Order of Operations: Installing Door Frames Before Drywall?

Yes, typically, door frames get installed after the drywall has been hung and taped. However, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to install them beforehand. Here are some points to consider:
  • Installing door frames before drywall can be beneficial if you need to test the fit of the door or adjust the opening before the drywall is installed. This can save time and prevent the need for major adjustments later on.
  • If you do decide to install the door frames before the drywall, make sure to protect them from getting damaged during the rest of the construction process. Cover them with plastic sheets or tape them up to keep them scratch-free.
  • Installing door frames after the drywall is finished will ensure that the doors are clean and free from any debris or cuts from the installation process.
  • Another benefit of waiting until the drywall is finished is that you can paint the door frames to match the walls, creating a more seamless look.
  • Ultimately, the decision on when to install door frames will depend on the project and the specific needs of the space. Consult with your contractor to determine the best course of action.
  • By considering all of these factors, you can make an informed decision on whether to install door frames before or after drywall, ensuring that you have a clean and damage-free finished product.
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    Do Door Frames Get Installed Before Drywall?

    Timing of Door Frame Installation

    When constructing or renovating a home, the question always arises: In what order should different elements be installed? One common query is whether door frames should be installed before or after drywall. The truth is, it depends on the specific situation. However, the majority of interior doors are installed after the drywall has been hung and taped. Door frames can be installed before the drywall is complete, but there are some risks involved, which we will go into further detail later.

    Advantages of Installing Door Frames After Drywall

    One of the main benefits of installing door frames following the drywall is that the doors will be clean and less likely to get damaged. If the door frames are installed before the drywall, it’s possible that the drywall mud and texture can land on the frames, and these will need to be sanded down before the doors are installed. This process can damage the door frames, which will need to be repaired or replaced, causing potential delays and additional costs. Another advantage of installing door frames after drywall is that it’s easier to mark and cut the frames to fit the opening precisely. By measuring the opening after the drywall is installed, the door frames can be customized to fit the exact dimensions of the wall. This precision ensures that the doors will hang correctly and function properly.

    How to Install Door Frames Before Drywall

    If you decide to install door frames before the drywall is complete, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some steps to follow: 1. Make sure the rough opening is the correct size: Measure the studs carefully to ensure that the rough opening is the exact size that you want. This is important because it’s harder to make adjustments once the drywall is installed.
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    2. Install the door frames: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the frames. At this point, just install the frames and the header, leaving the vertical studs where the drywall will be installed. 3. Install the drywall: Install the drywall up to the edge of the door frames, but do not cover the frames. Once the drywall is installed, tape and mud the joints as usual.

    Risks of Installing Door Frames Before Drywall

    While installing door frames before drywall can be done, there are risks involved. By installing the frames early, there is a higher chance of them getting damaged during construction. The frames may get dirty, scratched, or dented from drywall mud, paint, or tools, or even from workers walking into them. Repairs may be necessary, causing potential delays, additional costs, or worse, not being able to repair them at all. Another risk is that the space between the frame and studs may shrink once the drywall is installed. If this happens, the frame may be too small to fit the actual door, causing issues during assembly.

    Planning Ahead for Door Frame Installation

    It’s essential to plan ahead when installing door frames to ensure the final construction goal is achieved. Some tips for planning include: 1. Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Follow the installation and timing outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 2. Communicate with the contractor: Discuss the installation process with your contractor. If you’re unsure, get their opinion, and they can advise on the best course of action. 3. Ensure that the rough opening is correct: As mentioned earlier, make sure that the rough opening for the door frame is the exact size and that there is room for the door to open without hitting an adjacent wall or obstruction.
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    Getting Professional Help with Door Frame Installation

    To ensure successful door frame installation, it’s recommended to work with experienced professionals who understand the ins and outs of the process and can guide you through the steps. Experienced professionals have the necessary knowledge to address any complications, such as uneven floors, walls, or ceilings that may complicate frame installation.

    Tips for Protecting Door Frames During Drywall Work

    If door frames are installed before the drywall and potential damage needs to be avoided, some tips to follow include: 1. Cover the frames: Cover the frames with plastic or masking paper to protect them from mud, paint, or any other damage during drywall installation. 2. Marking the frames: Mark the frames to ensure that they are not painted or coated with drywall mud. 3. Cleaning: Clean the frames regularly to keep them free of drywall dust and debris.


    In conclusion, it’s common to install door frames after the drywall has been hung and taped. This ensures that the frames remain clean and that the doors can be installed without delays or additional costs. However, it’s possible to install the frames before hanging drywall, although this involves greater risks and complications. Whether before or after drywall, it’s important to plan carefully, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and take the necessary measures to protect the frames from any potential damage.

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