Jul 07,2014

Here’s the question I get most about basement framing basement doors…How wide do I frame the opening in the wall for my doors? This is a very good question! And…I have a very simple answer!

What size “rough opening” width do I frame my basement door?

So here’s what you do… You frame your door opening 2″ wider than the size door you are going to installing!

I’ll repeat that…You frame your door opening 2″ wider than whatever size door you are going to installing! Simple right? Here’s a few example door sizes showing how it works out:

  • Installing a 24″ door…Frame the opening width 26″
  • Installing a 30″ door…Frame the opening width 32″
  • Installing a 36″ door…Frame the opening width 38″

And so on.

What size “rough opening” height do I frame my basement door?

Next question about door framing…How high should the door opening be framed for my doors? This would be measuring from the concrete floor to the of the bottom of the”header” at the top of the framed door opening. This is also a good question with a REAL simple answer! The answer is: The framed opening for all standard basement door is 82″. From the concrete floor to the bottom of the header framing will always be 82″.

How To Frame For Basement Doors (and other basement door ideas)

Below is a quick video discussing door framing and rough opening sizes.

What if I’m installing a big 5′ or 6′ double door let’s say for a closet?

The same exact rough opening rules apply to whatever size door you are going to be installing, including the BIG BAD 4′, 5′ and 6′ “double door variety.

How To Frame For Basement Doors (and other basement door ideas)Let’s use a 5′ double door to do our figuring for the rough opening width size. A 5′ double door measures 60″ so the rough opening width of a 60″ wide door would be 62″.

60″ wide door + 2″ = 62″ (rough opening width). We just add 2″ to the door size just like any other standard size door. The height for double wide door will still be 82″ exactly like any other standard size door would be framed.

** Now occasionally I will frame my door header height at 82 1/2″ to 83″ just to be on the safe side. And I will only do this if the concrete floor is really uneven. It’s OK to be a 1/2″ to and 1″ higher for the door rough-opening height, but if you can help it NEVER be less than 82″.

That’s it for figuring the correct “Rough-opening” framing for standard sized basement doors!

 What if my ceiling height is less than 82″…Then what?

Here’s a common problem in basements. The height of the ceiling where you want to place your door is less than the required 82″ of height you need to frame so that a standard door will fit in the opening.

How To Frame For Basement Doors (and other basement door ideas)Well…YES this does suck! I believe that’s what I say every time this happens to me! So here’s what we do to remedy this unfortunate situation…WE CUT THE DOOR DOWN TO THE SIZE WE NEED TO MAKE IT FIT! So what does this mean for our door framing size? I’m glad you asked…your so inquisitive! Well…normally when this happens you are framing either under your duct-work trunks(heating and cooling runs) or your under a basement beam, or some other “low-hanging-fruit” above your head. What I do is just frame my wall under the low obstacle, as close to the bottom of the obstacle as I can get my wall to fit, and then I’ll ONLY FRAME THE DOOR ROUGH OPENING WIDTH, and forget about installing a header for the top the door opening!

What happens then is the Top Plate of the wall becomes the header height naturally. So whatever the height of the top plate is, this becomes the height of my rough door opening…period. So if it measure say…78″ from the floor to the bottom of my Top wall plate, that means my door opening header height has become 78″.

But how can this work when I need 82″ for a standard door to fit you ask? Well.. it means that the difference between the 82″ and 78″(that’s = 4″) will need cut off the bottom of the door and the door jamb frame when you set the door later in the project, so that the door will then fit!

Recap…So just frame under those Low Obstacles what ever the height is…it is, and you will simply cut the door to fit when it comes time to set your doors and trim the basement.

Below a good video to help you with learning how to cut basement doors!

Good luck with your basement door framing…Your going to be famous!

How To Frame For Basement Doors (and other basement door ideas)

How To Frame For Basement Doors (and other basement door ideas)

Posted in: Basement Finishing Articles, Basement Framing

DIY Basement Training

Basement Finishing University

Basement Finishing UniversityA membership to Basement Finishing University includes everything you need to finish your own basement:

  • Step-by-Step Basement Finishing Videos
  • Material and Tool Lists (for every stage of the job)
  • One-on-One Project Consulting With Me, Eddie, 7 Days a Week
  • 8 Cool Basement Designing Videos
  • And Much More Inside the BFU Members Area…

Let’s Get Started

Sign up For Videos

Delivered New Monthly

Plus get your free basement cost calculator and find out what your finished basement will cost you!

Basement Finishing

On YouTube

View Our Videos

View more DIY Training Courses

  • Basement Finishing
  • Bathroom Remodel University
  • Kitchen Remodel University
  • Bar Building PRO