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All About Door Jambs

Quality Window & Door: the DMV Area’s Source for Window & Door Knowledge

Everyone has heard of a door jamb, but are you confident you know exactly what this term refers to? Learn more about the component that every door shares and what to do when it needs to be replaced.

Have more questions about door jambs? Give us a call at 1-800-370-8751.

What Is a Door Jamb?

First of all, what is a door jamb? Door jambs, also called the door “legs,” are the interior sides of a door frame—specifically the parts of the frame that hold the mounting hinges on one side and the strike plate for the latch on the other. Be careful not to confuse the jambs with other door frame parts, and specifically the door casing, which is what you call the wood that surrounds the door frame, colloquially called the door trim.

Door Jamb vs. Door Frame: What’s the Difference?

Many people confuse a door jamb and a door frame. A simple way to remember it is that a door jamb is part of a door frame. The flat surface that runs vertically up either side of the door frame is the jamb.

Other Parts of a Door Frame

The jamb is only part of a door frame. If you want to replace your door jamb, you should purchase a door frameset, which includes all the parts you need to build a whole new frame. In addition to the jamb, here are the other components of a door frame:

  • Head: This is the horizontal component located above the door. It features two grooves into which the door jambs fit.
  • Sill: This is the horizontal component that sits on the floor below the door. The sill is also called the threshold and is usually only present on exterior doors. The purpose of the sill is to give the door frame added rigidity and help channel away any water that runs toward the door.
  • Doorstop: Thin strips of wood called stops are mounted along the length of the jambs and head. The purpose is to stop the door so that it can’t be ripped off its hinges. If the jambs are rebated, which means they have a notch taken out of them, the door will stop without the need for separate strips of wood.
  • Weatherstripping: When mounted against the jamb and doorstop, weatherstripping helps create an airtight seal on exterior doors. A door sweep attached to the bottom of the door also prevents air from seeping in between the door and the sill. Keeping conditioned air inside and decreasing drafts with weatherstripping make for a more comfortable, energy-efficient home.
  • Jamb casing or architrave: Any decorative trim mounted to the wall around the frame is called the jamb casing or architrave. This trim is separate from the frame structure and can be removed and replaced without affecting the door’s ability to operate.

What Does it Cost to Replace a Door Jamb?

The price to replace a door jamb depends on the exact work involved. Interior door replacement may require complete door frame replacement (this is actually true in many cases, depending on why the door is replaced) or door component replacement. Other factors will include whether the door is interior or exterior and the thickness of your home’s walls.

The thickness of your walls must be considered because there are occasions when the jambs are not the standard size — particularly in custom homes. Generally, most Maryland and Virginia homes follow the nationwide wall thickness standard, and most jambs follow the standard jamb size of 4-5/8 inches (the last eighth of an inch being there for wiggle room).

Looking for an estimate on door replacements, door jamb installations, or door services? Contact Quality Window & Door online, or call 1-800-370-8751!

Replacing & Widening Door Frames in DC, MD & VA

While it’s possible to hang new doors in existing door frames, sometimes you must replace the frame along with the door. This is true if the frame is damaged or the new door is a different size than the old one.

If you’re looking for replacement doors, frames, or jambs, Quality Window & Door has you covered. We install new patio doors, entry doors, and interior doors — complete with door frames — in homes throughout Maryland, DC, and Virginia. If it’s necessary to widen an opening before installing the door, our experienced crew is more than capable of doing so.

Need to replace your door jamb in DC, MD, or VA? Just contact Quality Window & Door to request a free installation estimate and on-site consultation.

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