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When adding or replacing a doorway, it is important to know some basic numbers and keep them in mind when framing up the new door. There are defined standards for door frame widhts that need to be kept in mind.
While these framing standards may seem restrictive, if you enjoy being creative, don’t worry – there is definitely some wiggle room here. Know that there are two common standards for door sizes – one for home exterior doors, and one for interior doors.
PLEASE NOTE: While building codes are fairly standardized, in some areas, they may differ. Be sure to check with your area’s specific building code for door frames before beginning your project.
Exterior Door Standards
International Residential code specifies that the primary entry door of a house be at least 36 inches wide and 80 inches high. While there are no specific codes applied to other exterior doors, other than this main entry door, keeping this number in mind may prove to be helpful.
As an example, even though you are able to purchase and install a secondary exterior door of any width you choose, building suppliers stock the most popular sizes that are readily available and most economical. The most popular exterior door widths are 28”, 30”, and 32”.
Interior Door Standards
As a general rule, all interior doors feature a standard width of 34”. This applies to bedroom, bathroom, and hallway doors.
Here is a handy hint – an effective way to visualize these measurements is to picture two people being able to walk through the door at the same time. Ideally, you should have no problems moving chairs, sofas, mattresses, and home appliances through these doorways without difficulty. These dimensions are considered standard for both homes and offices.
Another important exception to the width rule applies to handicapped accessible doorways. Most building codes for handicapped accessible doorways call out a 32 inch width. In some cases, such as outside doorways, the standard is 34 inches wide.
It is a good idea to always check with local code enforcement offices to confirm the standard door widths for your area. As well, area home improvement dealers will be able to assist you with these measurements, as they can vary depending on your location.
Sizing Door Openings
One additional thing to consider isn’t just the door frame, but also the size of the door opening. This is important because it must also account for door jamb material to be within the correct widths.
It is fairly common practice for framers to add approximately 2 inches of buffer to the standard, so door opening width standards can often vary between 36-38 inches.