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Old 03-25-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


We have a chalet style house that is built into a slope. The walkout portion of the foundation is level with the ground and has a finished stone treatment. We did not build the house, but the people that did had a garage door leading into the unfinished basement. We originally wanted to replace the garage door with a patio door, but some of the estimates we were getting back just for the door were pretty high. I was thinking of getting a regular sized patio door and framing in the garage opening to fit the door and matching the stone treatment on the outside. I can handle this part, but we originally wanted to put a window in as well. Now that we might go with the smaller door plus an additional patio door. Our first floor has 3 patio doors and a wall of windows that overlook the deck. Two patio doors on the lower level would match that look a little better.

The wall is cinder block and the joists run parallel to it. How much load is this wall bearing? I have seen similar homes with 2 and even 3 patio doors on the lower level so I know its possible. I was wondering if it was as simple as cutting out the opening and framing in the door or if there was much more involved with this. I have done a ton of DIY projects over the years, but I usually work on cosmetic stuff where the only thing that can go wrong is it looks bad. Foundation walls are a different story, but since its not bearing the weight of the joists I figure its a project I could handle.

thoughts? Its fine if you want to call me out on anything stupid I said

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Old 03-25-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


You can remove walls as long as you compensate the loss with horizontal structure. You can contact local contractors for advice, post pictures of the area here for advice or bring in a structural pro.
In any case you'll need permits and oversight to do the work.
Ron

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Old 03-25-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


Make sure you keep the wood far enough above the soil or concrete.

Pan flashing is always a good idea.

Dick
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:17 AM   #4
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


generally any exterior wall is critical to structure support,,, we'd suggest grouting to create columns adjoining the door(s) and above the windows,,, steel reinforcement would be a good idea, too - especially if it were MY home !
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
generally any exterior wall is critical to structure support,,, we'd suggest grouting to create columns adjoining the door(s) and above the windows,,, steel reinforcement would be a good idea, too - especially if it were MY home !
I would do some sort of support just in case. The garage door opening does not have any steel support and doesn't exactly have much wood support, but that doesn't mean it was done right in the first place.

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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
You can remove walls as long as you compensate the loss with horizontal structure. You can contact local contractors for advice, post pictures of the area here for advice or bring in a structural pro.
In any case you'll need permits and oversight to do the work.
Ron
I live in an area without building inspectors. I do not need permits to do any work - I have called the closest city several times and they said since I am in an unincorporated area there is no need for permits.

I will post some pictures once we decide that is what we are going to do for sure.

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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Make sure you keep the wood far enough above the soil or concrete.

Pan flashing is always a good idea.

Dick
The concrete floor of the basement is a few inches above grade so no need to worry about the soil. We are going to put in a concrete patio as well. I was thinking of putting down a pressure treated board (with some sort of membrane below) along the floor to raise it up a bit since when I finish the basement I want to put in some sort of subfloor/insulation to make it more comfortable

Thanks for all the responses - I am glad I found this site and I can contribute in areas I know more about.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


you garage door area has no support now - the 2x( 6" - 8" - 12") are nailers PERHAPS supporting the steel/wood beam over the door opening,,, loads transfer vertically so be certain the columns are supported UNDER the floor by independent footers.

NO building inspectors OR NO permits ? be certain your county has NO regulations,,, i wouldn't imagine there's 1 sq inch in the USA that's not permitted.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


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NO building inspectors OR NO permits ? be certain your county has NO regulations,,, i wouldn't imagine there's 1 sq inch in the USA that's not permitted.
You’d be wrong on that.

At my rural Kansas home there no permits, inspections or even contractor licenses. You need to be licensed by the state for electrical and plumbing but still no inspections.

At the county level there is a $5 permit if you’re adding living space but that’s just to record the extra square footage to the tax rolls.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:19 AM   #8
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


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You’d be wrong on that.

At my rural Kansas home there no permits, inspections or even contractor licenses. You need to be licensed by the state for electrical and plumbing but still no inspections.

At the county level there is a $5 permit if you’re adding living space but that’s just to record the extra square footage to the tax rolls.
I guess they do a volume business with all the tornadoes.
Ron
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
you garage door area has no support now - the 2x( 6" - 8" - 12") are nailers PERHAPS supporting the steel/wood beam over the door opening,,, loads transfer vertically so be certain the columns are supported UNDER the floor by independent footers.

NO building inspectors OR NO permits ? be certain your county has NO regulations,,, i wouldn't imagine there's 1 sq inch in the USA that's not permitted.
when I built my shed I called all over the place trying to get a permit, but I live outside of a small town in West Virginia. It was scary buying a house since I knew it was never inspected when built. We put an offer on one house and our inspector said he would be shocked if it didn't have major foundation issues within a few years. It was a brand new house and they put a bathroom in the middle of an unfinished basement. The bathroom was holding up the first floor . We backed out of that offer of course.

There may be supports behind the wood for the garage door. I don't see any though, but when I take out the garage door I can add some if there isn't any. I am more worried about cutting out for the other door, but I think we decided to get one door in and then worry about the other one.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:55 PM   #10
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cutting out foundation wall for patio door


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NO building inspectors OR NO permits ? be certain your county has NO regulations,,, i wouldn't imagine there's 1 sq inch in the USA that's not permitted.
No permits in my rural Oklahoma county either. I couldn't get a government official to inspect my house if I wanted one. They will inspect the septic system, though.

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