frame garage door

How to Frame a Garage Door Opening

BY ROBERT BROOME, OWNER

It seems that everyday I get a call from a customer that is making changes to a garage and needs to know the best way to prepare the garage door opening. Words like, “rough opening” are thrown around, and I’m not sure if we are speaking about the same thing. In our business, we refer to rough openings as the size of the opening before the finished lumber has been added to the jambs. Ordering a garage door based on a rough opening size can leave you with a door that is too big. To make my life more simple, I have created this blog post, so that I could email it to my clients to make things more clear. I’m no wordsmith, and things may get goofed up, so I have provided a diagram as a back up. Good luck on your new garage door framing project.

Let's get started

When referring to a rough opening, this is a garage door opening that has been framed with 2×4 lumber, but no finish work has been completed.

1. Frame the rough opening to 3 inches wider than the garage door you have selected. If you are installing a 9′ wide garage door, the opening will be 9’3″ wide. Once finished, the opening will be 9′ wide. The finished opening should be the same width and height as the garage door you have purchased.

2. Frame the rough opening to a height that is 1.5’’ taller than the door that you have selected. If the door is 7′ tall, frame the opening 7’1.5″

Finish the opening

3. To finish the opening cut the header from 2″ thick lumber. In my area, the lumber is either 6″ or 8″ wide.  Install using 16p framing nails. Once this is header is installed, you should have a measurement from concrete to the bottom of the header equal to your garage door height.

4. Now, install the vertical jambs. Use the same 2″ thick lumber. Pull a measurement from the concrete to the bottom of the header that you just installed. Use the same framing nails.

Install The Goal Post

Below, you will see an illustration of what we call the goal post. This view is from the inside of the garage looking out. The job is to install lumber to mount your track and springs, so that you have a garage door installation that’s safe and will last. We never recommend installing a garage door without a proper goal post.

garage door frame detail

5. Pull a measurement from the floor of your garage to the ceiling next to the garage door opening. Cut two 2’’ x 6’’ pieces of lumber, and attach to the face of the wall running from the edge of your garage door jambs to the ceiling of your garage. This lumber will be used to attach your garage door track, and a portion of your assembly.

6. Next, pull a measurement between the 2’’x 6’’ lumber that you just attached to the face of the garage wall. Now, cut a 2’’x 6’’ piece of lumber to that measurement. Attach lumber to the face of the garage wall to the edge of the garage door header

7. Last, pull a measurement from the top of the 2’’ x 6’’ piece of lumber that you just installed to the ceiling of the garage. Cut a 2’’x 6’’ piece of lumber, and nail to the face of wall exactly in the center of the garage header. This piece of lumber will be used to attach the center bracket of your garage door spring assembly.

Click on the image below for clear detail and drawing.

garage door opening

Common Issues

One issue that we run in to quite often is when the 2’x6″ lumber that the track mounts to does not go all the way to the floor. In some cases, the block or brick foundation is wider than the wall built above it. See the attached image. In this case, you will have to chip away the brick so that the lumber is 1/4″ from the floor. It is best practice that there is a small space between the floor and lumber to keep the wood from rotting.

Thank you for visiting our website. I would love to know how we may be able to restructure the content on this page to make the instructions more clear. Feel free to leave a comment below. If you are in the Charlotte  or Raleigh area and are in the market for a new garage door give us a call.

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