Frame French Doors Step-by-Step

french doors leading into a home
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-215
What You'll Need
Circular saw
Framing square
Framing nails
1/4 inch plywood

When French doors are installed into your kitchen, it adds a nice country feel to the room. Framing a French door is much the same as framing a regular door. However, instead of just a single door, there are two. Each door will be mounted on one side of the opening.

Step 1- Measuring for the Opening

Before you begin to work on the frame, you will need to measure for the French door frame. Measurements need to be exact. There are several calculations you need to keep in mind for the French door frame. Remember, you are going to be hanging two doors instead of one, so all calculations are double. You will have three gaps, plus a door jamb. You need to allow room to place a vertical side plate and you need a 1/4 inch gap between both the doors and the jamb on each side. A door jamb is 1 inch thick has an additional 1/4 inch gap. Add those measurements to the size of both doors and add an additional 1 1/4 inch to obtain the final dimensions.

After you find the width of the frame, then calculate the height of the door frame. Measure from the floor up and add 1 inch for the bottom and 2 inches for the top jamb.

Step 2- Cut Frame

The easiest way to cut the door frame is to cut through the 2x4 frame. After your new wall is built, mark the measurements on the 2x4 frame. Remove all the 2x4 boards that are between the marks by knocking the bottom off the nail. Then pull the board until it comes away from the top nails. Remove any nails remaining in the 2x4 board. Keep the board close by, though, because you will be using it. Cut the portion of the bottom plate out that is within the width of the frame.

Step 3- Begin Framing with Header

Measure from the subfloor to the top plate and mark the board. Cut a 2x4 to needed length. Nail the 2x4 lumber board to the underneath side at the end of the bottom plate. Mark a spot on the top plate where the 2x4 is level and then nail it in place. Do the same to the other side. Join two 2x6's together with a piece of 1/4 inch plywood sandwiched between the two. Install the header to the top of the 2x4's where the top of the French door frame will be.

Step 4- Finish Opening

Add another 2x4 next to the other vertical 2x4's to form a double post on the outside of the header. Angle nails into the top and bottom plate as well as into the other vertical post. Measure the distance between the header and the bottom of the top plate. Following the measurements you have taken, nail the 2x4 studs in place.