Buying a new iron door is an exciting step. You’re about to add a ton of character, security, and curb appeal to your home with just one easy adjustment.
However, you do need to make sure you get the right iron door for the job. This goes beyond just buying the one that looks the best and is made to high standards. You need to do a little work on your own to make sure your new door is going to fit properly.
To do that, you just need to get the dimensions of the door frame you’ll be installing your new door.
This is a fairly simple process, and almost anyone can do it with no problems, but you do need to ensure that you do it properly.
That’s where we come in. We’re going to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to find the right dimensions for your new iron doors. Let’s get started.
Step 1: The Tools You’ll Need
You will need to have a few tools to gather your measurements with. Don’t worry, though. These are nothing ridiculous, and only one of them is something you might have to go out and buy.
First, you’ll need a pencil or pen and a notepad. This is just to record your measurements to prevent forgetting them on your way to order your door. You don’t need anything fancy. If it writes, it’ll work.
Then, you’ll need an accurate tape measure. This is no big deal, and you can find plenty of them made by various brands in any big box store or hardware store.
However, you do need to be careful when purchasing a tape measure. There are several cheap brands that notoriously mess up in the most basic way; they put the metal placeholder at the end in a position that messes up the alignment of your measurement. This can throw off your measurements by as much as a half-inch in some cases, and when you’re measuring for a new door, you need really tight tolerances.
We won’t throw any names out there but look for a tape measure that has the small metal notch on the end attached flush with the edge of the “tape”. If it comes in over the measurement markings, pass on it. Expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30 depending on how nice of a measuring tape you purchase. The thing about paying more is that the measurements are typically very accurate, and the tool should last a lifetime with standard household use; so, you won’t have to buy it twice.
The key things to look for in a measuring tape besides that one detail is a steel tape, a metal housing that is constructed in a way that can’t break apart, and a thumb lock that allows you to keep the tape extended. Rubberized grips, fancy retraction features, and other special features are all just bonuses you don’t need to pay extra for if you’re just using it for stuff like measuring a door frame’s dimensions.
Finally, this isn’t a tool, but it’s certainly helpful. Get a buddy. With a good, locking tape measure, you can keep the tape extended while you jot down notes, but it’s a lot easier to keep everything accurate if you have a friend hold the tape measure in place and jot down your measurements for you. Of course, this isn’t 100% necessary.
Step 2: Take the Measurements
This is a little more complicated than just running the tape measure up and down the door a couple of times.
First, shut the door you’re measuring entirely. You’ll want to measure the door you have installed rather than the frame itself for the first part.
Do this by placing the notch on your tape measure on the bottom or top of the door in the left-hand corner, and pulling the tape measure the opposite way along the length of the door. If you’re measuring from bottom to top, this means pulling the tape measure all the way past the top of the door itself. It’s best to go from bottom to top because if you go top to bottom, you’ll have to bend your tape to move the tape measure’s housing out of the way. Do this three times. Once in the left-hand corner, once in the middle, and once in the right-hand corner. This will make sure there aren’t any inaccurate measurements due to warping or other forms of damage.
Now, it’s time to move on to your width measurement. This one is easier because it’s not such a long distance to measure by hand. Start by sticking the notch against the left-hand lip of the door near the top, and measure to the right-hand lip. Do this from the top to the bottom three different times; first the top, then the middle of the door, and finally, the bottom width. Again, this prevents inaccurate measurements due to shifting in the door or damage over time.
Finally, you need to know the depth of your door. This one is easy. Open your door enough to work comfortably. You’ll be measuring the width of the thin edge of the door. If you look where the locking mechanism comes out, that’s the edge you’re measuring. Start at the top, and then work your way down taking a new measurement every few feet to ensure the door isn’t swollen.
This will get you the length, width, and depth measurements of your door. Keep in mind that while you’ll take several measurements for each part, those measurements should all be the same. For example, if your door is two inches thick at one point, it should be two inches thick all the way down. If you notice that damage or aging has shifted your door a little, go with the most common measurement.
For example, if the door is 2 inches thick for each depth measurement all the way down, but it’s two and a quarter inches thick towards the bottom, go with two inches. Your door probably swelled from moisture if it’s made of wood.
