Building the Pedestrian Door

The pedestrian door is good practice to prepare you for building the garage doors. When you get to the wall that will have the people-door, you will need to frame that area specially.


You need to know how large of a door you will be using, and it's exact measurements. A mistake here could be very difficult to fix later. The door frame should be less than 81-1/2" tall. If it's taller than that, there won't be enough height to use a 2x12 header, you might have to use a 2x10 header instead.

Framing for a pedestrian door consists of several parts:

  1. We assume that the door comes with it's own frame. Either that, or you will build a frame yourself. We need to know the dimensions of that frame, so we can make the correct opening. 
  2. We start with a pair of King Studs on either side of the door. These are standard 92-5/8" studs going from the sill plate to the top plate, and they are placed approx 1-3/4" from where the door frame will be, because we have jack studs going on the insides of these, plus we need a small amount of wiggle room to true the door with spacers and wedges.
  3. Between the King Studs, up against the top plate, we place a Header. The header is made of two pieces of 2x12 with OSB or plywood placed in between the pieces to make them the same width as a 2x6, or 2x4 if that's what you're using for studs. So, the header is a sandwich basically. Professionals might use something smaller than 2x12, but for us amateurs it makes sense to use a header that's stronger than we would ever possibly need. The header is a load-bearing component, so it must be well-built.
  4. Nail the header to the king studs and the top plate.
  5. Inside the king studs, we place a Jack Stud on each side. The jack stud is cut so that it fits snugly between the foundation and the header. It should be approximately 81-1/2" tall, but you'll want to measure to be exact.
  6. Once it is all framed up and you are happy, cut the sill plate at the width of the door frame. You don't want to be stepping over the sill plate, the door frame should have an aluminum threshold and that will sit directly on the foundation.

The purpose of this header design is to transfer the roof's weight around the door to the king studs and jack studs. There should be some excess space at the sides and top to allow for proper adjustment of the door. There might be a lot of space between the top of the door frame and header, in that case just fill it with a 1x4 or whatever fits, and use spacers/wedges for final adjustment. It isn't that important. We're not installing the actual door at this point anyway, so don't stress about it yet.

This photo shows the door opening with the king studs, jack studs, header, and top plate. The sill plate has been cut away: 


The extra studs on either side of the king studs are not related to the door framing, they are simply a continuation of the 16" OC spacing of the rest of the wall framing.

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