How to Frame A Basement Door

Lead Image
  • 2-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,200
What You'll Need
2x4 lumber
1/4-inch plywood
Construction adhesive
Tape measure
Measuring square
Framing nails
Circular saw
Reciprocating saw

When adding in a new room in the basement, you should consider where to locate the basement door. Many homeowners build a new room in the basement in order to get a little extra living space for a home office, gym, or extra bedroom. One of the tricky parts is framing in the basement door. Follow these steps to correctly frame your basement door.

Step 1 - Prepare Door Opening

After the frame for the basement room has been completed, cut out the frame for the basement door. Check the existing frame to be sure it is plumb and level. After you know the room frame is sturdy, then determine the size of the opening. If you are going to install a standard 32-inch door, then you will need a 34-inch opening to allow room for the door jamb and the hinges.

Step 2 - Cut Bottom Plate

installing a door jamb

Measure 34-inches on the bottom plate and place two marks to show where each edge of the door frame will be. Use a square to determine whether the marks are square. Take the reciprocating saw and cut the 2x4-inch boards to fit within those two marks.

Remove these 2x4-inch boards by twisting them off their nails and pulling them down or up. Set the depth of the circular saw blade at 1.5-inches and carefully cut out the bottom plate. Ensure the cuts are square. Use a wood chisel on the remaining piece of bottom plate and remove it from the door frame.

Step 3 - Build Door Frame

Measure two 2x4-inch boards to the right height and nail them to the edge of the bottom plate. Keep a level on them while nailing them to the top plate. Build a header out of two 2x4-inch boards nailed together on their sides.

Measure the height of the door, plus one-inch for the door jamb and wall covering. Attach the header in between two vertical studs and nail it in place. Measure the space between the top edge of the header and the top plate. Cut out the 2x4-inch boards and install it in this area. Keep a 16-inch on-center spacing.

Step 4 - Finish Frame

nearly empty basement room with fresh paint and carpet

Nail one more 2x4-inch stud to one side of the frame by attaching it to the top and bottom sill. It will be the side to which the door attaches. On the other side of the door frame, install several 2x4-inch boards which will fit from the end stud to the first wall stud.

Once you have finished the framing, check that everything is square and level. If anything is out of alignment, it will make installing the door much more difficult.