Framing Your Door Rough Opening Correctly Will Make Installing Doors Go Smoothly

First you must determine the size of your door- Measure the door if you already have it. If you don't take the actual door size you will be installing and add 2 inches to the width and two and one-half inches to the height, this will give you the correct rough openings. The reason for the extra space is to allow room for the door frame and for space to adjust the door. 

Once you have all this information, it's just a matter of where you want your door. Decide the location by taking into consideration the traffic flow and the size of items you will furnishing the room with. In bedrooms it's best if you can swing the door against a wall. Frame the opening close to the corner if possible, just be sure to leave enough room for the size of trim you will be using.  

Framing a Door OpeningAlways use two studs on each side of the opening. The first will be continous from the top plate to the bottom plate. This is called a king stud.  The next, jack stud will be cut to the height of your door plus 2-1/2" and minus the thickness of the bottom plate 1-1/2" as it will rest on top of this. So your jack stud should be cut at 81" for a 6-8" tall door.

Your header size is determined by the load it carries. If you are building a new bearing wall or cutting in a new doorway be sure to check your local building code span charts or consult an engineer to properly size the header. Once you know the depth of the header, it's width is cut to fit from king stud to king stud, with the jack studs fitting under it to help disperse the loads. A typical header width with single jack studs is cut 3" larger than the rough opening. An example: A 36" door has a rough opening width of 38" so your header is cut at 41".  Also be aware double or triple jack studs may be required based on the opening width and the load the header carries.  Be sure to check code requirements prior to framing.

You may also want to watch our BUILDING A WALL video

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