When you’re going to install a new door in an existing frame or if you’re going to install a new frame and reuse an existing door, there are some important things to remember when you’re getting ready to order.

Width x Height

The existing frame or door must be measured in width and height. The door thickness should also be measured. Existing frames should be checked for square, plumb, and alignment. If an existing frame is not set correctly, a new door may not hang or swing properly in the opening.Existing Masonry Rough Opening

Fire Rating

If the existing opening was fire rated it is likely the new door or frame will need to be labeled as well to match the fire rating requirement. If one part of the opening is rated and the other is non-rated then the fire rating will be void.


The handing of the frame and door must match so the hinges and strike/lock preps are on the correct side of the new door or frame. If a new door is handed incorrectly then it won’t swing properly in the existing frame. Hardware preps may also be affected by the handing of the door and frame.

door handing chart

Download Beacon’s Handing Chart here: Door Handing Chart

To learn about handing, read this previous blog post: How To Determine Handing of an Opening

Wall Type

For new frames it is always necessary to review the wall type where the frame is going to be installed. Knowing the type of wall that will be used will help you know the anchor type that is needed to attach the frame to the wall.

Steelcraft Stud Anchors

Another requirement for new frames is to determine the jamb depth which is generally based on the wall’s overall thickness. The standard jamb depth for frames installed in stud walls is determined by taking the overall wall thickness and adding 1″ to it.

So, if the wall has a 2 x 6 wood stud with 5/8″ gypsum board (gyp. bd.) installed on both sides will give us an overall wall thickness of 6-3/4″ (take 5-1/2″ wood stud width + 5/8″ gyp. bd. + 5/8″ gyp. bd.). By adding 1″ to this wall thickness we find our jamb depth of 7-3/4″ (take 6-3/4″ + 1″). Also, since the wall has wood studs, the frame will require wood stud anchors. (There is one major exception to this rule: a 5-3/4″ jamb depth will fit on wall thicknesses of 4-3/4″ AND 4-7/8″)

hollow metal frame profile terminology

There are many other frame anchor types, the most common anchors were covered in a previous blog post: 5 Types of Hollow Metal Frame Anchors.

To determine the rough opening needed for a new frame you can read this previous blog post: What is the Rough Opening for Hollow Metal Frames?

Hardware Preps

The hardware preps for hinges and locks are important considerations for both the new and existing frames or doors. Hollow metal frame and door manufacturers often have various dimensions for their hinge and strike/lock preps. The hinge height should also be measured so that the proper sized hinge is able to fit. The strike size on existing frames should be measured as well.


If a Steelcraft hollow metal frame is to remain and a new door is going to be installed, then the hinge and strike locations on the frame need to be determined so that the new door will match hardware locations and fit properly in the existing frame. An existing door also needs to be measured so that the new frame will have hardware locations that line up correctly.

Beacon Commercial Door & Lock has worksheets available for both existing frame measurements and existing door measurements. By filling out these worksheets, Beacon can provide the new material that will align correctly with the existing conditions.

Click here to download the existing frame measurement worksheet.

Click here to download the existing door measurement worksheet.

Existing Hardware

If existing hardware is going to be reused the part numbers and sizes should be coordinated with the new door or new frame supplier. The reused hardware may require additional internal reinforcements or special templates.

Door hardware