Door installation - brick exterior/wet plaster interior


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Old 08-20-07, 08:15 PM
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Door installation - brick exterior/wet plaster interior

I have a ranch-style built in the early 50's. Brick exterior and wet plaster interior. There is currently a single door leading outside to a deck. I want to remove the door, enlarge the opening and install French doors. The brick is not load-bearing. It ends about 8' up and the top edge is covered by a face board (which I've removed). I want to remove the brick section first so that I can install a new header (microlam?), then cut out the plaster, studs, etc to create the rough opening. The section of brick I need to remove is about 4' wide. Any suggestions on the best approach? Circular saw with a cement blade? Use a masonry bit and drill holes around the perimeter of a small section at a time (2' x 2')? I think I can get an extended jam that will cover from the interior wall all the way to the brick so I'm not too worried about cleaning up the edges of the brick. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 08-22-07, 03:11 PM
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My suggestion would be to install the header from inside first, without messing with the brick just yet. You'll leave the sheathing in place while you do this, because the header pushes out against the sheathing from the inside. Once you have framed up the rough opening the size and location that you want it, and know exactly where the center of that opening is... THEN I'd cut out the brick. Mark the exact center of the rough opening, then measure out each direction for your brick opening. (if you plan to trim the door with brickmould, make your brick opening about 4 1/4" wider than the door itself measures, and be sure your cuts are perfectly plumb!) Once the brick is removed, you'll be left with your sheathing, which can be cut out from inside with a receiprocating saw.
 
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Old 08-23-07, 11:54 AM
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XSleeper ...

Thanks for the helpful advice. Any suggestions for the best way to remove the brick when I get around to that part? Saw? Masonry bit?
 
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Old 08-23-07, 03:22 PM
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You're welcome!

For cutting out the brick I'd mark the line with chalk or a wax pen so that it's highly visible, and to cut it, I'd recommend an electric or gas powered saw with a diamond blade... similar to the advice in the following thread:

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=315931

Keep in mind that with brick, they usually aren't solid, and your cut will probably not be "finish quality". Bricks will often have holes in the middle of them. It's quite likely that when you cut the brick, you will be exposing some of these holes, and seeing that around the perimeter of your door may not be to your liking. One idea for covering up that cut edge would be to put a thin layer of mortar over the ends of the bricks.

Unless you have another plan for covering up the cut edge of your bricks, you might consider cutting out an additional 4" or so and putting a stack bonded brick perimeter around the door, using some style of brick that is similar in color and style.

If you can still get brick that is an exact match, then you might be able to knock out and replace bricks too... turning their cut edge away from view as you replace them.
 
 

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