How To Frame A Garage Door Opening

If you have recently purchased a new garage door and are looking to have it installed, you’ll need to prepare the opening before the installation process can begin. This involves framing your garage’s rough opening, enabling the new door to fit perfectly in place. While the process may seem daunting, this blog post will walk you through the steps to make it much easier.

Creating a door header and side jambs that match the exact height of your garage door is crucial for ensuring a secure and snug fit and ensuring that the door operates correctly. This involves attaching tracks and springs, as well as building the frame to which the door can be secured.

To frame your garage door, follow our step-by-step guide, which will take you through the process of preparing the rough opening, measuring and cutting the header and side jambs, and attaching the tracks and springs. By doing so, you can have the peace of mind that your new garage door is secure and installed correctly, providing you with years of reliable performance. You may also be interested in our articles on DIY wooden garage kits and flooring options for garages.

A Guide To Garage Doors And Rough Openings

Before installing a new garage door, it’s essential to understand the difference between rough opening and finished opening. Rough opening refers to the size of the opening before the finished framing is applied. It is crucial to measure the rough opening slightly larger than the new garage door you have selected. This measurement may differ from your old garage door, so be sure to take accurate measurements.

Once the framing is installed, the finished opening will be created. The size of your finished garage door opening should be the same or slightly smaller than your new door. For instance, a 16-foot wide by 7-foot high door will require a 16-by-7-foot garage door opening.

It’s worth noting that standard garage doors and roll-up garage doors function differently from other residential doors. They’re designed to close against the rough opening and frame. As such, it’s essential to ensure that the new rough opening size is compatible with the new garage door you’ve selected. This might require adjustments because the required rough opening may be smaller or larger than your previous garage door.

By understanding the difference between rough opening and finished opening and the importance of accurate measurements, you can ensure a perfect fit for your new garage door, providing you with secure and reliable functionality for years to come.

A guide to framing a garage door

To properly frame a garage door, it is essential to have two rows of side jambs, a header, and a center bracket for the spring. These components work in harmony to ensure that the door fits snugly and operates correctly.

Here are some steps to follow when framing your garage door’s rough opening:

Gathering supplies is the first step

Before framing your garage door, you’ll need to gather all the necessary supplies, including a pencil, tape measure, and saw (circular or band). Additionally, you’ll need lumber in the form of 2’x6′ pieces.

However, with the current difficulty in sourcing and affording lumber, consider using PVC jambs as a substitute. Make sure to measure the floor-to-ceiling height and height of the garage sides, and prepare double the necessary length of lumber or PVC jamb. You’ll also need more material to line the distance between the header and the ceiling.

When calculating your finished garage door opening, keep in mind that the material you choose for the jambs will affect the size of the opening. PVC door jambs are a suitable option for those looking to avoid traditional wood frames. Once the frames are installed, the opening of your garage will depend on the thickness of the material you use.

By making the necessary calculations and choosing your materials wisely, you can successfully frame your garage door, allowing for a secure and stable fit for your new garage door that will stand the test of time.

Rough Framing Door Opening: Measure the rough opening for the garage door

Measuring the rough opening for your garage door is a critical step in ensuring a successful and safe installation. Before framing, ensure that the rough opening is larger than your garage door and leave one and a half inches of space between the framing and the garage floor. For a seven-foot-tall garage door, the header should be positioned eight and a half inches above the finished floor.

When measuring the width of the rough opening, there should be nine inches of space between the header and the garage door. The distance between the edges of the rough opening and the door should be three inches longer than the door itself. For instance, a 12-foot wide garage door should have a rough opening that measures 15 feet in width.

Careful attention to these measurements will enable you to frame the rough opening correctly and ensure that your new garage door is a perfect fit. By taking the time to measure accurately, you can create a safe and efficient garage door installation, provide additional security, and increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Garage Header Framing: The third step is to install the head jamb

The installation of the head jamb is the third step in framing a garage door opening. A door jamb comprises of wood planks located on either side of the opening and the top header. The two jambs positioned on each side are known as “side jambs,” while the jamb situated above the opening is referred to as the “head jamb.”

