Last week we arrived at a scheduled storm door install, just to learn that this special size ordered door, originally measured by the homeowner, was not the right size.
What a bummer!
This means that he has to:
- return this first door for a loss
- will have to pay us a trip charge
- will pay us for a correct measure up
- will pay for another door and
- absorb lost wages for the time he had taken off from work now and for the next one.
And the worst part about the whole thing? After measuring the door for him, we determined that it was actually a standard, stock door.
When you buy a standard pre-assembled entry door, the label will say it is 36″x80″. But, the total door height including frame, is 81 3/4′ x 37 1/2 and rough opening is 38 x 82.
You will also need to tell the vendor what the handing of the door is and which way the door swings, using the proper language to describe it.
You will also need to know jamb thickness, based on the thickness of your wall. If your jamb is more than 4 9/16″ wide, a jamb extension kit to include a 2″ metal threshold, will need to be ordered. You will also want to order the right type of exterior and interior trim in order to match existing house trim. There may be several other pre-existing conditions that will affect what materials are ordered for the new door.
Unless you understand all of these details you need to get a professional to measure your door for you.
Door measures include measurements and needed materials. The professional who takes responsibility for supplying you with this measure, will also be giving you an price to install it. All of the above listed factors will affect the cost of the installation.
With the exception of storm doors, most professionals will refund the measure fee if you select their company to install it.
And even when wanting to install a storm door, this minimal fee is much less than what our homeowner ended up paying for his mis-measure.
Why is this even an issue? Why aren’t all single entry doors the same size? Or doubles? Or storm doors? Or double storm doors?
Before building codes/enforcement and the modern day pre-assembled door that you find in stores today, the older doors were cut to fit whatever you or the carpenter needed it to be. They would then add a sweep, which was typically an aluminum threshold with a sweep on the bottom.
In the older brick/block homes, the standard of practice was to set the door jamb and then brick to it. Then the concrete guys poured the steps to the existing subfloor of the house. Then, the flooring would be added to that.
All of these things contribute to having variable heights in door rough openings.
Add to this information, only licensed contractors that are familiar with structural spans/dead loads can modify door headers. Although we are licensed to do so, most door installers are not. Be especially aware of this if you are considering removing an existing single door and windows, to insert a double entry door or single entry door with sidelights. Can be done, may or may not require modification of the structural headers. The professional you hire to do your measure will be able to identify these things for you.
Why are storm doors so tricky to measure? Because there is less than an inch on height and less than 3/4″ on width for the door to fit between the brick mold openings. Ninety nine percent of all houses have this brick mold, which is where the storm door is mounted.
In the case of removing and replacing a door in a newer home, anything added to the floor or exterior surface will affect the height of the door. You may or may not even be aware of what those additions were, so can not anticipate how this may/may not affect the sizing of the door.
All things considered, if the professional is going to take the responsibility for providing a correct measure and listing the required materials to make it happen, why would you want to? Especially if you get this measurement fee back if you hire them to install the door for you?
Make an appointment with us, we would love to set your door removal and replacement plans up for success!
It’s a brand new day, listen well and make it a great one!
About our blog posts:
We decided to share what it is like to be on the inside of our family owned business. This will be a review of our past, striving to improve our present and looking with great hope to the future, as we pass the keys over to our adult children Katie and Charlie.
Monday is Chuck’s perspective; Friday is Linda’s. As they will, Katie and Charlie may guest blog.
Wednesday we are going to talk about doors and intallations, so stay tuned.