You can usually call it finished here, but we recommend also taking the measurements of your frame, as well. This is especially true if your door is exceptionally damaged or worn because there might be various things that affected your door measurements; such as the swelling we mentioned earlier.
This is done the same way that you did your door measurements, but you only measure the inside dimensions of the frame. So, for the top to bottom measurements, you’d measure from the flat bottom of the inside of the frame, up to the inner flat section at the top. The same goes for width and depth measurements. Like your door measurements, you’ll want to take measurements along the length of each dimension to check for consistency. All your frame measurements should be slightly larger than the door measurements. Not by much. Anything past 1/16 of an inch of the door’s measurements is far too large of a gap.
It is helpful to have a friend during this step. Once you’ve set the notch on your tape measure, your friend can hold it firmly to ensure it doesn’t move around and mess up the measuring process. Once you read the tape measure, they can also write down the measurement instantly instead of you having to drop everything to write it down, allowing you to reset and get the next measurement much faster.
Step 3: Double-Checking
You might be getting tired of measuring your door and frame over and over again by now, but trust us, you want to do it all over again. Luckily, you don’t have to be as precise and worried about it this time.
Just take a few moments to quickly double-check your measurements, and make sure they all match up. If you notice that one or two measurements are very slightly off, you can check it again to be a bit more precise, or you can trust that your more careful initial measurement was correct.
This double-checking process helps make sure that you got the right measurements, and you won’t get your brand-new door home just to realize it’s just a little too big or small for your frame.
Step 4: Find the Right Door for Your Entryway
Now, after going through the first 3 steps of finding the right dimensions for your new iron doors, there’s not much to do besides finding the right door.
The best way to do this is by going to the best online iron door supplier: Wholesale Iron Doors. You’ll find a far larger selection than you would at a big box store, and you’ll have a better chance of finding a door that matches your exact measurements. Not to mention, online retailers can typically offer far better prices than in-person stores due to their lower overhead and staffing requirements.
Once you’ve found the store you want to shop through, it’s time to start picking a door. Before we wrap this up, we’ll give you a few tips to make sure your iron door purchase goes as smoothly as possible and provides the results you need.
Consider Your Budget:
First and foremost, when learning how to find the right dimensions for your new iron doors you need to know how much you can spend. Iron doors are remarkably affordable compared to doors made of wood or high-tech materials in the same quality range. For example, if you’re looking at mid-range hardwood doors, you can usually find mid-range iron doors for a few hundred dollars less.
Iron doors tend to cost between $400 and $1800 depending on if they’re double iron front doors or perhaps single iron front doors, the number of details put into them and the overall quality standards they’re built to. Unless you really want a fancy door, we recommend choosing something in the $700 to $1000 range for the best balance of quality and price.
Consider Your Home’s Design:
Nothing looks worse than having a home that is uniform and stunning and then having a door that simply looks out of place and awkward. That actually lowers your curb appeal, and it could be grounds for buyers to lower their offer, remember, buyers often look for any reason possible to get a lower price.
So, you want to match your door’s design to the design of your home.
If you have a very rustic or classic home design, wrought iron doors with ornate decorative touches might match your home’s aesthetic well. If you have a more modern home with an artistic twist, it might be a better idea to go with minimalist designs that are boxy and overall match your home’s theme better.
Splurge on Quality:
An iron door is an heirloom quality item in most cases. After all, it’s made of iron and practically maintains itself. However, if you go for a super cheap budget option, you might end up replacing your door far sooner than anyone would expect.
Don’t go for the cheapest option possible, spend a little more to get a door that is going to last. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run, and good iron doors aren’t all that expensive, anyways.
Opt for Installation Services or Get a Buddy:
This is another big one. Iron doors are heavy. They’re heavier than hardwood doors, and most of those are heavy enough to require at least two people for a proper installation. Make sure you get a buddy to help or take advantage of installation services, even if there’s a small fee required. Trust us. Your back will thank you later. Besides, you don’t want to damage the door by dropping it.
Measure Your Door’s Dimensions to Find the Perfect Replacement
It’s important to follow all of the directions on how to find the right dimensions for your new iron door. Skipping anything, or speeding through it, can easily result in you having to return a door and start all over again.
So, take your time, get the right dimensions for your current door and doorframe, and make sure you’re ordering a door that matches those exact measurements. Don’t worry; you won’t need to replace your new iron door for decades.