How to Frame a Garage Door

You've just purchased and are getting ready to install a new garage door. The good news is that you've already won half the battle by choosing a garage door you like. The next step is to frame your garage's rough opening to accommodate your new garage door.

Your garage door will fit tightly against the opening if you build a frame for it. It also enables you to connect items such as the track and the spring. We'll break down the process of building a garage door into simple steps in this guide.

Understanding Garage Door Rough Openings

Understanding the difference between the rough and final openings is critical. The size of the opening before the finished framing is applied is referred to as the "rough opening" or "rough framing" in the garage door installation business. To allow for the frame, the rough opening should be slightly larger than the size of your garage door.

After you've installed the framing, the finished opening is the leftover negative space. This finished opening should be the same size as or slightly smaller than your new garage door. If the door is 16 by 7 feet, the finished garage door opening should be 16 by 7 feet as well.

Garage doors, both standard, and roll-up operate differently than other types of home doors. Unlike garage doors, which close against the raw opening, closet and entrance doors fit inside their finished openings.

How to build a garage door frame

A header, two rows of side jambs and framing to attach the track, and the spring's center bracket are all required to frame a door. To prepare your rough opening for your new garage door, follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather your materials

A tape measure, a pencil, a circular saw or bandsaw, and some 2-by-6 inch lumber are all required. Instead of lumber, PVC garage door jambs can be used. You'll need enough lumber to build a rough opening twice the length of your garage's floor-to-ceiling height and twice the height of each side. You'll also need timber to line the width of the header as well as the distance between it and the ceiling.

Before estimating the size of your garage door's finished opening, you must first decide what material to utilize for the jambs. Many frames are made of wood, however, PVC door jambs are also available. After you've erected the frames, the thickness of the material you use will decide the size of the garage opening.

Step 2: Measure the Rough Opening for the Garage Door

The rough opening should be larger than the garage door you've chosen before you start constructing. One and a half inches longer than the height of your new garage door should be the distance between the garage floor and the rough header. The header should be eight and a half inches above the finished floor in a normal seven-foot-tall garage door, for example.

It is recommended that the header be nine inches broader than the door. The rough opening's width, measured between the left and right borders, should be three inches longer than the door. The rough opening for a 12-foot wide garage door will be 15 inches wide.

 Step 3: Install the Head Jamb

The wood boards on either side of the entrance, as well as the top header, are called door jambs. The two on either side are known as "side jambs," while the one above the doorway is known as the "head jamb."

The head jamb must be installed first so that the side jambs can lay flush against it. Measure the header to suit the garage's horizontal opening, which should be nine inches longer than the garage door. Attach your 2-by-6 inch timber or PVC jamb to the header with framing nails once you've cut it to the desired height. The difference between the rough opening and the height of the garage door should be covered by the header thickness.

Step 4: Determine the height from floor to ceiling

On the garage wall beside the opening, you'll need to add two pieces of framing. The garage door tracks will be attached to the wall using these frames. You could hear your garage door installer refer to this frame as a "goal post." From floor to ceiling, these jambs will accommodate the height of your garage.

Cut two pieces of lumber to this exact height once you've measured it.

Step 5: Secure the Goal Post

Attach the two parts of the goal post to the inside face of your garage wall with framing nails. Run up against the head jamb you put in during step three.

Step 6: Install the Side Jambs

Cut two pieces of wood or PVC door jambs to the new opening height. The bottom of the jamb header you've already placed will be impacted by the side jambs. These jambs should be 1/4 inch shorter than your garage door, so they don't quite touch the ground. Framing nails are used to secure these door jambs.

To support this weight, we recommend utilizing double side jambs, so you'll need two trimmers on the left and right sides. The door opening should have the same proportions as your new door once you've installed the side jambs.

Step 7: Attach the Center Bracket Framing

Measure the distance from the top of your installed header to the ceiling. Cut a piece of lumber to this height and place it in the center of the header. The central bracket of your garage door's spring system will be attached to this piece of the framework by your garage door installation.

Tips for Framing Garage Doors

Here are some short pointers for framing your garage door properly:

Install the head and side jambs after the wall is in place.

Leave side jambs 1/4 inch above the concrete floor to prevent moisture from seeping and decay.

Reduce the header length and height if you're using one-inch material, such as 1-by-2, 1-by-3, or 1-by-4-inch boards.

Treated lumber should never be used for door jambs because it corrodes steel and eats holes in aluminum.


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