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Framing A Window Or Door Opening

General Tips

Framing A Window Or Door Opening

window and door framing

The 1st step is to buy the door or window then follow the instructions. What you are looking for is the size of the estimated opening, the distance between the pieces of framing that support the door or window. It will be slightly larger than the size of the door or window.

Remove the trim with a pry bar and hammer, then protect the floor with drop cloths. Cover interior doorways with plastic to confine dust. Shut off power and water that may run through the wall. Remove electrical cover plates and heating duct covers if they are located in the area to be removed.

Mark the area of the wall you will remove. Put a safety glasses and a dust mask. On drywall, cut along the layout line with a utility knife. On plaster, cut the line with a circular saw, cutting through the lath but not into the studs. Remove the plaster or drywall surface with a hammer and pry bar.

All exterior walls are load bearing, so you will need to provide support for the floor and roof above while you work. Begin by using a stud finder to find the joists nearest the are you’re opening. Brace them with jack posts and a 36-inch 2×6, which is long enough to span the joists. Interior walls that have a double top plate are also load bearing and will need the same support.

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Remove the studs. First relocate wires and pipes that are in the way. Cut them at top and bottom with a reciprocating saw or push the studs from side to side and pry them out with a pry bar. You may be able to reuse some of the material for jack or cripple studs when you frame the opening.

Lay out the framing on the soleplate. Start by drawing lines marking the edges of the rough opening. Measure 3 inches outside the opening, and draw a line marking the outside edge of the king stud you will use to help frame the opening.

Toenail the king studs in place, with four 8d nails at each end. Then cut a jack stud long enough to reach from the soleplate to the top of the rough opening. Nail it to the king studs you just installed. On non-load-bearing walls, nail a 2×4 header across the top of the trimmer. On load-bearing walls, nail a built-up header in place. Cut short short pieces of 2×4 to fit between the top of the header and the top plate. Nail pieces with 16d nails and then toenail them in place with four 8d nails.

1. If framing a door, cut through and remove the soleplate.
2. If framing a window, mark the bottom of the rough opening on the jack studs. Cut a rough sill to fit snugly between the jack studs, and wedge it in place. Make sure it’s level and toenail it in place. Cut cripple studs to fit between the sill and soleplate; One under each end, and one every 16 inches.

Nail the cripple studs in place.
1. For Doors toenail cripple studs between the header and the top plate every 16 inches.
2. For windows install cripple studs every 16 inches between the sill and the soleplate and the header and the top plate.

When you are ready to install the door or window, remove the wall section behind it. Start by drilling through the wall at at each corner of the rough opening. Put the blade of a reciprocating saw in one of the holes and cut along the trimmer until you reach the next hole. Continue until you have cut out the sheathing.


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