How to Measure Commercial Doors & Frames


Being in the door business for over 30 years, we’ve seen just about everything that can happen with a Door Installation or replacement.  The most common mistakes we see all start with bad measurements. It doesn’t matter if it is a plan job or a retro fit replacement door for an existing frame.

In today’s blog post, we are going to walk you through our Field Measurement Guidelines and the steps to ensure you get the right door the first time!

Measurement Guide for Door & Frame InstallationGetting It Right

Because of our shifting foundations in the gulf south, entryways are often difficult to measure.  It is not uncommon for doorways in New Orleans to be irregular sizes.  In fact, it’s unusual for anything to be square in the French Quarter! However, new construction standards in industrial warehouse settings such as Harahan and St. Rose, requirements for doors and frames are quite often sized perfectly for today’s standards.

Whether you are an old hand, or new to working with commercial hollow metal doors and frames, you might feel a little anxiety when it’s time to order. If the door doesn’t fit, you’re going to waste valuable time running back and forth to the jobsite. B&M customers felt the same way, but after following our Field Measurement Guidelines, they found they consistently ordered and received the right products.

Field Measurement Guides

OSample Field Measurement Guidever the years, B &M has developed specific Field Measurement Guidelines to help when measuring single doors with a cylindrical lock prep, single doors with a mortise lock prep, and paired doors with both kinds of locks and frames.

Our measurement guides work perfectly for 3 hinge doors and taller than average doors and frames with four hinges. The field measurement sheets have a place for your contact and job information, as well as a diagram to help you indicate the proper hand for your door and frame. If you take a quick look at our example guide, you’ll see the dimensions are lettered to help us understand your measurements.

Pulling Your Door Measurements

Hinges are measured from the top of the door or frame to top of each hinge. Lock dimensions can either be measured from the top down or from the bottom up to the center of the lock strike. The Field Measurement Guidelines have a place for a deadbolt and hinge size as well.

It is critical that all measurements be exact. Approximations or rounding up or down dimensions can cause you to order the wrong products.

Asking the Right Questions

We recommend that you write on the back of the Field Measurement Sheets any information or other considerations that you think might need to be addressed. We would much rather have too much information than not enough. Some common questions to consider are:

  • Is this application for an interior or exterior opening?
  • What is the wall made of and what is the wall thickness?
  • How is the frame going to attach to the wall?

Look at the overall door and frame and take note to check and see if the gaps around the door are the same size (1/8”) or that the door is not rubbing on the frame anywhere, these could be indication of other problems that could pop up during installation of the new door or frame.

Look at all hardware installed on the existing doors and the condition that the hardware is in. Be sure to indicate:

  • cylindrical or mortise lock
  •  mortise panic or not
  • panic with or without trim
  • vertical rod panic or rim panic
  • need a key outside to get back in

Check for door hardware and supplies like closures, kick plates, weather stripping, vision kits with wire or laminate glass and louvers. If it is an exterior opening, is a threshold or sweep with or without rain drip required.

Let’s Get Started

Whether using our Request a Quote online, faxing, emailing or calling us to discussing your project with the B & M sales staff, it is best to have all this information up front so we can save ourselves from many headaches and a lot of wasted time due to having someone going back and forth to the jobsite.

As always, thank you for trusting B&M Metal Doors & Frames with all of your project needs!

Have questions about how to measure doors & frames for a new construction or renovation project?  Contact us today!