I have a door in need of replacement. The door frame seems to be damaged so I am considering replacing it instead of just replacing the door.

I saw resources where the rough opening is framed wood, in this case if I remove the door frame the rough opening will mostly be cement/masonry. Is it acceptable to get a door with the door frame and mount it directly to these elements or should I frame wood against the masonry first and then install the door frame inside of the wood frame?

I'm not sure what is viable since framing first would reduce the size.

The dimensions of the rough opening are about 7 ft tall x 34" wide(cement to cement).

The current door is roughly 81 1/2" x 31 1/2".

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2 Answers 2


It's totally acceptable to have a rough opening that is not wood. You don't want to fasten wood to concrete then your new door to wood, since that frame-to-opening fastening is where most break-ins occur. You want to be able to drive loooong screws through the hinge, through the frame, and into the opening material in a couple of places, to secure against break-ins.

Presently, the de-facto standard concrete or brick fastener in the US is "TapCon screws." (See www.tapcon.com) These are available in a wide variety of sizes in pretty much every "big box" store. If you won't or cannot use them, there are other options available (powder-actuated, wedge-anchor, lead anchor, etc.) but I don't know what they all are for you. Be careful, however, when you are fastening to bricks. It's easy to go into the mortar between courses of brick, but that same mortar is not very strong. And the bricks are fragile, so ... yeah.

Big box stores in the US sell doors that change size in increments of 2 inches. In general, the door size is 2" smaller than the rough opening. So a 32" door would want a 34" rough opening, which you say you have. Keep in mind that you need to be using the smallest part of the R/O for sizing, unless you want to grind it back.

You can buy wood, steel, or fiberglass doors. It looks like your door opens directly to the outdoors, but it's not clear what that exposure is. (Northern or western exposures tend to be wet in the northern hemisphere.) If you have moisture issues, or if the old door shows rot (especially near the bottom), then you might want to avoid buying a wood replacement door. (Cost will be a factor, of course.)

Bricks are notorious for passing water inward. You might need to take extra steps to prevent water behind the bricks from penetrating your new doorframe. (Ideally, the people who installed the original doorframe took those steps, but you never know.) Check on this after you pull the old door, before you install the new one.

Finally, be aware that doors are very "finicky". Door replacement can be super easy, or an incredible pain in the tail. Plan to spend as long as it takes "fiddling" with the door to get it level and plumb. Be sure to by a sealant for outside the door frame, especially the bottom. And you probably want plastic shims, if moisture is an issue, rather than wood shims.


You're right in wanting to replace the frame along with the door. Your opening is 34" by 84" and the stock sizes of door/frame are 32" by 80" or 36" by 80". I'd be thinking of getting a 32" by 80" and frame additional wood to make up the size and shim. This also makes it easier to seal the space betwee the bricks and wood. You could also get a door/frame custom made for your opening and leave a small space for shimming as needed but this requires pretty exact measuring and leave little room for adjustments unless you're a 4th generation carpenter.

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    I would get the 32x80 door and use pressure treated lumber to fill in the rest of the gap. That will help protect the door frame from moisture being wicked up by the concrete portion of the wall.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 12 at 16:30
  • @FreeMan - with 32x80 there wont be a gap on sides. In fact some might not fit as most jambs add 2". He is going to have to measure very very carefully his opening and the doors at the store. He will need a header. I would buy a composite door here and shave off a tiny bit if needed. He also needs trim/flashing around the door to protect it better.
    – DMoore
    Commented Apr 12 at 19:33

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