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
Door on sidewall
Just remember to build with the short side of the angle up toward the siding. Otherwise there is no difference in the door construction.
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.
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.
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
This extra half inch makes the total width to 3 ½ inches, the same as the height of a 2×4.
Make the inner door frame
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.