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A Guide to Choosing the Right Door Frame for Exterior Doors

Selecting the appropriate door frame for your exterior doors is crucial for both aesthetic appeal and functionality. The right door frame provides structural support, enhances security, and complements the overall design of your home.

In this blog post, we will explore the essential factors to consider when choosing a door frame for your exterior doors, ensuring that you make an informed decision that meets your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Door Frame for Exterior Doors

Material Selection

The material of your door frame greatly impacts its durability, maintenance requirements, and overall aesthetics. Here are some common options:

  • Wood: Wood is a popular choice for door frames due to its natural beauty and versatility. It can be stained or painted to match your desired aesthetic and offers good insulation properties. However, wood requires regular maintenance to protect against moisture and rot.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass door frames are known for their durability, low maintenance, and resistance to moisture, warping, and insects. They can mimic the appearance of wood and provide excellent insulation. Fiberglass door frames are a suitable choice for high-humidity climates.
  • Metal: Metal door frames, often made from steel or aluminum, offer exceptional strength, security, and durability. They are resistant to warping, rot, and insect damage. Metal frames can be powder-coated to provide a wide range of color options and are well-suited for areas prone to extreme weather conditions.

Frame Design and Style

Consider the architectural style of your home and the design of your exterior doors when selecting a frame. Some common frame designs include:

  • Traditional: Traditional frames have classic and timeless designs that work well with various architectural styles. They feature clean lines, simple profiles, and often complement panel-style doors.
  • Contemporary: Contemporary frames offer sleek and minimalist designs that match modern architectural styles. They typically feature sharp angles, clean edges, and can be paired with sleek, flush doors.
  • Ornate: Ornate frames add decorative elements and intricate detailing, which are suitable for homes with a more elaborate architectural style. These frames often work well with traditional or Victorian-style doors.

Security Features

Exterior door frames should prioritize security. Consider the following features to enhance the safety of your home:

  • Reinforcement: Look for frames with reinforcement plates or metal inserts that add strength and prevent forced entry.
  • Multi-point Locking System: Opt for a door frame that accommodates a multi-point locking system, which engages multiple bolts or latches at various points along the frame. This enhances security by distributing force evenly and making it more difficult for intruders to break in.
  • Hinges and Hinge Plates: Ensure that the door frame is equipped with sturdy hinges and reinforced hinge plates to provide added security and prevent hinge tampering.

Weather Resistance

Exterior door frames should be able to withstand various weather conditions. Consider the following aspects:

  • Water Resistance: Moisture-resistant frames, such as fiberglass or metal, are ideal for areas with high humidity or significant rainfall. These materials are less prone to warping, rotting, or expanding when exposed to moisture.
  • Thermal Insulation: Pay attention to the frame’s insulation properties to improve energy efficiency and maintain a comfortable interior temperature. Frames with thermal breaks or insulation inserts can help reduce heat transfer and prevent drafts.
  • Weatherstripping: Ensure that the frame accommodates weatherstripping to create a tight seal between the door and frame, preventing air and water infiltration.

Sizing and Installation

Proper measurement and installation are crucial for a well-fitted and functional door frame. Ensure the frame dimensions match the size of your exterior door and that it is installed by a professional or following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Improper installation can lead to issues such as air leaks, water infiltration, or compromised security.

When measuring for a door frame, consider the following:

  • Height: Measure the height from the floor to the top of the door frame, taking into account any flooring materials that may be added later.
  • Width: Measure the width of the doorway at the top, middle, and bottom to ensure accurate dimensions. Choose a door frame that matches these measurements.
  • Depth: Measure the thickness of the wall to ensure the frame will fit properly. This is particularly important for new construction or renovations where wall thickness may vary.

Consulting a professional or seeking advice from experienced contractors can help ensure accurate measurements and proper installation.


Choosing the right door frame for your exterior doors is a crucial decision that impacts the overall functionality, security, and aesthetic appeal of your home. Consider the material, design, security features, weather resistance, and proper sizing and installation when making your selection.

By taking these factors into account, you can confidently choose a door frame that not only meets your specific needs but also enhances the beauty and value of your home while providing the necessary structural support and security for your exterior doors.

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