A Guide to Door Frames

When you are planning to have a new home built, there are many decisions that you need to make. These include choosing the parts of your home, such as windows and doors. When deciding about what door to get, another important thing that you should not forget is the door frame. It is a framework that supports the door. It is where the side jambs, sill, and head jams are located. 

A door frame is a simple assembly of vertical and horizontal members that form an enclosure where the door can fix. It provides a border to the door, making it more attractive and beautiful. Usually, wooden or timber material is used for residential door frames. However, there are many other materials to choose from today, such as fiberglass, aluminum, and composite materials.

If you are looking for more information about door frames to help you choose better, you’re in the right place. In this post, we are giving you a guide to door frames.

What are the Parts of a Door Frame?

The door frame is composed of different parts. Here they are:


The sill is the bottom part of the frame that is sealed or fastened to the floor. It helps prevent the bending of vertical members of the frame during or after construction. The sill has many advantages, such as preventing the entry of insects and dust. However, it may also create an obstruction for moving and cleaning. 

Door Jambs

These are the vertical member of the frame that supports the door opening. The side jambs are connected to the wall face, which helps the locking or opening of the door.

Head Jambs

Head jambs are the member that runs horizontally. It is located at the top of the frame.


The horn is a horizontal projection of the top and bottom members of the frame. This allows the fixing of the frame in the wall opening. Its length is kept at about 10 to 15 centimeters.


Holdfasts are the mild steel flat bars that are used to hold the frame in position. These bars are usually bent into Z-shape and are fixed on one end to the frame, and the other end is inserted in the wall. Commonly, a minimum of 3 holdfasts on each side of the door are needed. They need to be painted properly before fixing. If there are no holdfasts provided with the frame, the door may loosen with a sudden forceful striking of door shutters due to strong winds.


The rebate of the door frame is a depression or recess made all around the frame. On one of its sides, the door shutter is fixed by hinges. It is usually 12mm wide, and its depth is equal to the thickness of the shutter. They are associated with door jambs, which are the vertical sides of the door frame. 


The threshold is a cross wooden piece that is fixed to the floor under a door frame. It forms the sill and may be provided if needed. 


This is a horizontal member of the frame. It is employed to horizontally sub-divide a door opening. 


This is a vertical member of the frame that is employed to vertically sub-divide a door.


These are the narrow vertical windows placed at one or both sides of doors. It helps lighten up a plain entry space. It can also improve the look of the door and the air quality of the house. In addition to that, it can also create a stronger connection with the outdoor.

Different Types of Door Frames

an open door

Door frames also come in different types. Here are the most popular types of door frames that you can choose from:

Inward and Outward Opening Door Frames

When choosing door frames, it is very important to put into consideration the direction of opening of the door. This is because most hinged doors only open in one direction. Therefore, to be able to place the door stopper in the right position, you need to find out the right opening direction of the door. Most external frames open inwards, but there are also exceptions.

Open Door Frame

This is the most common type of door frame. It has a simple design, and it is very easy to build as it only has two vertical members. One of the things that makes it unique from other door frames is that it does not have a sill at the bottom of the frame. Most of the time, it is manufactured for the interior of the house for easy access. 

Closed Door Frame

This type of door frame has all the parts, including the sill at the bottom, side jambs, head jambs, and the threshold. It is particularly made for exterior doors as it has the complete frame, sealing and protecting the house from dust, insects, and more.

Door Frame with Glazing Panels

This type of door frame features glazing panels for extra light or added decorative features for the house. Glazing panels come in different sizes and shapes, depending on your preference. It is a great choice if you want more natural light to enter your home. 

Pocket Door Frame

A pocket door frame is recessed into the wall. However, it is not suitable for load-bearing walls as the frame might weaken its strength. A pocket door frame is usually used when there is limited space. Most of the time, it is used for home offices, closets, bathrooms, and utility rooms.

Fanlight Door Frame

A fanlight door frame features a glazing panel above the door, which is called an over panel. With an over panel, the jambs of a frame reach the height of the room. It is also called a story frame, as it reaches the next story of the building. When the horizontal part of the frame that joins the main door frame is to the fanlight, then it is called a transom bar. 

Sidelight Door Frame

When the glazing panel is placed at the side of the frame, it is called a sidelight. These panels are used to let more light enter the house. They can be of any size or shape and can make the door frames look more attractive.

Different Door Frame Materials

an illustration of a door and door frame

To be able to achieve a strong and elegant-looking door, whether for interior or exterior use, you need to pick a high-quality one that is made using high-grade raw materials that underwent a strict quality control process. Here are the different types of door frame materials that you can choose from:


This is the classic material used for door frames. It is readily available for construction projects, and it is among the most popular choices for homes. It is a beautiful, durable, and strong material that can last a lifetime as long as it is well taken care of. It is a good choice for a door frame as long as there is regular sealing, painting, and staining to maintain its beauty. 


Aluminum is a very light material, but it is also strong. Its narrowness focuses on the main door material, making it more aesthetically pleasing. It is also a more affordable option while still providing the protection that you need. 


Vinyl door frames are typically used for patio doors. It is a good and affordable door frame material that is thermal-resistant and maintenance-free. It is available in white and other neutral colors, giving you more options to choose from. 


This is also a great door frame material as it is proven to survive the elements and test of time. This is because it is composed of glass fibers and resin, which have very little reaction with temperature changes in the weather. In addition to its durability, it is also a versatile choice for homeowners as it can be painted to improve the aesthetic appearance of the house. 

How to Choose the Right Door Frame

a beautiful door frame with sidelights

While building homes, people need to look into different factors. One of those is choosing the best door. However, you shouldn’t forget about choosing the right frame to fix in the door, too. When choosing door frames, there are certain aspects that you need to take into consideration. Here they are:

Assembles and Kit – Form Frames

The door frame is among the accessories of the door that you can pick separately to ensure that the frame fits well with the door of your choice. There are pre-made door frames available that are more favorable and can be installed easily. However, you need to check the size of the opening and as well as the technical needs of the frame so that it can fit in with the door perfectly. 


The entrance of your home needs to be both durable and good-looking. Keep in mind that door frames are clearly visible. Therefore, you need to ensure that you choose the right one to make sure that it complements the interiors of your house. 

In addition to the design of the door frame, it should also meet the requirements of the weight of the wall and how often it will be used. Do not go from less durable frames. Always opt for door frames that are superior enough to avoid problems in the long run.

Decide on Other Details

As mentioned earlier, door frames have many varieties, which gives you more available options to choose from. When choosing, the flexibility of the door frame needs to be considered, too. You should also check the type of wood used and the structure of the frame. 

When choosing the color for your door, you can also move ahead to customize door frames and enhance the look by decorating it with other accessories, such as arches, sidelights, top lights, fanlights, and more.


The door frame is indeed a very important part of the door. Without it, there is nothing that will hold the door into place. In addition to that, it is also something that levels and supports the door and as well as aid in hinging, closing, locking, and protection. We hope this post helped you learn more about door frames.