How to frame a door in a existing wall

Written by aryeh raphael
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How to frame a door in a existing wall
You might need another door. (Peshkova/iStock/Getty Images)

Doors are one of those interior design elements that can not only provide visual definition but add functionality and practical value. It's sometimes necessary to make another opening to connect two rooms to make your home fit your needs. Fortunately, framing a door in an existing interior wall is a relatively simple task that requires basic tools and skills.

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hole saw
  • Circular saw
  • Lumber
  • 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards
  • Nail gun
  • Nails
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Move all furniture from the room to allow easier access to the wall.

  2. 2

    Measure the exact size and location of your door. Indicate the shape and position of the door on your wall with a pencil, using a ruler and a tape measure. Double-check the dimensions of the door and the location on the wall, because once you start cutting, changing your mind or noticing a mistake will only lead to unnecessary problems. The standard door size is 90 cm by 105 cm (36 by 82 inches), but the final dimension depends on your preferences only. Add 2 cm (3/4 inch) for the door jamb.

  3. 3

    Mark the middle of your door opening and start cutting from that point onto the sides, using a hole saw first and then a circular saw. If you are framing a door in an existing wall in a finished house, you will be cutting through wall panels. If the house is not finished, you will cut through a stud or two only.

  4. 4

    Install the king studs to make a rough frame for your door. These will be the studs on the sides of your door that will hold its frame. The distance between the king studs is always 12.5 cm (5 inches) more than the actual door width. Use a power saw to cut them to the required size.

  5. 5

    Install the top horizontal part of the door frame by attaching two 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards and placing them to fit perfectly between the king studs. This part is sometimes also known as a header. The height between the level of the finished floor and the bottom part of the header must be the final dimension of the door.

  6. 6

    Measure, mark and install the jack studs into their place. Use a nail gun and nails to secure the jack studs onto the king studs and the horizontal top of the frame. The difference between king and jack studs is that the king stud goes all the way up, along the whole height of the wall, while the jack studs only reach the header.

  7. 7

    Install the cripple stud above the top part of the door frame. The cripple stud is a short vertical element above the header that reaches the end of the wall. With the king and jack studs and the cripple stud in place, you now have a rough opening, and you have framed your door.

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