Step 5: Make The Door

This door construction method saves time and materials because you are using the materials cut out from the rough opening that would otherwise be thrown away.

You will make an outer frame which is built in the wall and the inner frame which is the actual door. You will frame and sheet these two simultaneously.

Later in step 7 you will cut the door out.

This is the most complicated part of building your shed. It’s not difficult, it’s just lots of details. But if you follow the steps closely you will have few if any problems.

There are 2 places where you can get in trouble here

  • Not properly locating your cut lines before you nail your siding in place.
  • Nailing the door to the bottom plate so that it will not open.

Otherwise just follow the steps for a strong and reliable door.

You can put the door in either the gable end wall or in a sidewall. The only difference is which king stud you will use.

Door on gable end

garden shed end doorFor a door in the gable end wall use a regular king stud.

Door on sidewall

storage shed side doorFor a door in a sidewall use a king stud with an angle on it.

Just remember to build with the short side of the angle up toward the siding. Otherwise there is no difference in the door construction.

Double doors

double 6ft side doorsIf you need doors wider than 60 inches then you should make double doors. Wide doors will be more of a maintenance problem because they are heavier and will sag more and sag sooner.

But if you make double doors you will have the additional width without the potential door sagging problem.

I will handle double doors in a separate post.

Motorcycle shed

If you plan on using your shed for motorcycle parking then you might want to make the door about 60 inches wide. You might even think about adding a second door to make the shed drive through.

Wider or narrower doors

These instructions will make a door with a rough opening width of 43 inches. This is usually big enough for most large items like wheelbarrows or lawnmowers.

To make the door wider or narrower just adjust the length of the door header to give your desired rough opening size then add or subtract the same amount to the horizontal cross pieces and horizontal trim pieces.

Door location

You can place the door anywhere on any of the walls you like. However I recommend that you place it on some increment of 12 inches. Then the location of the vertical uprights are covered by Figure 5b.

Otherwise just add an additional vertical upright to the inner door frame where the siding breaks.

Make the outer door frame

sandwiched door headerCut jack and king studs, spacers strips and header. Build a sandwiched door header by nailing a piece of scrap siding between two 2x4s.

This extra half inch makes the total width to 3 ½ inches, the same as the height of a 2×4.

door header jack and king studsNail the jack studs to the king studs then nail them to the sandwiched header.
outer door frameNail the outer door frame and the two outside studs to the top and bottom plates.

Make the inner door frame

spacers in door frameCut six) 3×3 inch spacers from the triangular scraps of siding you trimmed from the gable ends.

Put the spacers loosely inside the outer frame, 2 into both top corners and one along the side of each bottom corner. These are to keep the inside door frame from shifting until you get it nailed to the siding.

Measure and cut two cross pieces and three uprights. Lay all the pieces in the frame to check the fit.

assemble inner door frameRemove the five pieces, lay them on the floor and assemble with screws.

Measure and attach the two center cross pieces half way top to bottom..

Verify that this assembly lays flat and is not warped in any direction.

measure and record cut linesLay this door frame inside the wall frame with the spacers at the top and sides. It should fit nicely and not move around.

Install the truss and remember the ½ inch spacer below the collar beam.

Check for square by comparing diagonal measurements.


Measure and record the distance from the center of the middle stud to the inside edge of the rough opening in both directions.

These measurements will locate your vertical cut lines after the siding is nailed on.

do not nail the bottom plateLay the first piece of siding in place. Square it up to the center stud and check for proper overhang on the bottom.

Put a single nail in the door frame’s bottom cross piece. But don’t nail into the bottom plate because doing so will nail the door shut.

Put a single nail in the center door cross piece and top door cross piece, and in the top plate.

Put a nail at the outside ends of the top and bottom plates.


mark cut line for top of doorMake a mark 1/2 inch above the bottom of the door header. This mark must be visible when the second piece of siding is installed. Lay the next piece of siding in place and put 4 nails in to match the nails in the other piece of siding.

Then put one nail into the end of the top and bottom plates. Snap a chalk line along the top and bottom plates and along the top of the truss where you will trim it.

Nail across the top plate only, do not nail the bottom plate at this time. And nail the outside studs and along the truss inside the chalk line.

Locate your cut lines

all of your cut linesPlace a pencil mark at the top and bottom of the siding half the rough opening width plus ½ inch in either direction (from the measure you took above just before you installed the first piece of siding).

Snap a chalk line on both these marks. These are your two vertical cut lines.

Measure from the top of the siding to the mark you made ½ inches above the bottom of the door header and transfer this measurement to both ends of the wall and snap a chalk line. This is your horizontal cut line for the top of the door.

Measure from the top of the siding to the middle of the door center cross piece as evidenced by the nail heads. Transfer these measurements to both sides of the wall and snap a chalk line.

Now you should have:

  • Two vertical chalk lines
  • Four horizontal chalk lines
  • Plus the chalk lines for the truss

Inner door trim

inside vertical trimMeasure and cut a piece of trim to fit between the two vertical cut lines at the top cut line. Place the top edge of this piece at the top cut line and nail it ¾ inch from its bottom edge and within two inches of each end.

Measure and cut two vertical pieces to run from the bottom of this piece to the bottom edge of the siding. Nail these ¾ inch from their inside edges from top to bottom to within two inches of the bottom plate chalk line.

horizontal trimMeasure and cut the last two horizontal trim pieces.

Position the middle piece of trim so that it’s centered on the chalk line and nail it down the middle.

Position the bottom piece of trim so the lower edge lies on the bottom plate chalk line and nail ¾ inches from its top edge.

Outer door trim

outside trimCut five spacers from scrap trim about 1 inch wide. Lay two of these spacers along the top trim piece and the other three on the outside of the first vertical piece of trim.

Lay a piece of trim horizontal along the top two spacers and another piece vertical along the other three spacers and pull them tight into the spacers.

Measure and cut the vertical piece of trim so that it extends between the bottom of the siding to 7/16 inch above the top edge of the top horizontal trim, as allowed by the spacer. Nail this in place.

Move the three spacers to the other vertical trim piece and measure, cut and install the same way. Then measure, cut and install a horizontal piece across the top of the two vertical pieces you just installed.

The door trim is now complete.

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