Widening Basement Door

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Old 05-16-05, 10:48 AM
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Widening Basement Door

Not sure if this is a basement or masonry question, but here goes:

My house is a block and stucco rancher with a full, walkout basement. The door is a standard exterior one, maybe 32 inches wide. I want to remove it and widen the opening to install a sliding glass door or maybe French doors. I plan (unless otherwise advised) to use one of those metal lintel bar things, but I'm puzzled about just how to put it in place. Is it necessary to somehow support the wall before widening the opening? If so, how? I thought of maybe using my circular saw with a masonry blade to remove the mortar between the courses of block where the bar would go, inserting it, then cutting the opening wider. Would that work, or is it just crazy? Is this something the average DIYer should even attempt? I've worked with brick and block before but nothing like this.
 
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Old 05-31-05, 07:41 PM
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md2lgyk,

First issue is to determine if the existing floor joists are running over this wall or running with it. Second is the width of the patio door you wish to install. Third is the total height of the basement walls. Fourth and you won't want to hear this, get the Building Permit.

It is important to know these things first before proceding with the project. If you are not feeling comfortable about doing this, hire it out.

If you undertake this project and have the tools to cut the block, here's a hint, a circular saw is not the way to go. I suggest renting a good masonry saw to do the job.

Steel Lintels are used since we are talking concrete block. Depending on the overall span, the proper size will be needed. The overall opening should be made to accommodate a wood treated buck (frame). Then it will be an issue of patching the concrete and other finish details.

In essence, not really a DIY project unless someone really knows what they are doing.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 06-10-05, 11:42 AM
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Thanks. You've convinced me this is something I don't really want to do myself. Guess I'm not as fearless as I was 30 years ago.
 
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Old 06-10-05, 12:07 PM
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md2lgyk,

You're very welcome.

Good Luck!
 
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