cutting through a block wall


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Old 02-27-06, 11:39 AM
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cutting through a block wall

I'm looking to install an egress window in my basement this summer. Conceptually the job seems straight forward, cut a hole in the wall and install the window. The thought of me taking a concrete saw to my basement wall is still a little disturbing. How difficult of job is this? I'm primarily concerned about cutting the hole. How difficult is the saw to handle? Can an advanced DIY handle this? I geuss I'm looking for a little reassurance before I cut a 4' x 4' hole in my basement wall. This will definately be done under a permit.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 01:39 PM
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cutting through a block wall

If you are worried and do not have the equipment, find a concrete cutting contractor and have him do it. He would have the tools and the knowledge to do it so fast and easy, that you would be embarassed and happy that it is done so you can go about doing the things you can do best.

Look under sawing or concrete cutting contractors in the yellow pages or Google. Also you can call a local diamond saw blade dealer to get recommendations. Usually equipment suppliers give out the names of reputable contractors that pay their bills and have a good history.

Dick
 
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Old 02-28-06, 03:31 AM
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Thumbs up

The job is dooable and Dick's advice is excellent. There are always structural concerns. Do the floor joists rest on this wall above the opening? If so, have you considered ways to shore up support until you can provide for a header. If a header is needed, what size and materiel will you need? Did you povide for the space in your opening size? Make sure you have all your materiels carefully planned for and on hand when the demo begins.

An exact 48" square RO would be nice as you know as blocks would be 8 X 8 X 16 but do you need to provide for a wooden buck. Every other course vertically needs to be "toothed" and usually a half block slipped back in due to the potential of sawing through a mid web (two hole blocks). If you are able to use a diamond cutting wheel and have the skill, you can cut through a mid block web. Another consideration, block cores may be grouted and contain steel reinforcing.

Make sure you proovide for drainage at the bottom of your outside well and consider using one of the new stepped type wells to give you a true egress opening.

Good luck

bs5
 
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Old 08-12-06, 03:29 PM
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I finished this project today and thought I'd share my experience. I decided to have someone cut the hole for me. I contacted 5 contractors, 3 listed under concrete cutters and 2 masons. One called back and followed through and gave a bid of $400-500 over the phone, then I left a message to schedule the job and didn't hear from him for over a week. While waiting, I looked at rentals assuming no one would do this small job for me. Most places wanted at least $100 for a diamond blade saw. I started to plan to do myself. I dug a hole 5x5 and 3.5 feet deep by hand, no fun. The contractor finally called back and said he could get me in 2 days and qouted me $350. He made short work of the hole "33x51 inches". He had a water cooled saw and was able to cut it from the outside only. This meant no dust on the inside, but a muddy mess in the well. He did a pretty good job, with the hole 1/4-3/4" bigger than needed. The treated wooden buck slipped right in as planned. I used tapcons to hold it and used some mortar to fill in some of the wider gaps between the hole and the buck. The window was pretty easy. Tomorrow I tackle the retaining wall for the egress well, stacked blocks.

Total costs

window $200
cutting the hole $350
retaining wall block $140
gravel $50
moving the gas line $275

So $1000 and a lot of labor.

$350 was definately well spent to have some one cut the hole, given the cost of renting. The window made a huge difference in lighting and will be well worth the time and money.
 
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Old 08-12-06, 03:40 PM
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cutting through a block wall

Glad to hear everything went well. It sounds like the contractor had done it before, so that makes things easier.

Dick
 
 

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