Do you want to know how to frame a garage door opening? Then this article is for you. We’ll discuss all you need to know about garage door framing and its technicalities. This is a crucial step to perform if you have plans of purchasing a new garage door or even replacing an existing one.
You don’t want a situation where your newly bought garage door won’t fit in an opening or an opening which is wider than the door. This is also important because without framing your garage door, there is no possible way to mount your garage door properly.
Something to take note of
Perhaps you are replacing an existing door. If you already know the size of your existing garage door, excellent. Get a door with the same size as the one you are replacing. If you don’t, read this post on how to measure a garage door. Keep in mind; most conventional garage doors are 7ft. But if you own an SUV or planning to buy one, you should consider an 8ft garage door. This is important information because they will affect how the garage door framing.
Now let’s begin.
To make this guide more straightforward and much more comprehensive, I will use the image below to explain all you need to know.
Rough Opening of Garage Door
Let’s talk about the garage door rough opening first. This is where you will fit your garage door.
Width of Rough Opening
The width of the rough opening should be 3 inches greater than the width of the garage door you are purchasing. For instance, if the width of the garage door is 8ft, the rough opening should be 8ft, 3 inches wide. If it’s 9ft, the opening must be 9ft, 3 inches, and so on. You get the picture.
Height of Rough Opening
The height of the rough opening must be 1.5 inches taller than the garage door you intend buying. To put it into perspective, if the garage door is, let’s say 8ft tall, make the height of your opening 8ft, 1.5 inches tall.
Headroom of your garage refers to the space between the opening and the ceiling. It’s an important space because if your garage door of choice is an overhead garage door (most popular garage door type), it needs that headroom to fully open and close.
The standard headroom for garage doors is 12 inches. If you are only opening the door manually, that is enough headroom. However, if you intend operating with a garage door opener, 14 inches of headroom is recommended.
Header and Jamb
Let’s talk about the header of the door first. As shown in the image, you’ll need 2-inch lumber. The width of the lumber should be between 6” and 8”. Ideally, 2”x6” is the most used header size.
Use 2-inch lumber for the jambs as well, and ensure they are appropriately nailed to the door opening with the help of a nail gun or hammer. Framing nails are highly recommended.
It’s time to install the centre pad. It is found on top of your header wood, vertically installed, and in the middle top middle portion of the door. Use a 2”x6” piece of lumber for this job. Ensure this piece is securely installed. This is because all the tension of the door will be in this wood. It holds the garage door torsion springs, which means any force exerted on the springs is directly transferred to this piece. If you use a garage door opener for your opener, it will be attached to this piece as well.
Sides of Garage Door Opening
Ideally, there should be a space of at least 6ft on each side of the door. This will make room for the tracks to be mounted appropriately.
The next step is to measure the height from the floor to the ceiling, cut a 2”x6” lumber and install it on the wall, from the bottom, all the way to the roof of your door. This is an essential piece of your installation. It is where your door tracks are installed. Check image for clarification.
Few things to know
What I’ve seen several times in my experience is, the side opening woods do not go from the ceiling to the floor. There will be a brick installed, and then the wood sits on it. This may be helpful for the lifespan of the wood because it will take longer for them to rot than being installed on the floor.
You can with this approach but make sure the brick doesn’t get in the way of your newly installed. You don’t want a situation where your garage door fails to close all the way because there is a brick on the way.
Also, don’t go for woods which have been treated. They will cause your mounted tracks or any aluminium garage door parts which are attached to rust quickly.
Hi, my name is John, and I’m the founder of Garage Adviser. I have worked in the garage industry for over fifteen years and specialized in areas such as garage door repairs, epoxy flooring, garage shelving and storage, and garage gym construction. Now I work as a Home Improvement Consultant. During my free time, I like to write about the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years, or watch football with my twelve-year-old son.