To ensure the side jambs rest flush against the head jamb, it’s necessary to install the head jamb initially. To do this, measure the width of the garage opening, which is typically the width of the garage door plus nine inches. Cut the header to the right height and then attach it to the 2-by-6 inch lumber or PVC jamb using framing nails. When designing the header thickness, overlap the rough opening with the garage door height.

The frames installed on the two walls of the garage adjacent to the opening will serve as a foundation for the garage door tracks. This frame may be referred to as a “goal post” by garage door installers. The size of the garage door jambs will depend on the height of your garage. Measure the height from the floor to the ceiling and cut two pieces of lumber to the same size.

By following these steps, you can successfully frame the rough opening of your garage door, ensuring that it fits correctly and operates smoothly for years to come.

Garage Door Goal Post Framing: Attach The ‘Goal Post’

To create a foundation for your garage door tracks, the frames must be installed on the two walls that are adjacent to the garage door opening. These frames are usually referred to as “goal posts” by garage door installers and must be securely attached to the wall framing using framing nails.

As you installed the head jamb in step three, the goal posts should be measured and cut to the same height as the side jambs, ensuring that they are flush with and attach securely to the head jamb using framing nails. This will provide the structure and stability necessary to support the weight of the garage door, ensuring a smooth and efficient operation.

By taking the time to install the goal posts correctly, you can ensure a strong and stable foundation for your garage door tracks, providing years of reliable performance.

Side Jambs Are Installed

Now that you’ve installed the header, it’s time to install the two side jambs. Measure the height of your newly framed opening and cut two pieces of PVC or lumber door jambs to this height.

For greater weight support, we recommend using double side jambs, which means installing two trimmers on each side. To ensure that the jambs are the correct height, measure the height of your garage door and subtract 1/4 of an inch, making sure that they don’t touch the ground.

Attach the jambs to the doorframe using framing nails, ensuring that they are vertical and level. Once they’re installed, your door opening should match the measurements of your new garage door, providing a secure, snug, and level fit.

By following these steps, you can successfully install the side jambs, providing foundational support for your garage door and ensuring that it operates smoothly for years to come.

Attach Framing To The Center Bracket

The center bracket must be attached to the header for additional support. To determine the placement of the header, measure the distance from its top to the ceiling and position it accordingly.

Once the header is in place, attach a piece of lumber or PVC to the center of the header at this height. This framing will serve as the attachment point for the spring center bracket, which your garage door installer will use for secure installation.

By ensuring that your center bracket is firmly attached to the header, you can prevent damage to your garage door system and promote optimal performance and longevity.

Additional Framing Tips For Garage Doors

To frame a garage door correctly, it’s important to consider a few additional tips beyond the basic steps. Here are some tips for optimal garage door framing:

  1. Install the head and side jambs after the wall is in place. This will help ensure that the framing is secure and level.
  2. To prevent moisture from wicking and rotting, keep the side jambs a quarter inch above the actual concrete floor. This will protect your framing and ensure long-lasting stability.
  3. When using thin materials such as one-inch lumber, consider reducing the header length and height to ensure that the garage door fits properly and securely.
  4. Avoid using treated lumber for your door jambs, as it can corrode steel and eat holes in aluminum. Opt for materials that are compatible with your garage door system and will promote optimal performance and longevity.

By following these tips and the basic framing steps, you can ensure that your garage door is correctly framed and ready for efficient and reliable operation for years to come.


To summarize, framing a garage door is an important and necessary step in ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your garage door system. By following the recommended steps and taking into account additional tips, you can create a secure and stable foundation that will protect your garage door from damage and ensure smooth, efficient operation.

Remember, correctly framing your garage door is not only crucial for the safety of your home and family but also for energy efficiency and security. A well-frame garage door allows you to save money on electricity bills, improves insulation, and enhances security, thus increasing your home’s value.

By taking the time to properly frame your garage door, you can reap the benefits of a long-lasting, secure, and efficient garage door system that will add convenience and peace of mind to your everyday life.

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