The frames for all outside doors, whether in wooden or brick walls, should be made out of plank not less than 1 ¾ inches thick and rebated on the inner edge for the door. In wooden walls the outside of the frame is finished with casings corresponding with those on the windows. In brick or stone walls a staff bead or brick mould is generally nailed to the outer edge of the frame, but sometimes the frame itself is moulded and the staff bead dispensed with.
Where the doors open inward the inner edge of the frame should be set flush with the plaster. In dwellings provision should always be made for hanging a screen door on the outside of the frame.
Fig. 120 shows the usual construction of the outside door frames in wooden buildings. If the screen door is to be hung to the outside casing the latter should be 1 1/8 inch thick. Sometimes the outer edge of the frame is rebated for the screen door, as shown by the doited lines, and when the frame has a transom bar this method of hanging the door is the better of the two, and in all cases it has 'a neater appearance.
Fig . 120.
The shape of the sill shown in Fig. 120 is undoubtedly the best, but very often a plain plank is used and a narrow threshold placed under the door, as shown in Fig. 121.
Fig. 121 shows the usual method of making the outside door frames for common brick buildings in the West. The jambs and head are usually made out of 6-inch plank, with a 1 1/8-inch brick mould (B), to which the screen door is hung. If the brick mould or staff bead is of different shape the screen door should set in a rebate in the outer edge of the frame.
The dotted lines back of the jamb indicate short pieces of 3x4 studding nailed to the frame to hold it in place.
In dwellings a plain stone sill with a wooden threshold is generally used.
Fig. 122 shows a moulded jamb quite common in certain portions of the country. It is the opinion of the author, however, that a separate staff bead is better, as well as a little less expensive. There is no particular advantage in making the frame more than 5} inches wide (not including the moulding) other than that a wide frame is generally held more securely in the wall. In public buildings, and sometimes in residences, the stone sill is cut to the shape shown in Fig. 122, and no wood threshold is used. This is a much better arrangement than that shown in Fig. 121, as the wood threshold often curls up, permitting the water to be driven under it, and of course the wood is not as durable as the stone.
Storte sills of the shape shown in Fig. 122 are frequently termed "thresholds.". The top of the threshold, whether of wood or stone, should be from 5/8 to ¾ inch above the finished floor to permit the door to clear a carpet or rug on the inside.
In brick or stone dwellings having outer walls 12 inches thick or over it is quite common to make the door frame with paneled jambs and head, as shown in Fig. 123. In stone buildings the wide frame saves something in the width of the stone reveal, and in both stone and brick buildings permits of the use of a thinner lintel over the opening. The stiles of the panels should be made 1 ¾ inch thick, as in solid frames.
In public buildings, especially where the reveals are of stone, the door frames are often made only 5 ½ inches wide and set nearly flush with the stonework, as shown in Fig. 124. By this method the wall opening is made of practically the same width as the doors, and the apparent depth of the reveal, or thickness of the wall, is greatly increased. In such buildings screen doors are not generally used. If the doors are to swing outward, as should be the case in all public buildings, the door frame should be set nearly flush with the outside face of the wall, as shown in Fig. 125, so that the door may swing back against the face of the wall, unless there is a very deep reveal, in which case a narrow jamb, rebated on the outside, may be set on the inside of the wall, and the door can swing against the reveal.
If the frame is set as in Fig. 125 it may be finished on the inside either by a plain board or panel, or the jamb may be plastered out to the frame, as is often done in churches. If the jamb is plastered a ¾-inch strip of pine should be nailed to the back of the frame to form a ground for the plastering, and to receive a small moulding placed in the angle formed by the frame and plaster. The dotted lines in Fig. 125 show the manner of finishing the jamb with plaster.
Transom bars over doors are generally made of solid plank, housed into the jambs about \ inch and rebated for the door on the under side, the upper side being made as for a window sill. The outer edge of the transom bar in dwellings should project sufficiently to catch the screen door, but should not cut into the staff bead.
The material for outside door frames should be clear, well-seasoned white pine, redwood or cypress. If a hard wood finish is desired ½-inch veneers over a pine core should be used. Outside veneered frames, however, do not stand well unless there is a deep reveal or the doorway is protected by a porch.