So, you have a new garage, or perhaps, you need to renovate an old, beaten-up garage door. One of the first questions that always come up is: how to frame a garage door?
At least, it should be the first one you’re asking before you decide to install a new garage door. If you have a new garage, the door framing would be part of the plan. But it’s also possible that you’ll need to deal with framing even when only replacing an existing door, especially if there are signs of warping and other damages.
So, to make this crucial step easier, we’ll break down the process of how to frame a garage door with easy-to-follow steps and tips.
Changing the Garage Door Frame?
Thinking of changing the door frame in your garage? Before anything else, you need to make sure that you have everything laid out, specifically the required measurements for your new garage door.
One vital thing you need to understand first is the rough opening or rough framing for garage doors. The ‘rough framing’ is the allocated size for your garage door before the finished framing gets installed.
Rule of Thumb:
- The rough framing should be slightly larger than your garage door. It is to leave enough room to put the door frame in place.
- The finished opening – the size of the opening after you put the door framing – should be the same size as your new garage door. A slightly smaller size will also work.
One other thing to take note of is the proper sizing of the garage door. Conventional garages often have a 7-feet garage door. It is an appropriate size for smaller vehicles, but it’s another thing if you own an SUV or a truck or thinking of buying either. In that case, you might want to decide to get a larger 8-feet door before you start framing.
Step by Step: How to Frame a Garage Door?
Once you have the required measurements set, it’s time to get your garage’s rough opening ready to get fitted with the new garage door frame. Now, let’s get started.
Step 1: Gather the Supplies
Gather what you’ll need to frame the garage door before starting the project. Essentially, you’ll need to install a head jamb, two rows of side door jambs, a center bracket, and the frames where you will install the garage door track.
First, decide what type of material you want to use for the door jambs. Will you use lumber or PVC garage door jambs?
Typically, wood is cheaper, while PVC is more long-lasting and resistant to most damages like rotting and decay. But if you factor in the temperature, especially if you live in an extreme climate, PVC might not be viable. The material expands when hot and contract when it’s cold, and these can create problems to your garage door later on.
The next thing to do is get your garage door measurements and start cutting pieces for your jambs. You’ll need the basic tools for that: a pencil, tape measure, a bandsaw, or a circular saw.
Just a Quick Tip: Typically, a 2×6 or 2×8 inches lumber would suffice for garage door jambs.
Step 2: Measure the Rough Opening for the Garage Door
Before installing the door frame, the rough opening for the garage door should be the right size.
You can use this as a guide.
- The garage opening should be 3-inches wider than the size of your garage door. So, if you’re planning to install a 10-feet wide garage door, the rough opening should be at least 9-feet and 3-inches.
- The rough height of the opening should be 1.5-inches taller than your garage door. So, for a standard 8-feet garage door to fit an SUV, the garage header should be 8-feet 1.5-inches from the finished floor.
- The head jamb should be 9-inches longer than the door width. So, it’s around 6-inches longer than the width of the garage opening.
Step 3: Install the Head Jamb
You need to install two parts of door jambs for your garage door: the head jamb and the two side jambs.
The head jamb or the top header is the one you need to place on top of the doorway and what you need to install first. It’s vital to put it first, so each side jambs will rest flush against the head jamb without a problem.
Again, your head jamb should be the width of your garage door plus 9 inches. So, cut your head jamb material, either a 2×6 or 2×8 lumber of PVC according to this size. Next, you’ll need to attach it to the header and secure the jamb in place with framing nails.
Ensure that the thickness of your head jamb will cover the difference between the garage door height and the height of the rough opening.
Once done, you should have the measurement between the finished floor and the bottom of the head jamb should be the same as the height of your new garage door.
Step 4: Measure and Install the “Goal Post”
In a typical door framing, adding a goal post isn’t necessary. But for a garage door, especially if you plan to have an overhead door – some garage owners don’t.
This job includes installing pieces of framing where you can mount the springs and track for your overhead garage door. It will keep the new garage door safe and long-lasting.
The measurement for the goal post is the height between the finished floor to your garage ceiling.
You will need to install two of these, so cut two pieces of the appropriate height. Then, attach them to the inner face of the garage wall, running up against each side of the door header you installed in Step-3 using framing nails.
Step 5: Measure and Install the Side Jambs for the Garage Door
Lastly, you’ll need to cut two pieces of your jamb material with the height of your new opening (with the head jamb installed).
The size of your side jambs should be similar to the height of your new garage wall minus ¼-inch. With the reduced size, the bottom of the side jambs shouldn’t be hitting the ground.
Attach two side jambs on each side of the opening, one end hitting the bottom of the jamb header you installed in Step-3.
After installing the side jambs and securing them with framing nails, you should have the measurement of the finished opening in the same exact dimension as your new garage door.
Step 6: Fasten the Center Pad
If you followed Step-4 for an overhead garage door, this last step on the garage door frame replacement is vital. The center pad or the center bracket framing is responsible for holding your garage door’s spring system, so it needs to be extra secure.
The center bracket runs from the top of your head jamb and into the ceiling. Measure the distance, then cut a piece of your framing material at the exact same height. Install it vertically at the center of your head jamb and keep it fastened well.
Tips on How to Frame a Garage Door Opening
Here are a couple of extra tips on how to frame a garage door properly:
- Garage door frame replacement is a pretty easy job, especially for those who have experience with wood. But any miscalculation can cause unnecessary damage and a serious waste of time. You want to ensure that you get those calculations right the first time, and it won’t hurt to recheck measurements as you go.
- If you’re building the garage door from scratch, you’ll want to wait for the walls to finish before deciding to install the head and side jambs.
- Don’t forget to cut your side jambs with ¼-inch on Step-5. It shouldn’t reach the finished garage floor once installed. Otherwise, you risk the material from wicking moisture and an eventual rot, especially when using lumber.
- If you opted to use lumber for the garage door frame, use anything sturdy but avoid treated lumbers at all costs. They will only rust your steel door and eat holes in all aluminum parts.
Do garage doors come with frames?
Not necessarily. Many garage doors get sold as door panels alone, but you can also find some that include panels and door jambs. Still, framing a garage from start to finish shouldn’t be a difficult project with the step-by-step guide above.
How much does framing a garage door header cost?
The garage door header should be longer than the width of your new garage door. To be exact, its height should be equal to your door width plus 9 inches. So, if you plan to get a 1-car garage door that is 8-feet wide, your garage door header should be 8-feet and 9-inches long.
What do you call the trim around a garage door?
The garage door frame trim you see around the door panel is called a door jamb: head jamb and two pieces of side jambs. They are trim pieces covering the roughly framed opening of your garage door. Some others also call these trims garage wrap or garage liner, which can be PVC, metal, or wood.