you want to take into consideration is the exterior siding and trim (how much room will you have to work with) as well as whether the new door will come with a nailing fin that you will need to cover with some sort of exterior trim, or if the door comes with brickmould. If the door comes with brickmould, then you want to know if that brickmould will fit in the space available.

Generally it's best to take at least 2 measurements with you. 1) exterior measurements (outside edge of trim-trim), 2). rough opening measurements. To verify the rough opening, you will have to remove the interior trim and possibly cut back some drywall until you reach the edge of the stud.

On some houses in our area, the bottom of an exterior door header was capped by a 2x4 laid flat, which is not structural and can usually be removed to gain an extra 1 1/2" in height, if needed.

 
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12-30-12, 02:52 PM   #3  
Remove the inside door casing to expose the rough opening which would be wall stud to wall stud. For the height measurement measure the floor to header opening. These are the measurements you will need. Give these rough opening measurements to the person ordering the door and they will make sure the door fits. Jamb depth measurement you have is good.

 
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12-30-12, 03:05 PM   #4  
From selling these for a few years in an area near you....I'd say you have double entry doors...not real "French doors" which are normally sized as a patio door/sliding door replacement. If that 72.5 measurement was inside to inside...I'm even more sure.

As the prior posts said...you should really check your rough opening...or framing dimensions before you decide or buy. Had more than a few patio doors brought back because of the above.

btw...did you know..."French doors" refers more to the design of the door (large bottom rail and stiles) than to how it operates?


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try2diy's Avatar
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12-30-12, 03:21 PM   #5  
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

Just a follow-up though. My measurements again of the existing doors are 72.5 " wide (measured jamb to jamb), 79.5 " high (bottom of the doors to top of the doors) and measured the jamb depth at 4 9/16". We have hardwood flooring with no rugs by the threshold on the inside of the doors.

If I remove the inside casings and see that my rough opening measurements are for example, 74" wide X 81" high x 5" deep.....isn't this still gonna put me in a standard size patio double door? May seem like a stupid question. Maybe there are a ton of different sizes and that's why you guys are suggesting better measurements?

It's not really a big deal to remove the casings and get the rough opening measurements so I will do it and obviously it needs to be done for the tear out anyways.

 
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12-30-12, 03:58 PM   #6  
That's pretty much what I'm talking about. 74" wide? That's a double entry door...not a patio door.

Patio doors normally are sold by nominal size...a labeled 72" x 80" patio door fits in a 72" x 80" rough opening.

With the height measurement...if the framing was done correctly...I bet your framed opening is more like 82-82 1/2".


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