Rough Openings | Standard Framing Dimensions
Written by Todd Fratzel.
Framing Rough Openings
Framing rough openings for windows and doors (standard door and windows openings) is really straight forward if you follow some simple dimensional rules. For standard wood framed construction the rough openings for doors and windows is typically the actual unit size plus 2-1/2 inches in height and width.
Standard Door Rough Openings
If you’re going to frame a rough opening for a door then you’ll need to know the unit size. For example, let’s say we want to frame a 6/8 x 3/0 front entry door. The 6/8 stands for 6′-8″ tall and the 3/0 stands for 3′-0″ wide. Therefore the rough opening would be 82-1/2″ tall by 38-1/2″ wide.
82-1/2 inches also happens to be the standard “header height” for windows and doors. If you’re a novice framer then this is the height of the BOTTOM of the window and door headers. This is also the top of the jack studs. Which means the jack studs are 81 inches long (typically).
Standard Window Rough Openings
Window rough openings are framed in a similar way to door openings. Again I like to use examples so let’s say we’ve got a 3′ wide by 4′ tall window unit then the rough opening would be 38-1/2″ wide and 50-1/2″ tall. Now, most window manufactures actually specify a standard rough opening which is typically a bit tighter so it’s best to follow the manufacturers recommendations when possible.
As I mentioned above with reference to doors, the window header height will typically match the doors which is 82-1/2 inches for a 6/8 door. The jack studs end up the same as the door jack studs and the cripple studs can then be calculated by subtracting the window rough opening height from the jack stud height minus an additional 1-1/2″ for the sill plate.
Non-Standard Rough Openings
The rules above work well for most standard windows and doors. However, you’ll need special rough openings for:
- Fire rated doors.
- Bi-Fold closet doors.
- Bypass closet doors.
- Slider doors.
- Pocket doors.
- Out-swing patio doors.
Good luck framing and remember to keep your openings square!!
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