To ensure that your new door fits correctly and to make the installation more accessible, you’ll need to know how to frame a door before it’s installed. Framing a door is a simple DIY project, and our door experts will show you how to do it:
What you’ll need to frame a door
You’ll need to know the dimensions of the door you’re going to add to make the correct door frame.
- Measure the width and height of your new door with measuring tape.
- Then increase the width by two inches and the height by 1 ½inches. These are the dimensions that you’ll use to create your door frame.
What is a door frame?
The door frame, which includes the sill, jamb, and head, is the entire structure that supports the door. A door sash is another name for this. Door frames are available in wood or aluminum and are designed to blend in with the rest of your house.
Creating the door frame
- Begin by cutting a top plate as wide as the rough door opening with a saw or circular saw.
- Nail it to the joists in the ceiling.
- After that, render a soleplate that’s the same size as the rough door opening.
- Nail it to the floor joists, but don’t nail it between the door’s width because you’ll be removing a portion of it later.
- Between the top plate and the soleplate, cut four pieces of wood the top plate’s length. These will be your king studs.
- Nail two king studs to the rough opening’s sides and between the frames.
- Install two more with a width equal to the width of the new door plus five inches.
- Cut two pieces of wood for the jack studs next. Make sure they’re the current door’s height plus 12 inches.
- The jack studs should be nailed to the two inner king studs.
- After that, make a header by nailing two pieces of wood together that are the same width as the jack studs. The header should then be nailed to the jack studs.
- After that, you’ll need to remove one or two cripple studs that are the same width as the top plate and header.
- Fix the cripple studs with a nail.
- Cut out the single plate between the jack studs with a saw. You can now put your new door in order.
How do you frame a rough opening for a door?
The method of framing rough opening sizes is straightforward. Add 2 inches to the width of the actual entrance. To the height of the actual entrance, add 2-1/2 inches. This will allow you to offset the door frame from the sub-floor.
Most manufacturers would need the same RO size for standard interior doors. The rough opening size for sliders, french, and atrium doors, on the other hand, can differ.
How do you build a door frame?
A robust and precisely constructed door frame is at the core of every successful door installation. Anything installed on top of it will not function properly if the door frame below the door jambs is flimsy or not real. However, if you frame the door properly, the door jambs and trim will look professional, and the door will swing freely and close tightly.
The good news is that building door frame, and building doorways is neither costly nor difficult. Just two-by-fours and nails are used to build a door frame. Cutting the two-by-fours correctly and nailing them in the correct positions are the most important aspects of making a well-built door frame. There are no additional materials required, and the only tools required are a hammer, saw, level, and measuring tape.
How is a good door frame built?
Building door frame has the following components-
Top of the door
- Header: A horizontal two-by-four that spans the width of the door frame serves as the header. It’s the very top of the door frame. The exposed casing at the top of the door would be attached to the door header.
- Small Support Studs: Between the header and the top plate, there are short vertical studs.
Bottom of the door
The home’s subfloor is supported by a horizontal two-by-four bottom (or sole) plate. The king stud and jack stud, which form the door’s sides, are supported by the bottom plate. It’s likely that the sole/bottom plate is already installed or that you’ll need to mount it.
Sides of the door
- The king stud is a two-by-four that runs vertically from the soleplate to the top plate. The bottom of the top plate meets the top of the king stud.
- The jack stud is a two-by-four that runs vertically from the soleplate to the header. The bottom of the header is supported by the top of the jack stud, which reaches the header’s bottom.
Add the bottom or soleplate-
There will be a bottom plate if you are cutting a door through an existing wall. If not, nail a continuous two-by-four around the doorway’s width. For the time being, the two-by-four will stretch through the doorway, but it will be torn away later. Cut the bottom plate to 40 inches for building doorways with a rough gap of 34 inches. This helps in building framed doorway.
Add the king studs-
Cut the king studs to reach the top plate’s underside from the top of the sole/bottom plate. The height of the ceiling will affect this calculation.
As you put the king studs, tape the bubble level to each one. Alternatively, use the laser stage to fire a plumb line.
The king studs should be 38-1/2 inches apart and on-center. Set the king studs in place with your toes.
Add the jack studs-
Split two two-by-fours to 80-1/2 inches each. Nail the jack studs to the king studs’ insides. Instead of toenailing the jack studs, you should push the nails into the king studs.
Cut and add the header-
Reduce the length of the header to 37 inches. Place the header on top of the jack studs when standing on a ladder. Drive nails through the header and into the ends of the jack studs to secure it in place.
Add support studs over the header-
Measure from the top of the header to the underside of the top spot. Cut two two-by-fours to the required length. Place these support boards on top of each other with your toes. Nails driven upward through the header may be used to protect the bottom parts of the support boards.
Cut the soleplate-
Cutaway the portion of the sole/bottom plate that stretches across the doorway with the hand saw. If the flooring is subfloor, you can cut straight down to it so minimal cosmetic damage isn’t a problem. If the flooring is a decorative floor covering, use tape to protect the cutting area. To stop biting into the flooring, slow down your cutting near the end.
Finishing the door frame-
Make sure there are no protruding nails in the door frame and that the studs are smooth. Any protruding nails should be pounded back. The door framing is now done to install a prehung door or the development of a custom door casing.
What is the rough opening of a 36-inch door?
A rough opening of approximately 38-1/2″ x 82-1/4″ would suit a 36″ x 80″ prehung single door. To ensure that your door closes properly, remember to square it up before nailing the frame in place.
What is the rough opening of a 32-inch door?
To reach between the king studs and set atop the jack studs for a 30 inch door in a 32 inch rough opening, the headers will be 35 inches long. Usually, this isn’t a big deal, but if your rough opening was too small or the same size as the door and the jamb, you may not be able to get the door to work properly if you don’t have enough space to change it.