DOOMS, pieces of wood, about nine inches in length; in serted in stone or brick walls; the term is used in Scotland, and is of the same import with the London term, plugs, or wood bricks.
DOOR, (from the Saxon dor), the gate of a house, or the passage into an edifice, apartment, &c.
The construction of doors naturally divides itself into two branches, viz., the formation and proportion of the aperture, or openly, which, in outer walls, belong to the mason or bricklayer; and framing of the gate or leaf, by which the entrance is to be secured, together with its appurtenances, which appertains to the joiner's department.
The proportion of the aperture must always be according to the size and intention of the building, and should he attended to above every other consideration : in general the dimensions may be in the ratio of one to two, for large doors, and from three to seven in those of less size.
Entrances are of' two kinds; doors and gates. The former are used only for the passage of persons on foot ; the latter admit horsemen and carriages. Doors are used for churches, edifices, dwelling-honses, and apartments : gates serve as inlets to cities, fortresses, parks, gardens, &c. Apertures of gates, being always wide, are usually arched ; while the figure of doors is generally a parallelogram.
According to Vitruvius, the hypothyron, or aperture for doors, should be as follows :—" The height from the pave ment to the ceiling of the temple being divided into three parts and a half, two of the whole parts were allowed for the height of the door. These two parts were subdivided into twelve smaller parts, of which live and a halt' were allowed as the width of the door at the base ; and the upper part was contracted according to the following rules : if not more than lit feet high, the contraction was one-third of the width of the jamb on the face ; it' the height was more than 10 and not inure than •5 feet, a tburth part of the width of the jamb only was employed ; and from beyond 25 feet, and not exceedin!! 30 feet. one-eighth only."— Vitravius, book iv.
Public buildings, palaces, and noblemen's mansions, where a great concourse of company may be expected, should have doors of much greater dimensions than those of buildings of inferior rank ; from six to twelve feet may be taken for the width of the outer entrance, and from four to six feet for those in the interior ; in private houses, the latter, it' they have but one leaf, should never be more than three feet and a halt' in breadth, nor less than that of the windows. In all eases their height should be proportioned to that of the story in which they are placed, except where they are used for laying two apartments into one ; in which case they will be of a height less than double the width.
Vitruvius, as we have before observed, has prescribed rules for Attie, Ionic, and Doric doors, all of which have their apertures wider at the bottom than at the top; examples of this shape may be seen in the ruins of the temple of Minerva I'olias at Athens, the temple of Vesta at Tivoli, and in other Greek and Roman remains. These doors possess the advantage of shutting themselves, to which they probably owe their invention ; and they may be conveniently adopted in modern houses, as they rise in opening, and will clear a carpet, though when shut, they go close Lwn upon the flour.
The principal entrance to a building of any magnitude should be in the centre, as productive of the greater symmetry of appearance, and as communicating more readily with the various apartments of the interior. In the principal rooms, the door should be two feet, at least, from the return of the wall, to admit of furniture being placed close up in the corner.
The lintels of exterior doors should always range with those of the windows. Apertures placed in blank arcades, are usually placed at the same height as the springing of the arch : when they have dressings, the head of the architrave, or cornice, is generally on the level of the impost.