Whether you’re trying to build the perfect walk-in closet or accommodate the right appliances in your laundry room, it’s safe to say that knowing the standard sizes of doors and windows is essential today. If a contractor fails to learn these by heart, they won’t be able to pick the right elements. Worst of all, if you go for windows and doors that are either too small or too big for your home, the whole interior will look downright ridiculous.
As with everything in life, balance is key, so when choosing doors and windows, you have to take into account various factors. It’s not just about the color or the glass you’ll use. The size matters as well since it can determine how much light the rooms will get, consequently making your home a great place to live in or a dark hole.
Worried you’ll make a mistake? Don’t be; I’m here to guide you through this challenge. Here are the standard sizes you ought to be aware of, as well as some suggestions on where certain types of windows and doors would function the best. Additionally, check out the video if you’re ever in doubt or cannot figure out what kind of style would suit your home perfectly.
Standard Door Sizes
Before getting your doors custom-made or going to a DIY store or home improvement center, check how many doors you’ll actually need. Then, consider which rooms may need shorter or taller doors. Though it may seem as if your exterior door is often the same height as the interior ones — that usually isn’t the case.
Here are the standard door sizes you ought to be aware of:
If you’re looking to buy some new exterior doors, there’s a good chance most of the options will be 80 x 36 inches. Today, 96-inch doors are also quite common, especially if the building in question features a more modern design.
The width of the doors also varies from 24 to 42 inches. In general, though, 80 x 32 inches is the optimal size that ensures there’s enough room to pass through. The doors are most often 1 ¾ inch thick.
Varieties such as fiberglass or steel doors often have different dimensions. If you’re aiming to install one of these, make sure there’s enough wall space and that you’re willing to sacrifice it, to begin with. These are usually either 80 or 96 inches tall.
Other than those, there are also special doors, such as the French ones, and patio sliding glass doors. The former are often between 30 and 72 inches wide (per each door) and about 80 inches tall. Here’s an option I’m particularly fond of and would definitely put in a master bedroom.
The latter’s size, however, varies a lot and depends on how much light you’re looking to introduce into your home. In general, they are 80 x 72 inches but can be as large as 96 x 96 inches.
In most homes, you’ll find that the interior doors aren’t that smaller from the exterior ones. However, there is a 6-inch difference that does make things a bit tighter inside.
Most interior doors, such as these ones, which you’d use for bedrooms or bathrooms, are 80 x 30 inches. These dimensions aren’t set in stone; 24, 28, 32, and 36 inches wide doors are also quite common. The thickness may vary a bit, though, depending on how much insulation you need. Interior doors are often 1 ⅜, 1 ½, and 1 ¾ thick.
At the same time, there are doors that are, by some unwritten rules, always a bit different. Some great examples are closet and utility doors, which may be only 18 inches wide in some older houses, such as the ones made before the 1990s.
In recent years, that has changed, so they measure 30 x 78 or 30 x 96 inches in most contemporary homes. You can make them narrower, however, and keep the width at 24 or 28 inches.
Then, there are doors that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As you may imagine, the disabled may need a wider passage in case they are in a wheelchair or otherwise prevented from passing through 30-inch doors. Because of that, 80 x 36-inch varieties are common in houses where a bit more room for movement is an absolute necessity.
Standard Window Sizes
Unfortunately for those who don’t really like numbers, there is a vast array of windows on the market today (see this list of the best window companies), so determining the exact standard dimensions could be tricky. In the end, it’s best to check out the standard dimensions for the type of window you’re aiming to install. So, let’s look at the most common varieties:
Do you have a house somewhere in the woods and would love to use that scenic view to your advantage? Getting some big picture windows will definitely do the trick.
These will not only let enough light in but also allow you to enjoy the view from wherever you are in the room. In essence, if you love the feeling of open space and don’t like having many walls around you, these are your best choice.
The sizing is also advantageous, as picture windows come in multiple variants. They can be anywhere from 2 to 8 feet wide, and from 1 to 8 feet tall.
If you’re a traditionalist at heart and would like to keep the exterior of your home as simple as possible, it’s likely that you will go for double-hung windows. These are extremely popular in the US, so they are available in a massive range of sizes that allows every homeowner to find their perfect match. The dimensions go from 24 to 48 (width) and 36 to 72 inches (height).
Have you ever seen a postcard from Crete that shows a beautiful, old-fashioned window complete with blue wooden blinds? Those are actually some outdated casement windows, and they are another traditional option you may go for.
Most often, you’ll find these in bathrooms and kitchens, as they allow for a decent amount of ventilation. However, because they’re so aesthetically pleasing, it’s not uncommon to install them in bedrooms too.
The width of these windows will depend, of course, on how much wall space you have and if there is enough room to open them. They can be anywhere from 1 foot 2 inches to 2 feet 11.5 inches wide. As for the height, it can go from 2 feet 5.5 inches to 6 feet 5.5 inches.
As another popular type of window, sliders are relatively common in the US, especially when it comes to bedrooms and spaces that face a patio, walkway, or a porch. Since they have to be moved back and forth alongside the track to open, they don’t take up much space, making them perfect for cramped houses as well.
Still, do know that you’re going to sacrifice a bit more wall space for these. Sliders are most commonly wider than they are taller. Their standard dimensions are as follows:
- Height: from 24 to 60 inches
- Width: from 36 to 84 inches.
As romantic as they seem, bay windows offer a lot more than meets the eye. For one, they allow for more light to step into your home, just like in the case of picture windows. However, unlike those, you can open these, letting in some fresh air from time to time. Additionally, since they protrude a bit, there will be some space beneath them for a cozy nook.
Because of that, the bay window could be a good choice for bedrooms or kitchens, especially those that may lack enough space for a sitting area. Just remember to measure everything out correctly, as these are rarely tiny.
The width of a standard bay window goes from 3 feet 6 inches to 10 feet 6 inches. As far as the height goes, expect the window to be from 3 feet to 6 feet 6 inches high.
Finally, there’s the awning window, a classic favorite in the kitchen where there is a need for some extra ventilation.
Contrary to popular belief, these windows are weatherproof, so you can even leave them open when there’s some rain outside. They open outward and are hinged at the top, so it’s unlikely any droplets will manage to get through.
At the same time, awning windows allow you to keep an eye on the outdoors without compromising on fresh air. The view into your garden won’t be disrupted at all when an awning window is open. Better yet, if it starts raining or there’s some light snow, you won’t have to run to close it.
Standard dimensions of awning windows are:
- Height: from 1 foot 8 inches to 7 feet 8 ⅞ inches
- Width: from 2 inches to 3 feet 10 ⅛ inches
As you can see, there aren’t just two or three numbers you can rely on when deciding on the right doors and windows. Depending on the shape and style, the dimensions can vary greatly, which can be downright confusing for some homeowners.
However, it’s not that difficult to notice some patterns, especially when it comes to doors and the standard 80 x 30 inches. The biggest worry you’ll probably have will be choosing the windows; the numbers aren’t even, and they differ significantly from one type to another.
Still, I wouldn’t let that discourage me; after all, when you start a big reno, it’s your chance to make some great changes. Now that you know what the standard sizes are, it won’t be too difficult to eliminate the doors and windows you definitely cannot get and focus on the true winners.