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Advice: Cutting through cinder block/brick wall for new exterior door

Advice: Cutting through cinder block/brick wall for new exterior door

Old 10-31-09, 07:00 PM
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Exclamation Advice: Cutting through cinder block/brick wall for new exterior door

Looking for advice help with cutting open a whole in an exterior wall in order to install a new door. My project is to close one door up and install a new one on the other side of a window.

Here a images from the inside then out.

My thoughts are either to buy/rent a AllSaw AS170

or renting a concrete chain saw like these

and just cut the opening out and take it from there.

Is there anything wrong in my thinking or advise/tips you could give? I'm guessing I need to install a lintel for something like this? And should I worry about the door being so close to the corner of the house?

Any insite would be greatly appreciated.
Old 11-01-09, 09:44 AM
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I'm just guessing but something tells me that the door was placed under those 2 beams for a reason. I would ask an architect.
Old 11-01-09, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Turk80
I'm guessing I need to install a lintel for something like this? .
no need to guess. that is what holds the brick/cmu above the opening.
Old 11-01-09, 12:03 PM
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The 4' of brick to the corner is what gives the corner it's required shear against racking to transmit the siesmic forces to the ground in an earthquake. Ask your building department. This is also required on wood frame houses.
Be safe, Gary
Old 11-01-09, 12:34 PM
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The most important thing is the over-all thickness of the masonry wall and what it is made from. Do you have any measurements or clues from looking at the wall.

Comparing the exterior wall photo and the interior wall photos, there some interesting bonding patterns between the interior and exterior.

Since you are North Carolina, there could be some combinations possible. The brick may be a brick veneer (non bearing) or the wall could be some kind of bonded wall, where the brick is actually load bearing. The total wall thickness would provide some clues. If it is a veneer, you would have to support both the bearing portion and the veneer.

In the absence of any additional information or accurate on-site information it is not possible to give a good, solid recommendation since the wall does not carry the loads from the first floor, but it could carry the second floor or roof loads.

Sometimes there type of buildings (I assume it is a part of a whole structure with several units in it and yours is a an end unit. these can be complex.

Old 11-01-09, 05:09 PM
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Earthquake zone or not, I would definitely not recommend moving the door to the location you suggest. It will be too close to the corner, weakening the corner and it's ability with withstand shear forces. The amount of original masonry left between the proposed door location and window is insufficient, and the existing door opening also weakens the entire wall.

Looking at picture and the wall thickness at the window and door, it looks to me like a 4" cmu with a 4" brick veneer. Not very strong to begin with because there is likely no rebar, no vertical reinforcement, no slugged blocks.

As mentioned, you will want the opinion of a structural engineer who can evaluate the structure and loads in person. He may be able to come up with a plan to make your idea work, but that's not something anyone will do for you here.

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