House Framing

Framing Door Rough Opening

Category Construction Glossary
One of the most important parts of framing walls is getting the rough openings right. Items
that determine what the height of your opening will be are floor finishes and the use of
under layment. Door widths will stay constant with the 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 their flooring products without making
tricky cuts around door jambs. It also makes for a neat and clean door installation.
Exceptions to this are carpeted floors. Doors are hung before the carpeting is laid. When
doors are hung in carpeted areas, its a good idea to shim them up 1/2", putting a shim
under each jamb leg. This eliminates the need to cut the doors down after the carpet is

For a 6' 8" high door (80 inches) I like to frame my rough opening heighth at 82 3/4". This
allows room for all the situations mentioned above. If your header material is a double
2x12, holding it to the top plate will give you that heighth.

Rough openings for door widths are pretty much standard. The rough opening width is 2
inches wider than the door itself. This allows room for the door jambs which are usually
3/4" thick. This gives you approximately 1/2" of play and shim room when installing a
prehung door. For a 36" door (3' 0") the rough openig width would be 38". Here are the
most common door sizes and their rough openings.

Door Size Rough 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 figure the rough opening for double doors or french doors, take the door size times 2
and add 2". The most common sizes for exterior doors are the 2'8" and the 3'0" doors.
The 2'8" is usually used for the back door and the access door from the garage. That
size door for exterior use is being used less these days because of the size of appliances
and furniture. Exterior doors with sidelights and sliding patio doors rough openings vary
from manufacturer to manufacturer. These should be verified and gotten from the

Getting the rough openings right the first time keeps the sawzall in its carrying case and
having to change the opening after the walls are drywalled and painted.
Framing Door Rough Opening