I bought an inexpensive 32" prehung entry door to replace an old wood door in my detached garage. After removing the old door and some really bad furring work, the rough opening is just shy of 36" which means I have about 2.5" of extra horizontal space.

I'm not going to make that up with shims but I could fur it down. On the other hand, the existing framing is not in great shape; I could tear it out and reframe.

What signs would make it clear that I need to reframe, rather than working with the existing framing?

There are a few things I don't like about the current framing:

  • The jack studs are splitting (worse on the left:


    than on the right:

  • The opening is a bit out of plumb (but not too badly -- the difference is 5/8" from slab to header)
  • The jack stud on the right is warped:

The garage is unfinished and the siding is mismatched old boards that I don't much care about, so extra finish work isn't a big deal if I were to reframe. I expect that some pros will take the position "when in doubt, reframe it" but keep in mind this is a DIY project so it's not my reputation or livelihood on the line, just my pride and the functionality of the door.

  • 1
    How difficult would it be to detach the siding from the existing siding and reattach it to replacement framing? If the garage is now sided with stucco, it's a much larger project than if it's now sided with T1-11 panels. Also, what do you mean by "not in great shape"? A photo would probably help here. Aug 26, 2014 at 19:50

2 Answers 2


Now that I've seen the photos, it's clear to me that at least the jack studs should be replaced; fortunately, their replacement should be fairly easy. The one on the latch side could be replaced by a 4x4, but it should have a tiny "sill plate" attached to half its bottom end with contruction adhesive because otherwise it'll overhang the existing sill plate.

If you don't reframe at this point, you're going to have a hard time keeping fasteners (nails, screws) in place - especially in that left-side jack stud, which is so badly split & weathered.

  • Any particular reason you'd put the 4x4 on the latch side rather than the hinge side?
    – Air
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:59
  • 5
    @AirThomas... Yep - the hinge side is subjected to the door's weight, so it needs better (nearer) support from the full-height stud behind that jack stud. The door on the latch side, on the other hand, is subjected to the impact of the door's being closed hard, and so needs more inertia to withstand that impact. Aug 27, 2014 at 16:08

I would replace all the old framing that is split up like that. The header at the top of the opening also looks to be in pretty poor shape.

From this so far it seems like a complete reframing is in order.

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