Replacement Door
When shopping for a new door, you may encounter words that you recognize but don't really understand. A contractor can reference the size of the doorjamb or ask you whether you want doorlites. Do you want a 'flush' door or a 'panelled door?' Here's a look at some common door terminology to help you weather this important home improvement purchase.
  • Doorjamb - The enclosure into which the door fits. It has three sides that form a square U-shape. The side pieces are called side jambs and the horizontal part is the head jamb or header.
  • Doorlites - The window section of a door.
  • Double glass - Two panes of glass are used in the glass portion of a door (or window). Also called insulating glass, double glass helps reduce energy usage.
  • Field Measurements - Contractors or manufacturer representatives come to your home to measure for the door. A contractor may suggest this for an odd sized door or one that is being custom made. This helps ensure the dimensions are exact.
  • Flush - Doors that are flat and have a smooth surface.
  • Framing - Lumber used to secure a structural element. If your door opening is an odd size, the contractor may suggest framing it to help create a tight seal for the new door.
  • Header - The horizontal structural element over the door opening. The header should be level when the door is installed. Otherwise, the door opening needs to be adjusted with extra framing.
  • Keeper - The metal latch plate in a doorframe that the doorknob latches onto.
  • Miter joint - Formed when two pieces of wood or other material are joined together with an angle that bisects the joining angle. For example, the corner where the side of the doorframe meets the top casing at a 45-degree angle.
  • Paneled - Doors that have rectangular recesses (called panels) framed by square sections that are slightly raised. These types of doors are considered traditional in style.

Home improvement projects use many terms that may be unfamiliar. By understanding the main terms, you can be a step ahead when talking with contractors and visiting home improvement stores.

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About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer who has been writing home improvement columns for 15 years.