Home improvement projects are never easy. When you are repairing or remodeling a mobile home it can be even trickier than usual.
Doors that are damaged can cause major security issues and they can let moisture in to your mobile home. Replacing them quickly can be important to maintaining the structural integrity of the mobile home and keeping your home secure.
Finding the right mobile home door can also increase its decorative appeal while adding value to your mobile home.
But before you can replace the doors on your mobile home, you must make sure that accurate measurements are taken to ensure you get the right size to facilitate a proper installation. Mobile home door measurements can be vastly different to those found in typical brick and mortar houses and thinking that you can head to your local builders’ merchant or DIY store and buy any standard door is a big mistake.
Not only that, but door sizes between different models of mobile home can vary. There is currently no recognized standard across individual sizes or designs when it comes to mobile home doors. Proper measurements are essential to ensure a correct fit.
But how do you measure your mobile home doors and what things do you have to take into consideration? Let’s have a look in our comprehensive guide on how to measure your mobile home doors successfully.
Types of Mobile Home Doors
Front Mobile Home Door
The most common door to be replaced on a mobile home is the front door. Front doors can be made from a variety of different materials. The doors will typically be constructed from materials that protect from external weather conditions as well as having security locks and features to keep your property safe. There are many options when looking for exterior doors for mobile homes.
These mobile home doors can be made from material, like wood, plastic and metal, and sizes can vary depending on the mobile home opening in question. When it comes to real estate first impressions are important. The front door is the first thing that people see when they enter your home. Having a door that has great curb appeal while providing security is important.
Sliding Mobile Home Doors
Due to the general lack of space in some mobile homes, you may find sliding doors useful. Sliding doors slide back in forth on a track that doesn’t open into a room and when it comes to mobile homes this helps with limited space issues.
Sliding doors give you access to the outside world with views from the large panes of glass.
Sliding doors can be very tricky to replace and may need a qualified specialist.
Interior Mobile Home Doors
Interior doors will close off parts of the mobile home like a bathroom or bedroom and are generally made from cheaper, less durable material than exterior doors. Again, internal doors come in a variety of sizes and exact measurements will be required before replacing them. While interior doors don’t add much security they do offer great privacy to your individual rooms.
Step One: Measure the Opening
Start by measuring the entire opening size in the wall. Look at the space and imagine that the door is completely missing. Measure both horizontally from wall to wall and vertically from the top of the opening to the floor. This gives you a rough starting point for the door’s dimension and can help you figure out which size door you need.
Be careful not to measure from the outside of the door frame in either direction as door frames sizes vary in mobile homes due to the many different layouts available.
Step Two: In-swinging or Out-swinging
If the door to be replaced is an external door, you will need to figure out if it is a standard out swinging door or a non-standard in-swinging door. This is different to regular homes where external doors generally always swing inwards. If it is out swinging, get your tape measure and measure the entire opening from inside the mobile home, again from wall to wall horizontally and top to ceiling vertically.
If it is an in-swinging door, measure the opening from the outside of your property from wall to wall and top to floor.
The same rule applies to internal doors. Always measure them from the opposite side to the way they swing to get accurate measurements. If you can, remove the old door first so it doesn’t hinder the process.
Step Number Three: Left or Right?
It’s important to know if your door opens to the left or right. The easiest way to figure this out is to stand on the OUTSIDE of your mobile home and look to see which side the hinges are on. If they are on the left side of the door, you have a left-hand opening door. If they are on the right side of the door, you have a right-hand opening door.
It is important to note that calling a door left-hand or right-hand opening does not correspond with the side of the door that the door handle is, it is purely to do with the side the hinges are on when looking at the door from the OUTSIDE.
Most out-swinging doors are left-handed but in-swinging and combination doors (more on these later) generally swing both ways.
Step Four: How Thick?
But the width and length of a door are not the only dimensions that have to be taken into consideration.
The depth or thickness of the door may also be important as some door openings are less deep than others. The standard jam opening is directly related to how thick the mobile home walls are. In the past walls were generally 4 inches thick but in recent years, as mobile homes have grown in dimension and size, this has tended to increase to 6 or 6 ½ inches.
Obviously, a door will not take up all of this space but the jam size, that is how deep the door opening is, will dictate how thick your door can be. Make sure you take this depth measurement before heading down to your local door manufacturer, or at least have an idea of how thick the door you are replacing is. Doors that are too thick or too thin can be ill fitting and impact on the structure of your mobile home.
Step Five: Standard or Non-standard Size?
Check your opening measurements against the list of standard sizes for mobile home doors. The most popular size used in mobile homes is 32 inches (81 centimetres) by 76 inches (193 centimetres). Older homes constructed prior to 1980 can have slightly smaller doors with a height of 72 inches (183 centimetres). Either of these door sizes are still incredibly common and can be found at most builders’ merchants, DIY stores, and mobile home specialists.
Other sizes are also available but it’s worth pointing out that mobile home doors are generally only available in 2-inch variations in both width and length so this measurement of the opening need to be accurate so you have a rough idea of the size required.
Mobile Home Doors
All mobile home doors are based on the “rough opening” size of the hole in the side of your home and generally reflect how big the opening would be if the door was completely removed. Obviously, the opening should be slightly larger than the size of door required to ensure the door fits and doesn’t overlap. This is most important if the door is made from wood which can expand and contract in certain weather conditions. If the door is made from prefabricated plastic, it will essentially come pre-made to fit the opening exactly if it is a standard size. If it is a non-standard size, a specialist door manufacturer and fitter may be required.
Step Six: A Storm is Brewing
The next step is to determine if you need a regular one-piece door or a combination door that includes a standard in-swinging door and an out-swinging storm door to protect against the elements. Only doors with the required thickness wooden door frame can take a combination door, so don’t be tempted to try to fit one unless you are certain your opening can take it.
For a standard door you can skip this step but for a combination door you will still need to measure the opening from the outside of the mobile home in the same manner as above (the main part of the door swings inward so measurements are taken from the outside). As well as this, you will also need to measure the inside of the opening for the out-swinging storm door.
Make sure you include the wooden door frame in measurements. Combination doors will have a wooden frame (as opposed to the metal and / or plastic frame found on standard door openings) approximately ½ inch thicker on the sides as well as the top and bottom. You will need to include this extra ½ inch in any measurements taken for the door to fit. The standard size for a combination door is 34 inches (86 centimetres) by 76 inches (193 centimetres) but other sizes are available.
Something to think about
Standard size mobile home doors are far cheaper than custom built ones, so if your door sizes are not standard, it can sometimes be cheaper to re frame the opening first.
Mobile home doors are vastly different to regular house doors and need a little care and consideration when replacing. Making sure you have the right measurements when you head to your local door supplier, builders’ merchants, or DIY shop can save you time, effort and prevent you from that heart-sinking moment when you realize that the door you have bought is useless for your mobile home.
I hope you have enjoyed our little guide on how to measure your mobile home doors and now feel ready to tackle the refurbishment of your property.