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How to Build a Wall Frame for a Door

Expert advice on how to build a wall frame for a new door from walls studs, plates, and other wood framing members.

This article is a continuation of the article, How to Build an Interior Wall. When building a new wall, it’s often necessary to include a door—here is how to frame it.

1Use a plumb bob to transfer your ceiling marks to the bottom plate. Then mark the placement of the new trimmer studs on the plates, using a pencil and a square. Measure 3 1/2 inches farther out on both sides to mark again, indicating the inside edges of the king studs. Cut the king studs to fit, and nail them to the plates on each side of the doorway.

Mark the stud placements, using a pencil and square.

2Where the doorway will go, cut away the plate using a reciprocating saw. Be sure the remaining parts of the plate are fastened firmly to the floor.

Toenail the king stud in place on the base plate.

3Toenail the new king studs to the plate (cut them for a tight fit). It’s easiest to pin the stud in place with 8d nails at the front and back edges before toenailing each side with two 10d nails. Make sure the studs are plumb before nailing them at the top.

4Cut the trimmer studs to the height of the door’s rough opening, and nail them to the king studs with 3-inch nails spaced about every 12 inches in a staggered pattern. Then nail a flat 2-by-4 header across the top, driving two 16d nails down through each end and into the tops of the trimmers. For added support, you can double this header with another 2-by-4 on top.

Nail a 2-by-4 header to the tops of the trimmer studs.

5Measure for short cripple studs between the header and the top plate. They should be positioned to maintain the typical stud spacing of 16 inches from center to center.

6Cut through the bottom plate with a handsaw. Remove the piece within the doorway and install the door frame.

NEXT SEE: How to Hang Drywall


About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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