While not all houses have a lot of windows or space inside, all houses have a front door. It isn’t even illegal to leave out the back door in some areas, but of course, you need an entrance to your home.
But how big are most standard front doors? What is the standard front door size? Are almost all front doors the same? We will answer all of these questions and more, starting with the standard front door size.
Standard Front Door Size
Most front doors will be much large than they technically need to be. After all, no one wants to feel cramped walking in, and there are many other things to consider. But the most common front for size in America is 36 inches wide by 80 inches tall, and almost 2 inches thick.
The reason for this is because 80in is enough to accommodate people of any height, and 36in will allow you to move through the door freely. It also allows you to transport most appliances which are rarely wide than 36in.
Different Front Door Sizes
Although we’ve gone over the standard front door size, that doesn’t mean that all front doors are that size. Some are much larger while some are smaller. This is simply the standard, but there is quite a range.
While the most common width for a front door is 36″, it’s not uncommon to go smaller than that. It isn’t common to go wider, however, unless you are adding double doors. In this case, two standard doors are added.
Double doors are common in large houses but you can’t simply add two doors together. You need a double door frame and doors that are made to be double doors. Another name for double doors is French doors.
The most common height for a front door is 80″. This is six and a half feet. A lot of front doors are taller than this, some even being 96″ or eight feet. If you live with taller people, a taller door is ideal so everyone feels comfortable.
Standard Back Door Size
You may be able to use front doors and back doors interchangeably, but in general, back doors are smaller than front doors. You use the same exterior door, but since you have that larger door in front, a larger back one is necessary.
For safety reasons, a standard door size in the back is recommended. Not having a back door at all isn’t a good idea, but you shouldn’t need larger than 32″ wide unless there isn’t a better way to move appliances in and out.
The reason that back doors are often put in utility rooms or kitchens is that these rooms rarely have large windows. This leaves the room without a fire escape, so doors are perfect for rooms with small windows.
Interior Door Sizes
Interior doors are much different than exterior doors. There are a larger variety of sizes, and they are made of different materials. Most exterior doors are made from wood, fiberglass, and/or steel. But things are different inside.
Almost all interior doors are made from some type of wood. Anything else is too heavy. The reason that exterior doors are made of heavier materials is for security and weatherproofing. But interior doors are better if they are lightweight.
How To Paint A Front Door
Painting your front door can make a huge difference and even make you love your old door better than any new one. Here are the steps you need to take in order to finish a good paint job on your old front door.
Choose Your Color
This is the first thing you will do when painting your front door. You need to choose a color you will be happy with. You can either take color swatches and tape them to the door or you can paint the door in little swipes or dots.
If you paint the door, you’ll want to remove the paint before painting, so testing the paint out by painting the door isn’t ideal. You can do it if you’re willing to remove it after, otherwise, swatches are the best bet.
Sand The Facing
Keep in mind that this step isn’t extremely important. It also isn’t necessarily for the wood, as a lot of exterior doors don’t have wood facing. The sanding in this case isn’t for wood at all. It is for the stuff on the door.
This includes anything that can be washed off. Like old mud, chunks of stuff, and anything that is too small to be scraped off with a putty knife. Keep a putty knife on hand for larger pieces that can’t be sanded.
Clean The Door
After you’ve removed larger chunks and sanded down everything else, it’s time to move on to cleaning the door. The door will need to be cleaned very well with soap and warm water. Afterward, you need to dry it.
Don’t try to paint the door unless it is completely dry. Even if you have to do it yourself with a lint-free cloth. Just get all of the nooks and crannies or the paint will run instead of stick. This is never a good thing.
It’s very important to keep the hardware clean during the painting process. The best way to do this is to remove it. You should only need a standard screwdriver to do the job. However, not everyone feels comfortable doing this.
If you don’t want to touch your lock in fear that you won’t put it back right, just tape it. You can tape all of your hardware with painter’s tape. It won’t be quite as effective, but it will do in most cases.
Tape The Door
If you’ve removed the hardware, taping is easy. All you have to do is tape the edges. It’s a good idea to go fairly far over the door facing and frame to be safe. You can also tape the edges of the other side of the door.
Whether you paint the other side the same color or not at all is up to you. Just don’t forget to put newspaper in the doorknob hole if you have removed the hardware. If you don’t, the paint will drip and make a mess.
Prime The Door
Unless you want to paint the door ten times, using a primer is ideal. Choose a simple white primer for best results and just do one coat unless it hardly covers. You don’t want to spend too much money on a primer.
If you’re going to paint a dark door a lighter color, then you will want a thick primer. So start off with one that is recommended for transitional from dark to light colors. This is the same reason you bleach or strip your hair before coloring it a lighter color.
Paint The Door
Now it’s time to get to the fun part. You’ve chosen your color, so start painting. Use a small brush for nooks, crannies, and around the edges. Use a roller for large, flat areas. For flat doors, you may not even need a brush.
If the hardware is removed, you can even paint over the area with a roller. No matter what you use to paint, make sure you go with the grain of the wood, even if the door isn’t wood. Go with the grain you imagine, not randomly.
After the first coat of paint has dried, it’s time to go over a step that most people skip. It only works if you are doing a second coat, otherwise, it’s pointless. If you are doing a second coat, very lightly sand the door.
Sand the bumps, bubbles, and inconsistencies to get a smooth coat. It’s okay if it doesn’t look right. That’s what the second coat is for. The first coat is almost like a transition from primer to regular paint.
Add Second Coat
This may turn into a third or fourth coat for extremely difficult jobs. but for most front doors, two coats is perfect. Don’t sand after this coat. Just let it dry completely and pay attention to how your strokes are going.
If the pattern of strokes doesn’t look right, go over them until they do. Then, move on to the next and final step.
Yep, that’s it! The final step is to remove the tape. If you do this before the paint is dry, you’ll be left with a mess. But if you wait a day or two, it may peel or chip the paint. Do it right after the paint has dried for best results.
Should I Get A New Door Or Paint The Old One?
If all you want is to get a fresh design going, then painting your old door is cheaper and will have amazing results. Especially if you pick a color that’s fresh and offers a drastic change to a normally boring entryway.
However, if you want more glass, a different material, or a completely different design, then get a new door. You can always make the doorframe bigger, and if you hire a contractor, you can make ut smaller. So the type of front door you get is up to you.