How to Frame a Door in an Existing Wall

Framing a door is not a difficult task if you follow some simple instructions. You have to decide where you want to put the door when you install the studs and shoes for a new wall. You should follow these instructions, step by step, when you will be cutting a door into a stud wall that already exists.

In order to make nailing the door frame together an easier job you should use metal lumber connector brackets.

* Either the 2×3 or 2×4 that is nailed down to the floor will give you a base for the stud, which is called a “shoe.” The 2×4 that is laid on the top of the studs is called the “plate.”

The size of the opening for the door will depend on the size of the door you want to install in the wall. Generally a door opening is around 2’8“. You should be careful when measuring the door and cutting the opening to fit the door.

* Now cut and insert studs on each side of the area of the door. You need to make this opening the width of the door, adding an extra 6“. This extra space will give the width of the door facing the both sides.

Next you need to measure the height of the door. Now cut 2x4s that are the same height of the door adding 1“. Now install these studs on either side of the door.

There are a couple of different ways to finish the header over the frame of the door.

1. Cut 2x4s to a length that is equal to the width of the original opening. Then insert the cut 2x4s to form a header that is above the door. Nail these pieces securely together when they are in put in position. Now measure the distance that is from the top of the header plate to the ceiling plate. Then cut “cripple studs” to this exact length. Now insert three of these cripple studs in the space above the door header. You should toenail the cripple studs to the header above the door as well as to the plate which is at the top of the studs.

2. Cut two 2x12s to the exact width of the original opening and place ?” plywood spacers in-between the 2x12s, nailing them together and then inserting them in order to form a header above the door.

Now you can insert the door jamb in the space you have made. Generally this door jamb is bought ready cut for instillation. NOTE: The exact same parts of the jamb are installed if it is a one that is bought is ready cut or cut when doing the job.

Sometimes the casing that is on the outside of the door frame is directly nailed to the studs. Other times, the casing is nailed over the sheathing. The interior wallboard’s thickness and the sub-sheathing will determine how the door jamb will be installed.

* If needed you can insert a filler strip in order to make the door jamb fit the instillation.

The last thing to do is add finish framing to the door after you apply the paneling or drywall.

Author: Jason Green