Rough door openings

One of the most important parts of wall framing is getting

the raw openings on the right. Elements that determine what

height of One of the most important parts of framing walls is getting

the raw openings on the right. Elements that determine what

the height of its opening will be are the finishes of the floor and the

use of subfloor. The widths of the doors will remain constant with

size of a standard door.

In new construction, most doors are hung after the floors are

installed. This allows flooring contractors (tile, hardwood,

vinyl, laminate) to lay your flooring products without

make complicated cuts around door jambs. It also makes it a

clean and tidy door installation. The exceptions to this are

Carpeted floors. The doors are hung before the carpet is laid.

ugly. When doors are hung in carpeted areas, it is a good idea

to wedge them up to 1/2 “, placing a shim under each leg of the jamb.

This eliminates the need to cut the doors after

The carpet is installed.

For a 6 ‘8 “tall (80 inch) door, I like to frame my

opening height at 82 3/4 “. This room for all

situations mentioned above. If your headline material is a

double 2×12, attaching it to the top plate will give you that


Rough openings for door widths are pretty much standard. Tea

The width of the rough opening is 2 inches wider than the door itself.

this leaves room for the door jambs which are generally 3/4 ”

thick. This gives you approximately 1/2 “of play and fit.

room by installing a pre-hung door. For a 36 “(3 ‘0”) door

the approximate opening width would be 38 “. Here are the most

Common door sizes and their rough openings.

Door Size Approximate Opening Size

2 ‘0 “x 6’8” -26 “x 82 3/4”

2 ‘2 “x 6’8” -28 “x 82 3/4”

2 ‘4 “x 6’8” -30 “x 82 3/4”

2 ‘6 “x 6’8” -32 “x 82 3/4”

2 ‘8 “x 6’8” -34 “x 82 3/4”

2 ’10 “x 6’8” -36 “x 82 3/4”

3’0 “x 6’8” -38 “x 82 3/4”

To calculate the approximate opening for double or French doors

doors, take the door size multiplied by 2 and add 2 “.

Common sizes for exterior doors are 2’8 “and 3’0”.

doors. The 2’8 “is generally used for the rear door and the

access door from the garage. Door that size for outdoor use

it is used less these days due to the size of

Appliances and Furniture. Exterior doors with side lights and

Sliding patio doors, rough openings vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

maker. These must be verified and obtained from the


Getting the openings raw right the first time keeps the

Sawzall in its carrying case and having to change the

opening after the walls are covered with plaster and painted.

Mike Merisko (c) 2006

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