House Building Tip: Door Framing and Installation

September 2, 2017 by Forrest Fowler

Framing and Installing the Door: 


When it comes to installing the door, success begins with making sure that you frame the rough opening correctly when building your walls. There are many ways to install the door in the Amor house. The technique I like to use is to make a sort of ‘pre-hung’ door, rather than trying to balance the door in the opening while screwing in the hinges. This is accomplished by attaching a 2x4 to the door and hinges prior to placing the door into the rough opening. The key to this technique is making sure you frame the rough opening correctly.

When preparing to frame your wall for the door make sure to measure the door that you have on site, door sizes may vary.

For the ‘pre-hung’ technique, I frame the rough opening one inch taller and two and half inches wider than the actual door. The extra height allows for a small gap at the top and bottom of the door so that it can swing easily. The extra width allows for the attachment of the 2x4 plus a little wiggle room for adjustments. If the door's exact measurements are 80”x36”, I frame the rough opening 81”x38 1/2”. The height of the rough opening should be from the finished slab/floor.

When installing the door, you can nail the 2x4 attached to the door into the framing for the rough opening. Tack it in for starters, and then make sure that the door swings freely. If the gap on the latch side of the door is too big, you can use spacers between the door frame and the ‘pre-hung’ 2x4 to close the gap. Spacers can be shims that you may have brought with you, scraps of folded up tar paper, or other scraps of wood found around the worksite.

After you are pleased with the door swing, make sure to nail the ‘pre-hung’ 2x4 to the framing liberally. I like to alternate the nails from side to side and change the angle of the nails as well to help with their resistance to pulling out over time.

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