How to Frame Door Openings

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While door opening framing is a simple and easy home improvement project, it requires you to maintain the structural integrity of the wall where it will be located. With the right tools and materials, you should be able to complete the work in an afternoon.


Be sure to put on protective eyewear when using a saw to cut the framing boards.

Making Correct Measurements

Framing a door opening requires that you use the correct measurement to ensure that there is enough space to install the door and enough room for squaring the door. Add 2½ inches width requirement and one and three-quarter inches should be added to the height of the door. Standard doors are 36 inches wide and 80 inches high

Installing the Studs

Determine the inside to inside measurement of the rough opening of the door. Determine the location of the center of the door. Cut the king studs that will be placed between the floor and the ceiling plate. These studs will support the door frame. Install the two studs for the frame using that measurement.

Cut out 2 pieces of wood for the header from a 2x12-inch board. Each piece that you cut should also be 41½ inches long. Place the 2 cut boards with one on top of the other. Use nails to secure the 2 boards together on both sides. Position the header and then nail it into place.

Securing the Studs

Cut 2 more studs that measure 80½ inches. Position each of these studs under the header. They should fit tightly against the supporting boards that you have already installed. Nail these studs into place

Placing the Jacks

Position the stud jacks and the header jacks. The jacks should be located under each of the load points. The jacks should also be 16 inches on center. Doors with a width over 6 feet should have an extra 3 inches added to the header measurement

Leveling the Jacks

The header jacks will need to be leveled on the inner side of the rough opening. The plate between the header jacks will then need to be cut. Caulk along with the bottom plate then caulk the bottom side of a piece of ¾-inch treaded lumber. Place the lumber and if necessary, add flashing.

Placing the Door

Position the door in the center of the opening. Add shims where necessary. Adjust the door in the opening once you have finished with all of the shim work. The gap between the door and the frame should be the same on both sides. Once it has been properly placed, you can continue with the door installation.