I have a 78 inch opening between two studs to install exterior French doors in a load bearing wall. I have a 72 inch door on order (actual size is 71 1/2 inch) To get to the 72 inch opening, I was thinking of either installing 2 king studs to the existing king studs with 2 jack studs or installing 4 jack studs. So which would be better, 4 king studs or 4 jack studs.

  • Do you have a header across that span already being supported by jack studs? If so, how would you then add king studs?
    – mbeckish
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:36
  • There is no header now. I will be adding that. Basically, I have a 78 inch opening that I need to narrow to 72 inches. I have two existing studs that act as king studs right now. I can either do KKJ on each side or KJJ on each side. That will get me to 72.
    – David
    Jul 9, 2015 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


1 king and one jack per side, assuming it's not an unusual load above. If your header has space above, make the jack continue up to the plate.

Only caution is that even though the 6" fill looks good on paper, the slightest fatness in your framing materials coupled with a tiny bit of "out of plumb", might mean your door is a tight fit. Buy the dryest 2x material you can find.

  • That is a concern about being a tight fit. I'm not sure what else I can do. I was thinking of using a 1x2 and a 2x4 Jack stud which will leave me with about 1 1/2 inches of play on each side which I'm afraid will be too much.
    – David
    Jul 9, 2015 at 19:52
  • Rip two strips of 5/8 or 3/4" CDX plywood, and sandwich them between the studs, or use them to fill in the rough opening slightly.
    – cathode
    Jul 9, 2015 at 21:42
  • What @cathode said. One jack plus filler if you're concerned.
    – User95050
    Jul 10, 2015 at 0:10

I would put a small header across the entire 78" opening back nailing the header through the existing king studs, then put a single jack stud on either side at the exact width I need.

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