Rough Openings and Handing Doors


In our last blog post, Why Do Metal Doors Rot? we discussed how the materials and construction of your door will determine how long it lasts.  Prior to that, we discussed Measuring Commercial Doors & Frames, introducing our customers to our Field measurement Sheets and the questions needing to be asked to ensure you get the right door the first time.

In this month’s blog post, we though it would be good to discuss the “Sizing of Rough Openings” for frames and “Handing Doors” in this months blog.

Rough Openings for Frames

Drywall Frames

Drywall frames have a return bend, designed to easily slide over your Gypsum board finished built walls. This type of frame caps the wall leaving 1” inside the frame. When framing-in for the door and frame the rough opening must have 2” more in width and 1” more in height than the required door size.

For example, if you want a 3070 (36”x 84”) door and frame in a sheetrock wall, the rough opening required will be 36” + 2” x 84” + 1”. Simply stated, the rough opening required for this is 38” x 85”. B & M has put together installation guides for this type of frame, which includes the rough opening size.

Masonry Frames

Masonry frames are installed by first attaching them to the floor. The wall is then built to the frame for interior sheetrock walls. When using Masonry frames in cinderblock walls, the rough opening must have 4” more in width and 2” more in height. The example for this is if you want a 3070 (36”x 84”) door and frame in a cinderblock wall, then the rough opening required is 36” + 4” x 84” + 2”. Simply stated, the rough opening required for this is 40” x 86”. This is due to the fact that the frame will butt against the cinderblock wall. B & M has put together installation guides for this type of frame including the rough opening size.

Handing Doors

B & M has put together drawings to help with handing doors. We have it on the back of our business cards as well as on our “Field measurement Sheets”. The one part of handing doors, which gives most people problems, is that we deal with reverse handing. This is incase the door requires a vision kit, louver, mortise locks or for pairs of doors with astragals but don’t let this confuse you. Handing doors is really very easy.

First, just keep a mindset that you are always outside trying to get into the building or a room.

Second, you always move your hand across your body to open a door. Example: if the lock is on the left side of the door then you reach across your body with your right hand to open the door. This makes the door either right hand (RH) or right hand reverse (RHR).

Third, which way does the door swing? Does the door swing to you or away into the building or room? If the door swings away from you it is regular handed. If the door swings to you then it is a reverse handed swing. In the example above, if the door swings away then it is a RH. If it swings to you it is RHR.

Have Questions?

There are a lot of decisions and measurements required to ensure a properly installed and handed door. We love answering questions about metal doors and helping our customers choose the right products

Have questions about rough openings or handing a door?  Contact us today!