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Old 03-30-2013, 08:32 AM   #1
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Question about window openings in concrete block


Greetings from a new member, I'm excited to find this forum!!
We are drawing some preliminary plans for a small concrete block garage/barn for our rural property located an hour away from us. We are considering acting as GC but contracting out the majority of the work. My question is on specifying the window, overhead door, and man door openings. I've put in several windows and doors (replacement and new construction both) but always in frame construction. The building is to be 20' by 32' , We want a 36 inch steel entry door for the man door, a 12' overhead door, and windows about 3' wide by 4' tall. How do you spec openings to keep oddball cuts for the block layer? In other words, would the window need to be 32 inches to stay modular with the block? We are planning on concrete sills and lintels if that matters on the height? Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-30-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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Question about window openings in concrete block


Windows, in most applications, can be ordered down to the 1/4" without any sort of premium.

Get with your block layers and figure out what sizes work best for them and work backwards from there.

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Old 03-30-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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Question about window openings in concrete block


typically you'd use 2x pressure treated wood to case the opening in the blocks. a block layer can easily cut the blocks to size.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #4
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Question about window openings in concrete block


Don't worry too much about the width of the openings. What you should try to coordinate is the top elevation of the opening. It should be an increment of 8" so you can run a bond beam across the top of the opening without having to cut down the block.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:17 AM   #5
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Question about window openings in concrete block


Quote:
Originally Posted by rge40207 View Post
Greetings from a new member, I'm excited to find this forum!!
We are drawing some preliminary plans for a small concrete block garage/barn for our rural property located an hour away from us. We are considering acting as GC but contracting out the majority of the work. My question is on specifying the window, overhead door, and man door openings. I've put in several windows and doors (replacement and new construction both) but always in frame construction. The building is to be 20' by 32' , We want a 36 inch steel entry door for the man door, a 12' overhead door, and windows about 3' wide by 4' tall. How do you spec openings to keep oddball cuts for the block layer? In other words, would the window need to be 32 inches to stay modular with the block? We are planning on concrete sills and lintels if that matters on the height? Thanks in advance.
There are a number of answers as to dimensions depending on what your using, and if the block is the finished product. Here's how we'd generally do it "here":

OH Doors: Assuming the block is completely exposed, the door opening would be exactly 12' wide. No wood is needed, except for a 2x4 or 2x6 mounted flat against the wall on the interior for the door hardware. The exposed 1.5" of this board is utilized for the weatherstrip to be nailed to.

Man Doors: The best option IMO is to use hollow metal doors and frames with spring clip anchors in new construction. For a 36" door, 2" side jambs are typical, which creates a 40" wide opening, which is ideal because it is on block bond, meaning a simple half & whole block alternating between courses. Both 2" & 4" tall head jambs are available, as well as 80" & 84" high doors, depending what height your floor and walls come in at.

Windows: The bes approach IMO is to avoid wood all together, and simply use sash block on the window jambs. The extrusion of the window slides directly into the channel of the sash block and gets mortared in. Window openings generally require special cuts on one side, bu it's not really a big deal.

In general, if you want to keep things as close to half bond as possible, and easier on the mason, start at one corner and work your openings out over 8" increments. Or, allow your mason to have a little adjustment in where things are placed, maybe an inch or two either way.........
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