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What size should my door be?

Doors have changed dramatically over time in terms of size - they used to be small to prevent the loss of heat and big to show wealth.

Contemporary door design is all about a bigger more impactful door which isn't always possible due to space and different elevation use.  

Even though there  is definitely no right or wrong, there are guidelines that should help you determine what in terms of size is important and a benefit to your building or home.  

Breaking up space with the use of a large or smaller door
Breaking up space with the use of a large or smaller door
Creating a wow factor with a full height pivot door
Creating a wow factor with a full height pivot door
Making a door look bigger that it actually is helps create a grand entrance
Making a door look bigger that it actually is helps create a grand entrance
Create visual and spatial impact with size
Create visual and spatial impact with size

1. Impact

 Sizing can create visual and spatial impact, by producing a wow factor. 

2. Space 

Breaking up space imaginatively with the use of a large or smaller door, is a definitive way of creating the illusion of space and of grandeur. 

3. Proportion 

A doors size is ultimately based on proportion of the building and elements of that building. A door may seem to only take up a fraction of a structure, but its proportion holds importance due to its location and use.

Matching the size to the space
Matching the size to the space
Doors often line up with windows to keep them in proportion
Doors often line up with windows to keep them in proportion
An unusual designed house with circular and square walls with a large door
An unusual designed house with circular and square walls with a large door
creating an illusion of size with a matching panel above is a practical option
creating an illusion of size with a matching panel above is a practical option

4. To provide restrictions 

Doors can be used to provide restrictions on entry. The smaller you make a door the smaller the area of entry and therefore you are restricting a pathway/entrance to a certain area. 

5. Door size in relation to a building and the elements of the building

The best place to start with any door size would be to consider the total outline of a building, where the door is going – front, back, centre or side of a structure, and the positioning and size of the windows, garage doors, exits and driveways. 

Are there any windows to either side or above the door? Doors often line up with windows to keep them in proportion and can be two or three times a window’s size or even half the size of a large window. Just as it’s important for a door not to be too big, it’s also important not to be too small. Balancing both can be tricky but the end result can drastically change the front elevation of a house.

Columns either side of the door prevent the garage from being visually dwarfed by the garage
Columns either side of the door prevent the garage from being visually dwarfed by the garage
This door commands attention and shows you don't have to follow the rules
This door commands attention and shows you don't have to follow the rules
This hospital clinic is a great example of how a door can be dwarfed by glass but still achieve its purpose
This hospital clinic is a great example of how a door can be dwarfed by glass but still achieve its purpose
Vertical grooves to elongate a door
Vertical grooves to elongate a door

6. Consider glass & cladding

You may need to consider the best sizing solution if a door is being placed in a large expanse of glass or to the side of the house where it is not visible. The same applies for buildings where a door needs to be squeezed in because of other features like glass walls, cladding and garage doors.

Keeping in mind the proportions of garage doors is another key point. Garage doors tend to take up at least double sometimes triple the amount of space a front door does so ensuring the door still has its place as the focal point can be challenging. 

A clever way to draw attention away from a door that is too small could be to add a design feature near it to make it more distinctive or to draw the eye away from that feature. 

7. Height is as important as width

It’s not only the width of a door that can emerge as an issue. It’s also the height of a door. Many older homes undergoing refurbishment, tend to have short doors due to limitations with lintels and load bearing walls. Stumpy doors aren’t attractive but can be enhanced by improving the overall appearance by using vertical grooves to elongate a door when no other option is available. The same applies to making a door feel wider by drawing the eye with horizontal grooving. 

If you'd like to know more about choosing the size of your door, contact us here or call us on +44 (0)1494 778 787.

Or you can learn more in our RIBA certified book, Door Couture, which is available from our shop here.

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All of our doors can be made in oversized measurements. Browse our designs below and let us know your required sizes when contacting us for a quote.