protect your finances while opening a business

Consider Adding An Exit Door When You Renovate Your Basement

by Daniel Herrera

If you're planning to finish your basement and turn it into a recreation room or even a studio apartment for your teen or older parent, you may want to install an exterior door. You might also want to put in a window, which might be required if you put a bedroom in the basement. Putting a new opening in the foundation wall requires the services of a concrete cutting contractor. Here's an overview of the process.

Hire An Architect

You'll need a permit and plans before you can install a door in your home's foundation. There are things to consider since the foundation supports the rest of your house. You may not get to pick the exact location of the door since an architect or structural engineer determines the safest place for it considering the amount of concrete on each side. It may even be necessary to add support to your foundation to make up for the support supplied by the concrete that will be removed.

Hire A Concrete Cutting Service

A concrete contractor will probably use a wet saw to cut through the wall. A dry saw creates a lot of dust that can float through your home. Water is run over the area being cut when a wet saw is used, and this wets down dust so it can't float in the air.

The saw may have a diamond blade, as these are often used for concrete cutting. The contractor may install rails on the sides of the future door opening so the saw can move up and down the rail. It will take several passes to cut through a concrete foundation wall. The cut gets deeper with each pass. When both sides of the door are cut, the concrete can be pushed, broken up, and hauled away unless you want to keep it for another purpose.

Contact a company that offers concrete cutting services in your area to learn more about this process.

Build The Door Frame

Once an opening has been created in the concrete, you can build the door frame and add other structural supports if needed. You might do this work yourself if finishing the basement is a DIY project, or you can let your renovation team complete the work. Once the door is installed and operational, the work will probably be inspected by a code enforcement officer so your permit can be closed.

Your basement probably won't be required to have a door when you renovate it, but a door is handy, especially if a parent or teen is living in the basement. This gives them private access so they can come and go without entering the main part of the house. You may not realize it's possible to add a door to a buried basement, but it can be done if professionals dig soil away from the wall, find the most suitable location, and then cut out a hole with a concrete saw.