How to Build a Doorway Header: Step-by-Step Guide for a Strong and Stylish Entrance

Greetings, Reader! Are you looking to enhance your home’s entrance with a sturdy and visually appealing doorway header? Building a doorway header is a rewarding project that can add both structural integrity and aesthetic charm to your doorway. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to dive into the world of home improvement, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of creating a doorway header that will elevate the look of your home. So roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and let’s get started!

how to build a doorway header

Understanding the Importance of a Doorway Header

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of building a doorway header, let’s understand why it’s such a critical element for any door frame. A doorway header, also known as a lintel, serves as a load-bearing member that supports the weight of the structure above the door. It helps distribute the load evenly, preventing any structural issues that may arise over time.

Additionally, a well-designed and skillfully crafted doorway header can significantly enhance the aesthetics of your entrance. It can add a touch of elegance, create visual symmetry, and make a statement, transforming a simple door into a focal point of your home’s exterior. So, with both structural and aesthetic appeals, a doorway header is indeed a worthy addition to your home.

Gathering Materials and Tools


Before you embark on your doorway header construction journey, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials. Here’s a comprehensive list of items you’ll require:

  • Pressure-treated lumber or engineered wood beams
  • Plywood or oriented strand board (OSB)
  • Construction adhesive
  • Wood screws or nails
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw or miter saw
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Drill/driver

Once you have all these materials ready, you can proceed to the actual construction of your doorway header.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Doorway Header

Step 1: Measure and Mark

The first step is to accurately measure and mark the location where you want your doorway header. Take into account the size of your door and the desired height of your header. Use a tape measure and a level to ensure precise measurements and markings.

Once you have marked the spots, it’s time to prepare the opening.

Step 2: Create the Opening

Using a circular saw or a reciprocating saw, carefully cut through the drywall or sheathing to create the opening for your doorway. Take caution to avoid damaging any electrical or plumbing lines that might be concealed within the wall.

After you have created the opening, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Install the Jack Studs

Now it’s time to install the jack studs, which will provide support for your header. Measure the height of the opening and cut two jack studs accordingly. Ensure that the jack studs fit snugly against the floor and ceiling plates.

Secure the jack studs by nailing or screwing them into place. Double-check their vertical alignment using a level.

Putting the Finishing Touches

Your doorway header is almost complete! Now, it’s time to add the finishing touches to ensure both structural stability and visual appeal.

Step 8: Attach Plywood or OSB

To provide additional strength to your header, attach a layer of plywood or OSB to the front and back surfaces. Apply construction adhesive to the wood studs and press the plywood/OSB firmly into place. Secure it further with wood screws or nails.


Congratulations, you’ve successfully built a stylish and sturdy doorway header! Now, stand back and admire your handiwork. Your newly constructed doorway header not only adds architectural interest, but it also ensures the long-term structural integrity of your entrance. Feel proud of your achievement, and don’t forget to check out other articles on for more home improvement inspiration and DIY projects!

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