I need to cut a new 32" exterior door in to my masonry block home.
the location of this will be right at the corner junction of two
exterior walls. The type block in this area is the shorter 4"
height...not the typical 8 or 9 inch high hollow core block. I have a
flat roof and this door way will be about 3.5 feet below the roof
Can I cut flush with the perpendicular exterior block wall and mount
my double side framing flush with the perpendicular corner wall...or
should I cut so there is at least some of the return wall stub left in
the corner ?
Also...do I need to support the opening during cutting will some type
of post....or will the block construction be strong enough to cut out
the 32" x 90" or so opening and install the reinforced sides and
header without a temporary support system ?
cut a slot across the top with a masonary saw, then slide the lintel
in place. the lintel is a heavy steel plate thats wider than the door
opening and supports everything above.
once the lintel is in and secured you can cut and remove block, its a
very dusty job. then install door frame
I would definitely leave at least a full block length and preferably
two around the corner for the stiffness. I would not under any
circumstances cut it back flush to the other wall unless were putting
in some serious steel (like channel or heavy angle, not just flat).
Is the entry wall on the bearing or end/gable wall? Is this a hollow
block or solid? It will _probably_ stay in place long enough to make
the opening but I'd sure have blocking prepared and ready at hand.
Will need a new steel lintel, of course.
While at it, I'd suggest 36" for exterior rather than 32", but maybe
there's a conflicting reason predicating against it.
If your area has building codes, talk to the Building Official or a
plans examiner about the requirements. They will probably want an
If you don't have building codes, do what you want. If it falls down,
OK, I am not an expert but here's my opinion. I think you want to
leave a wall return when cutting. Otherwise you will be framing in
the actual corner rather than on the side wall, much easier. Pick a
wall for that door, better if is it non-load bearing.
If your roof is flat then all of the walls may essentially be load
bearing walls. I don't think you need to support that block when
cutting. I don't even know how you could support it and cut it at the
same time, very tricky. A very good idea would be to prepare to
support it as soon as it is cut, why not?
You will want to frame a header inside the rough opening to give you
the size of your door frame and support your wall anyway. If you have
those framing members sized and ready to go then you can insert a
permanent support just as easily as a temporary one, that's the
I'm not an expert either, but I have watched it being done- you cut in the
lintel BEFORE you cut the hole for the door, one face of wall at a time.
Assuming an 8" thick wall, you use 2 4" thick precast lintels, (probably at
least 48" long for a 32" door) and/or L- or U-shaped steel lintels that can
have a decorative layer of brick laid back over them. You cut and chisel out
half the depth of the lintel on the inside, put in that half of the lintel,
and then chisel out for and place the outside half the same way. THEN you
cut the hole for the door, and piece in the half-bricks, or mudded steel
frame, or whatever.
But we can't see your house from here, and don't know how your roof is
framed. You do want to stay back from corner to keep door from being
annoying to use, and to make installing lintel easier. And unless you have
an air chisel, concrete saw, etc., this is work best hired out to someone
that has the tools and the expertise to do it. Look in yellow pages for
'concrete cutting', and tell them you need a door opening cut in. They will
tell you if they can place the frame and make it pretty, or if you will have
to do that yourself or hire a mason. Yeah, you CAN do it yourself, but it
will take longer than you think, and those tool rental charges add up quick.
I gathered that from the other posts. I though I was out of the
woods with my response, it took so long to post. For the longest time
either no one posted or their posts did not showed up. That when I
decided to stick in my uninformed opinion. Thanks for the education.
If you don't leave at least 1/2 block of return, you may have a hard
time getting sufficient bearing for the lintel. Also,
you might consider punching a hole high up on
either side of the door, and filling the block on either side
with a loose cement mix. THEN put in the lintel,
THEN cut the doorway. If this door is going to
see a lot of use, I'd go up to 40". If you start with a
32" rough opening, you're going to be down below 30"
of useable openning when you're done, and that's narrow
enough to be a pain in the ass.
If this is a multi-story building, consult an engineer
even if it's not a load bearing wall in the normal sense.
The wall within 4' of the corner may be an important
part of the structure's ability to resist high winds.
A have a vague impression that winds are sometimes
a consideration in Fla.
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