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Question DetailsAsked on 8/26/2017

Who can put a door in through basement cinder block wall. There is a small window there now.

Who can cut a door through a cinder block wall to the outside of our basement.

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2 Answers


Hello KleighH,

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Iann M

Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


If you are asking WHERE it can safely be put, and if additional foundation or overhead reinforcing is needed, a Structural Engineer is the person for that - though if the door is no wider than the window and going in the same space than unless that header needs to be higher the overhead issue is already taken care of. But whether you can just cut the cindaer block without reinforcing the foundation (because you are taking away the bending resistance of the cinder block) is the engineer's baliwick - ditto to whether you need reinforcing of the cinder block wall around the opening - usually yes, commonly done by putting in welded or bolted wide steel channel wrapping around the cinder block ot provide it with out-of-plane (inward and outward) bending resistance at the rough opening.

For the actual cutting, normally it will be done with a gasoline powered large-diameter abrasive cutoff saw (commonly 14-20 inch diameter wheel) with diamond or (if true cinder block rather than concrete block) sometimes carbide blade. Some concrete contractors own these, and some remodeling contractors own or will rent one (about $75-100/day plus blade use charge of probably $50-75 for that amount of cutting) - others will get a specialty concrete cutting company to come do it for typically about $300-500 through the block only, more like 50% more or so if also cutting a significant amount of the concrete footing with rebar or if there is major rebar (bigger than normal #3 or #4 bar) in the block wall (normally not found in residential jobs).

Generally, of course there being exceptions at times, as long as you are cutting through the block wall only - not taking out vertical concrete columns in the wall or the footer, it is not a major operations to cut a doorway like this.

Be sure you properly take care of water issues from outside - blowing rain against door causing infiltration, buildup of water outside door coming under it, drainage or bulkhead door or such if a walk-up entrance, etc. Also, if in snow country, generally the door has to open inward by code.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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