Garage Door Framing

Are you planning an upgrade or installation of a new garage door? It is a great move, especially if you’re trying to increase your property’s value or add some unique touch to it. Choosing a door is one step towards achieving this goal. However, upgrading to a new overhead garage door might require a garage door framing job to ensure a proper fit.

Framing a garage door is essential as it prepares a place to fit the garage door. Having a sturdy frame is crucial as it holds the door in place after assembling the springs, cables, and other garage door hardware. And keep in mind that the door is pretty heavy, so the framing should be done perfectly.

Making a frame for your garage door needs accuracy and skills; that’s what a DIYer should have. However, due to the complexity and preciseness required for this job, wise homeowners hire a professional contractor to do it. But if you feel comfortable you can handle a garage door framing project successfully, we’ll share some tips below that might help you in your project.

What Are the Two Types of Opening for a Garage Door?

Openings for a garage door are the rough opening and the finished opening. The rough opening is supposed to be slightly wider and higher than the actual size of the garage door you are going to install. This allows for space to install the frame. The final opening is usually the same size as the garage door. It should fit in and seal properly, so you don’t have excessive heat transfers between the openings.

Depending on the type of door, it can fit into the finished opening or roll up against it. The frame for these different types of doors differs in terms of design to allow for the operating mechanism. Most garage doors are designed to fig against the final opening.

How to Frame a Garage Door

Below we’ve prepared a drawing that you can use as a cheat sheet for your project. Feel free to download and use it as a guide. We’ll have some comments below as well to make it easier to understand and follow through. 

How to frame a garage door

Frame a Garage Door Like a Pro

For a complete framing process, you shall have to install a header, framing to fix to the track, and side jambs. You should ensure that the center bracket of the springs can be installed properly. Depending on your new garage door’s weight, you might need to install two 2×6 pieces from the header towards the ceiling to accommodate 2 sets of springs.  Follow the below steps to install your frame correctly.

1. Gather the materials.

Door framing needs several tools and utilities. You shall need a band or circular saw. It would be best if you used pressure-treated jambs for garage door framing. Pressure-treated lumber will offer the best longevity of your frame and will be less likely to crack during the installation. The space between the header and your garage ceiling and the sides of your rough opening needs to be lined using pressure-treated lumber as your frame will have to hold the weight of your garage door safely.

Garage door jambs can be made from wood or PVC. However, we strongly suggest using pressure-treated lumber for your project. The final opening dimensions should be tailored to make it the same or slightly smaller than the size of your garage door.

2. Take the measurements of the rough opening.

Before installing the framing that results in the final opening, the rough opening should be larger than your door. The extra space is utilized to fit in the final framing. The height of the rough opening, that is, the distance between the floor of your garage’s rough opening to the header, should be 1 1/2 inches taller than the height of the garage door you are planning to install. Remember, the final opening should always be the same or slightly smaller than your garage door to ensure a proper seal and prevent excessive heat transfer due to poor framing job.

3. Now install the header jamb.

The header jamb is installed at the top of the rough opening and makes up the final opening. The jambs make the final opening and should be fixed with ultimate preciseness if the garage door is going to fit. The header jamb should come first before the side jambs for proper installation.

Cut your wood jamb to the size of your rough opening’s header size. Fix the cut 2×4 lumber to the rough opening’s header using framing nails. The header should fit to cover the remaining distance between the garage door and the rough opening.

5. Proceed to install the side jambs.

At this point, you are ready to install the side jambs. Measure the distance from the floor of the opening to the ceiling. Measure and cut an exact piece of lumber.

Use framing nails, fix the side jambs in place, after fixing them, the width between them should match that of your garage door. Ensure you leave a small space between the side jambs and the surface of the floor. Note, start securing your side jambs from the bottom up, having your first anchor point at 7″ from the floor and the rest 21″ apart. Anchor points above the header should be offset to the side.

6. Prepare space for the center bracket.

The center bracket needs a place to attach at the top center of the door framing. Measure the distance from the installed head jamb to the ceiling. Cut that size of lumber and fix it at the center of your garage door header. It should be running from the center of the head jamb to the ceiling.

Note, if your garage door is heavy and requires 4 springs, you need to accommodate that by preparing 2 pieces of lumber in order to attach spring brackets.

Hiring a professional VS DIY

Framing a garage door is a pretty easy task for someone who has some experience working with wood, however, even a small miscalculation can lead to a serious waste of time and money as you discover your garage door won’t fit in a brand new frame, therefore it is always a good idea to hire a professional for framing and even installing a new garage door if you’re not 100% sure if you can handle this job.