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Doors serve as entranceways to your home, building or property.  They welcome visitors to your establishment and establish their first impression of your place.  Open doors let in ventilation and light, while closed ones ensure privacy, safety and regulate the temperature of your interiors.  Doors are a significant barrier to noise, pollution, even fires.

Standard dimensions
The standard size for a residential door in the United States is 36” x 80” (91 x 203 cm).  Exterior and passage (room-to-room) doors are sized from 30” to 36” wide, wider when designed to allow wheelchair access.  Residential doors are often 6 to 8 feet high, along with many small stores, offices, and other light commercial buildings.  Doors for larger commercial and public buildings often have greater height.  Small spaces such as closets, dressing rooms, storage rooms, cellars, etc. often are accessed through doors smaller than passage doors in one or both dimensions but similar in design.  Single-car garage doors are generally 7 to 8 feet wide.

Doorway components
To ensure a snug fit, a doorway consists of two vertical jambs on either side, a lintel or jamb at the top, and a threshold at the bottom.  When a door has more than one movable section, one section may be called a leaf.

  • Lintel – a horizontal beam above a door that supports the wall above it
  • Jambs – vertical posts that form the sides of a door frame, where the hinges are mounted and with which the bolt interacts
  • Sill or threshold – a horizontal beam below the door that supports the frame
  • Doorstop – a thin slat built inside the frame to prevent a door from swinging through when closed
  • Door casing – decorative molding that outlines a door frame, also called brick mold or architrave
  • Door furniture or hardware – refers to any item attached to a door to enhance its functionality or appearance such as hinges, handles, knobs, knockers, door stops, etc.

Doors by design
Many kinds of doors have specific names, depending on their design and purpose.  The most common is the single-leaf door, which consists of a single rigid panel that fills the doorway.

  • Variations of the basic single-leaf door include double doors and French doors that have two adjacent, independent panels hinged on each side of a doorway.
  • A half door, Dutch door or stable door is divided in half horizontally.  Traditionally, the top half can be opened to allow a horse or other animal to be fed, while the bottom half remained closed to keep the animal inside.  This style of door has been adapted for homes.
  • Saloon doors are a pair of lightweight swing doors often found in bars and typically associated with the American West.  Also known as cafe doors, they often use bi-directional hinges that have springs which close the doors regardless of which direction they are opened.  Knee- to chest-level saloon doors are also called batwing doors.
  • blind door or Gibb door is designed to visually blend seamlessly into its surrounding wall.  It has no visible trim or operable components such as knobs or handles.
  • A barn door is a utilitarian door usually found in garages or warehouses.  It is so named because a barn’s immense size and its usage require that doors are built big.
  • French doors, whether installed singly or as one of a matching pair or series, consist of a frame around one or more transparent or translucent panels (called lights or lites).  They are also called French windows as they resemble a door-height casement window.  The frame requires a weather strip at floor level and where the doors meet to prevent the seepage of water.  This slender type of door allows maximum light into the room.
  • louvered door has either fixed or movable wooden fins, called slats or louvers, that permit ventilation while preserving privacy and preventing the passage of light.  They are most commonly used for wardrobes or rooms where security is not so important.
  • A bi-fold door has several sections that fold in pairs, used most commonly for closets, but also to divide rooms.
  • sliding glass door is sometimes called an arcadia door or patio door, made of glass that slides open and sometimes includes a screen or metal mesh.
  • A false door is really a wall decoration that resembles a door, examples of which can be found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Doors by composition

  • A composite door is usually single-leaf, made solid or with glass and usually filled with high density foam.  Most composite doors carry Secured by Design accreditation and PAS 23 and PAS 24.
  • Flush doors are made of plywood or MDF fixed over a light timber frame, while the hollow parts are often filled with a cardboard core material.  Hardboard was invented by William H Mason in 1924.  Called Masonite, it is made by pressing and steaming wood chips into boards.  Flush doors are most commonly used for interiors.
  • A moulded door has a surface comprised of a moulded skin made of MDF.  Skins can also be made out of hardboard.
  • A ledge and brace door is made from multiple vertical planks fixed together by two horizontal ones with a diagonal brace to square it.
  • wicket door is a pedestrian door built into a much larger door, allowing access without requiring the opening of the larger door.

Specialized doors
Architectural doors have numerous general and specialized uses.  Doors are generally used to separate interior spaces such as rooms, closets, etc.  But there are some doors that serve particular purposes:

  • trapdoor is oriented horizontally in a floor or ceiling and often accessed via a ladder.
  • A garden door opens to a garden or backyard.  It has the advantage of a very large opening for moving large objects in and out.
  • A pet door (also known as a dog door or cat flap) is an opening that allows pets to enter and exit without the main door being opened.
  • Special purpose fire doors are often employed in buildings to reduce the overall risk of fire, particularly by preventing the spread of fire and smoke.  Door closers are sometimes used to ensure fire doors remain closed.

Selecting the Right Garage Door

When choosing a garage door design, safety is a primary concern.  A garage door is often the largest moving object in the home or a commercial business facility.  An improperly installed door and system can exert tremendous force when the door is closing.  Children and even adults can be trapped and suffer injury – or worse.

When choosing a company to install your garage door, select the right one by using a checklist based on experience, workmanship, Code and Regulatory Compliance, insurance coverage and financial integrity.

For more answers to your questions regarding doors, contact Freedom Restoration at 410-451-7110 or click here.







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