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n2omichael 09-22-2013 03:27 PM

Cutting concrete for man door
Hi guys

I have decided to put a man door in my basement, roughly 42" of concrete then 48" knee wall made of wood. I plan to build a header of triple 2x10's or 2 x12's and use studs on either side to rough frame the opening then buy a complete door/frame assembly and install it. The bottom if the concrete wall is about 2 feet below grade which I will have to dig out. My main concern is:

I will need to rent a hand held concrete saw to cut the foundation out, I have never used one before, so, anything to watch for ideas to make the job easier? Any input appreciated.

PS: building "above" door is a wood framed single story building, approx 800sq ft. (It's a small cottage)

firehawkmph 09-22-2013 05:55 PM

Depending on where you are at, there are services that will come out and make the saw cuts for you. Really not that expensive. Just make sure your mark out the cuts accurately and if anything, error on the side of being a hair larger than smaller.
Mike Hawkins :)

n2omichael 09-22-2013 05:58 PM

Thanks Mike!

The problem is our cottage is on an island, accessible by ferry, but, trying to get anyone to come over from the mainland costs a fortune. )-;

So, I am probably stuck doing this one myself!

jomama45 09-22-2013 08:57 PM

If you decide to do it, I'd highly recommend renting an electric saw, or making darn sure you have excellent ventilation in that basement while cutting. The gas saws are all 2 stroke, and most rental places make sure the gas is mixed rich to ensure longer motor life. This leads to terribly excessive smoke/co2 concentrations in the basement.

Also, be aware that these saws are heavy and require a steady hand. I always trace a shallow line from the bottom to ensure I don't wash the line off the wall and then plunge into the top and let the saw's weight/gravity take over........

n2omichael 09-22-2013 09:04 PM

Great! Thanks!

The rental place rents both electric and gas saws, any advantage to either? I am cutting through about 8" of concrete.

Ventilation is no problem, the basement was just complete with the cottage set on top, so there are several holes from the beams used in the move that are about 2ft by 3ft that I will install windows in eventually, basement is basically a concrete floor and walls, no furnishings, wiring or plumbing yet, I could put a big fan in one of the openings to blow air in or out perhaps?

I wondered the same thing about the weight, I've heard that those saws are really heavy and hard to keep steady )-:

stadry 09-24-2013 07:01 AM

a 14" blade will cut thru 8",,, if you're unaccustomed to using a demo saw, make your 1st cut 2" deep then finish w/deeper cut,,, IF you drill a hole on ea corner you'll be right on the money when sawing from the back side,,, i'd choose wet over dry cutting - gas or elec

n2omichael 09-24-2013 01:18 PM


I appreciate the advice!

Quick question? Can anyone tell me how big (wide) the header needs to be over the door?

I have been told that you should allow 1" of width for every foot of span, so a 6ft span for instance would need a 6" header (2x8)

My door will be. 30-36" wide, so I would need 2 1/2- 3" of with, so would triple 2 x 4's be good enough? Or do I need to use 2x6's? Or bigger?

I will use king posts off the header down to the concrete floor to support the header, appreciate the input!


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