How to Install a Door Header

A door header is a critical component of the door frame which supports the structures above the door. The header is normally installed while building the frame of the house. When new doors are installed, new frames need to be installed along with the header. Installing the header is an easy task if the steps given below are followed.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Lumber (2 by 4)
  • Framing nails (2 1/2 inches)
  • Plywood (1/2 inch)
  • Lumber (2 by 12)
  • Framing nails (3 1/2 inches)
  • Hammer
  • Dust mask
  • 4 foot level
  • Circular saw
  • Safety glasses

Step 1 - Nailing

Nail 2 jack studs and king studs per side. The jack studs are usually 82 inches, which is equal to the height of the door frame. Ensure that the king studs are plumb vertically level with the level, before nailing.

Step 2 - Making the Header

To make the header, cut 2 pieces of 2 by 12 lumber in length using the circular saw to separate the king studs. Then cut a piece of 1/2 inch plywood and place it between the 2, 2 by 12 pieces. Place all the edges and nail it together from both the sides.

Step 3 - Placing the Header

The new header should be set on the jack studs and the edges to the king studs should be flushed. Use the 3 1/2 inch framing nails and nail the header in place through the king studs. Ensure that the header directly supports the horizontal 2 by 4 wall frame top plates.

Step 4 - Final Adjustments

Install the cripple studs that are supported by a horizontal 2 by 4 lumber to fill the space below the header. This is necessary for doorways in walls that are higher than 8 feet. Now the finished rough frame should be about 81 to 82 inches measuring from the floor to the bottom of the frame. You have successfully installed a door header.