How To Frame A Garage Door Opening


If you have a new garage door selected and you are ready to have it installed, you are going to need to have it fitted and installed. You will need to frame your garage’s rough opening so that the new garage door can be installed. This blog post will provide an overview of the process so you know what you’ll be up against. It is not focused on garage door repair, instead, it goes over the installation process around a new garage door installation when you need to prepare the rough opening size by creating a door header and side jambs that match the exact height of your garage door.

It is easier to install your garage door snugly against an opening if you build a frame for it. The track and spring can also be attached. Our guide will explain how to frame a garage door in simple steps.

A Guide To Garage Doors And Rough Openings

The rough opening and finished opening are two different things. “Rough opening” and “rough framing” are the sizes of the garage door openings prior to the finished framing being applied. For the garage frame, you should measure your rough opening slightly larger than the new garage door that you have selected. This may be different from your old garage door. 

Once the framing is installed, you will have the finished opening. The size of your newly finished garage door opening should be the same, or slightly smaller, than your new door. A 16 feet wide by 7 foot high door, for example, will require a 16-by-7-foot garage door opening.

Compared to other kinds of residential doors, standard garage doors and roll-up garage doors operate differently. Garage doors are designed to close against the designed rough opening.

All this may be necessary because the newly required “rough opening” may be smaller or larger than the garage door you had there previously compared to the new door you have selected.

A guide to framing a garage door

Framed doors require two rows of side jambs along with a header, and a center bracket for the spring. For your garage door rough opening, follow these steps:

Gathering supplies is the first step

You will need a pencil, tape measure, a saw (circular or band), and of course lumber (2’x6′).

In these days of having difficulty sourcing lumber or paying for it once you do find it, you can substitute you can use PVC jambs instead. The length of the floor-to-ceiling height and height of the side of your garage will require lumber for double the length. You’ll also need lumber to line the distance between the header and the ceiling in addition to the header.

In order to calculate the size of the finished opening of your garage door, you must decide what material you will use for the jambs. PVC door jambs are also available, which can be used in place of wood frames. After you’ve installed the frames, the opening of your garage will depend on the thickness of the material you used.

Measure the rough opening for the garage door

Make sure your rough opening is larger than your garage door before you do the framing. Ensure that you leave one and a half inches between as a space from the garage floor and the rough header. A seven-foot-tall garage door, for instance, should have a header located eight and a half inches above the finished floor.

There should be nine inches of space between the header and the door width-wise. Taking the measurement between the edges of the rough opening and the door, it should be three inches longer than the door. So, for example, with regard to a 12-foot wide garage door, you would create the rough opening to be 15 inches wide.

The third step is to install the head jamb

A door jamb consists of the wood planks flanking the opening and the top header. The two jambs on either side of the doorway are sometimes called “side jambs,” while the jamb above the doorway is called “head jamb.”

To ensure that the side jambs rest flush against the head jamb, the head jamb must be installed first. The header should be measured to fit the garage opening, which is the width of the garage door plus nine inches. Using framing nails, attach the 2-by-6 inch lumber or PVC jamb to the header once it has been cut to the correct height. Overlap the rough opening with the garage door height when designing the header thickness.

You will need to measure the height from the floor to the ceiling.

Two pieces of framing lumber on the wall of the garage located beside the opening will be needed. Garage door tracks will be attached to these frames. Garage door installers might refer to this frame as a “goal post.” Garage door jambs will be sized according to the height of your garage.

You will need two pieces of lumber with the same height once you have measured it.

Attach The ‘Goal Post’

Your garage wall must be framed with framing nails in order to attach the goal post pieces. In step three, you installed a head jamb. Run up against it.

Side Jambs Are Installed

You will need to cut the two pieces of PVC or lumber door jambs to the newly calculated height of your opening. You’ve already installed the header for the jambs on the side jambs. You should cut these jambs to match your garage door’s height minus 1/4 of an inch, so they don’t quite touch the ground. Using framing nails, attach the jambs to the doorframe. 

To support this weight, it is recommended to use double side jambs, meaning that you will have to install two trimmers on each side. The door opening should match your new door once the side jambs have been installed.

Attach Framing To The Center Bracket

To determine the height of the header, measure the distance from its top to the ceiling. You can center a piece of lumber above the header at this height. This piece of framing is used by your garage door installer to attach the spring center bracket to your garage.

Additional Framing Tips For Garage Doors

For proper garage door framing, follow these quick tips:

  • Install the head and side jambs after the wall is in place.
  • The side jambs should be a quarter inch above the actual concrete floor in order to prevent moisture from wicking and rotting.
  • Consider reducing the header length and height if you are using 1 inch material such as 1 by 2 inch or 1 by 3 inch etc. boards.
  • Treated lumber should never be used for door jambs, as it corrodes steel and eats holes in aluminum.

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