Creating a rough opening for a standard 30-inch door can be a simple task, as long as you take care to measure and cut your lumber precisely, keep your corners square and be sure your boards are level. In fact, you can frame a 30-inch door in just a matter of hours using ordinary tools you might already have on hand and some inexpensive supplies. Installing the door afterward might require a little more time and skill, but if you do a good job framing in your rough opening, everything else should be a snap.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 30-inch door (pre-hung door recommended)
- Hammer or pneumatic nailer
- 10d framing nails
- Circular saw
- 2-by-4 framing studs
Mark the dimensions of your rough opening on the existing wall frame. Your width should be 32 inches to allow an inch on each side for shimming (and insulation, if you are framing an exterior door). Your height should also be an inch taller than the door, but subtract 1.5 inches to factor in the sole plate, which you will saw out later to let the door extend to the floor. Mark your width on both the top and sole plates (horizontal boards at the top and bottom of the frame) and the height on any studs within or next to the rough opening.
On the top and sole plates, mark spaces for two adjacent studs (each 1.5 inches wide) beyond each edge of the 32-inch width you marked in step 1. Each side of your doorframe will consist of a full-size king stud (in the outermost space) and a trimmer stud cut to the height of the door (in the space nearest the doorway).
As necessary, saw through and remove any studs that fall within the rough opening you marked in step 1.
Cut two 2-by-4 studs to match the other studs in the wall frame, and put them in the outside spaces you marked in step 2. Nail diagonally through each stud at the top and bottom to anchor it to the wall frame.
Cut two 2-by-4 studs to the height you marked in step 1, and put them in the inside spaces you marked in step 2. Nail each stud to the top and sole plates, and to the king studs you installed in step 4.
Cut a 2-by-4 stud to the width of the space between the king studs (which should be 35 inches). Rest this header stud on the trimmer studs you installed in step 5, and nail it securely in place.
Cut a 2-by-4 stud to fill the gap between the top plate and header, and set it midway between the ends of the header. Nail it to the top plate and header.
If it hasn't already been removed, cut out the sole plate between the trimmer studs you installed in step 5. Your frame is now complete, and you should be all set to install, shim and trim your new 30-inch door.
Tips and warnings
- If you can use an existing doorway or place your door opening so that existing wall studs can serve as king or trimmer studs, you can save some time and materials.
- If your new doorframe requires you to cut through framing studs in a load-bearing wall, put a temporary support in place to support the weight before you remove any lumber.
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