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Speak Like A Home Improvement Pro: Common Door Terminology

It’s true that picking out and installing a new front door is a less complex exterior home remodeling project. In fact, most front door installations typically only take a day to install. But there are still many decisions that you will need to make ahead of time and some particular terminology you’ll run into.

We’ve compiled standard door terms that will help you come to the best decision about your new front door. Knowing these terms, you’ll be ready to have a productive meeting with your door replacement contractor and an easier time reviewing your proposal and understanding your contract.


Backset: The distance measured horizontally from the edge of the door to the middle point of the borehole.

Bore: The hole drilled through your door that allows your contractor to install hardware like the doorknob and deadbolt.

Caming: The grooved metal pieces that hold the glass in place in or around your door, which comes in decorative materials such as brass, chrome, nickel, and more.

Frame: Made up of the side jambs, head jambs, and mullions, the frame creates a space for the door slab to fit and can be made out of wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or composite.

Grille: Decorative bars that create the visual effect of divided glass but are removable for easy cleaning.

Head and Side Jambs: The top (horizontal) and side (vertical) sections of the door frame.

Mullion: The seam between two separate doors, or a door and a window that are joined together, usually hidden with trim.

Pediment: An architectural and aesthetic piece that sits above the door usually with a triangular or arch shape.

Pilaster: A rectangular architectural piece usually placed on either side of a door that looks like a column but only protrudes about a third of its width out of the wall.

Pre-hung: A complete door package including a door slab that comes attached by hinges to the door frame.

Rail: The top and bottom horizontal areas of the door panel, which can affect the type of door hardware that can be installed.

Sidelight: A narrow vertical window that sits on either side of a door.

Stiles: The left and right vertical areas of the door panel, which can affect the type of locks, knobs, and hinges that can be installed.

Slab: The bare door panel without any attachments, such as the frame, doorknob, or hinges.

Stop Moulding: Moulding attached to the door frame that aligns with the door panel and prevents it from swinging freely through the opening.

Weatherstripping: A flexible strip usually made from silicone or foam that helps seal the gap between the door frame and panel.

Weep Hole: A purposeful small hole that allows water to drain out of the door threshold or the bottom of the door or door frame.

Now that you’ve got the key door terms down, it’s time to start planning your exterior door replacement project! Schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with a Brothers home exteriors expert to get started.