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mikewaggo 05-09-2009 12:23 AM

Adding a door in a basement wall
So I'm planning on finishing my basement, and would like to add a door in place of a window. The bottoms of the cieling joists are 7' from the floor, the concrete's about 3.5' tall, and the top of the current window is 6'10. So I'm thinking I've got room for a 2 2x4 header and a standard door. I've added a french door in another wall and feel comfortable temporarily supporting the cieling and reinforcing the wall.
I'm a little nervous about the concrete, however. From what I've read, it's usually recommended I pay someone to cut the hole, and then frame the door in with pressure treated wood. I've got the drainage worked out great outside (the door's located on a slope; the pad in front of the door will slope downhill and away from the house).
Do I need to worry about foundation damage? The engineer in me wants to build a doubled 2x6 pressure treated frame around the door.
Any wild guesses on how much it'll cost to get the concrete cut (I'm in North Seattle)? Would it cost all that much more to pay to get the door installed? (I'm trying to decide if it's worth the trouble).
I've got pictures:
Thanks for your input.

walkman 05-09-2009 08:35 AM

Looks like you're good to go to me if you're not planning to make the opening wider. The header is already there for the window. Definitely hire out the cutting. You want someone with a big concrete saw.

Get someone else to do the framing for the door. I got a mason to cut a bigger opening in a concrete block wall with brick exterior for a larger window. He did a great job with the brick, but a lousy job with the carpentry for the window. I had to redo the flashing.

I don't see how the foundation would be a problem, but you can build the treshold up a bit if you're worried about it.

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