Installing Walkout Basement Door

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by allworld, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Jun 17, 2006 #1

    allworld

    allworld

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    I have been going back and forth for weeks to wheter installing a walkout door or an egress window in my basement. I have a ranch house about 1300 quare feet and need to create more room for kids. I currently have about 3' of the basement exposed outside and have windows in the place where I would be cuttting out the door or egress window. I really want the install the door because now I only have a 30" door to the basement and can not fit larger items through it. If I install the door I will need to dig out the ground outside and form walls, steps and drainage. My yard i level as can be and drainage would have to be tied into my basement floor drain or a sump door at the exterior door landing. I plan to build the wall and steps with Allan Block reataining wall blocks. I then plan to have a patio door installed. I am worried about the size of header needed above the door. The area where I want to install the door is 88" high. Any suggestions on this project would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Jun 17, 2006 #2

    Square Eye

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    A double 2x10 headerwill work for most door sizes. You have plenty of room. My Dad has a similar situation with the basement door. His sump pump arrangement works fine. One thought comes to mind quickly, keep the threshold higher than the landing. Water will find it's way in if the threshold is dead level with the lower landing. If the lower landing is just an inch below the door's threshold, it will make a huge difference. You will not regret putting in a door.

    You'd certainly regret not putting in a door.

    Make the rough opening in the wall 6" wider than the rough-in spec listed on the door. This will give you enough room to put doubled 2x framing on the sides. Good luck with it.
     
  3. Jun 17, 2006 #3

    allworld

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    How would I have enough room for a header? I only have 88" from the floor and the rough opening for the door should be about 81-82. I will have a company cut out the opening and make a T to install a header.
     
  4. Jun 18, 2006 #4

    inspectorD

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    You could frame the header into the exterior band,rim or box joist. Whatever you call it in your area.
    Since you will be cutting the concrete anyway, you should remove any siding in the way of that area, if you dont' want it cut too. They will have to cut some of the framing also and this is the easiest way to make headroom.
    Support the joists in the area.
    Remove as much of the band joist you need above the door opening area.
    Cut back the joists 1 1/2 inches and install your new header in the floor system.
    Basically you are building a flush beam.
    Last are the joist hangers.
    Done.

    Good luck.:D
     
  5. Jun 18, 2006 #5

    allworld

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    I have brick on top of the foundation and I do not want to cut through the brick if possible. What about a lintel? I have almost the whole project figured out except for the header.
     
  6. Jun 18, 2006 #6

    inspectorD

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    The lintle is there to hold the brick...you still need something to hold the framing.
    When they cut the hole out you can still frame the way I suggested, you just do it from the bottom and use the jack studs Square Eye mentioned to support the header.

    Tell us how it works out.;)
     
  7. Jun 18, 2006 #7

    allworld

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    I was thinking that if I just put in a 36" door it would be alot less cutting. If I go with a 36" door I will have to run my steps perpindicular to my house which might lead to more water in the stairwell. The stairs would protrude about 12' into my yard which wouldnt be a problem for me. If I installed a 6' patio door I would probably run the steps parallel to the foundation only coming out about 4' from house and along the wall for the steps. I have a 30" soffitt that would collect alot of the rain water that way. I dont care which way I do it but bot have advantages. A 36" door would mean less foundation disturbance and would cause more rain water. A 6' door would be a smaller stairwell and have les rain water but involve more disturbance of the foundation. What do you guys think. I have vacation starting Monday 26th and want to plan this out as much as possible. I also need my AC moved before I start construction.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2006 #8

    Square Eye

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    You could use steel for the header. An I beam would hold, even with the patio door. Cut a pocket in the concrete wall and set the beam from inside. You'd only need to allow for 3/4" for a 1x top nailer plate.
     
  9. Jun 18, 2006 #9

    inspectorD

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    I was just htinking....dangerous!
    The six foot door opening may be to big for your area of foundation.
    Meaning if you have alot of soil behind that wall...you could get more problems.
    What about a www.bilco.com hatchway and stairwell.
    Or you put in the stairwell and use some plexiglass for the doors to let light in.

    You could have an abutress put in to strenghen the wall you cut...or go with 36 in door.
     
  10. Jun 18, 2006 #10

    allworld

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    The door would be in the long wall of the foundation that is 50' long. I will post some pictures here. The door will replace the window to the right if looking form inside and there is also a picture of the floor drain.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jun 19, 2006 #11

    inspectorD

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    You should be fine, The brick wall should hold some structure together.
    But since you are going to put a retaining wall in for the stairs, you should tie it into the foundation with rebar.
    This will require two small footings at the stair well and some concrete walls.

    My opinion is the bilco concrete stairs and hatchway.
    This is the Easiest, most cost effective solution.
    Most of what you have posted will work however the hatchway door meets egress and is a long term no hassle solution.

    Been here and done this, yada yada and the T-shirt.:D

    Get the widest model you can, then go with the composite doors. The metal doors always rust from the inside where no one paints them and the moisture builds up. Presto-rusto.
    Happy hunting.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2006 #12

    allworld

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    There is not a Bilco installer close to me. The closest one is about 100 miles away. They said it would cost about $3000 to install. Plus the $500 for cutting the wall and money to rent excavator. Then I am still wondering about the frost line.
     
  13. Jun 23, 2006 #13

    twells

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    I am thinking of undertaking the exact same thing. However I already have an egress window that I want to convert to a door. I have been quoted from 8K to 25K to do this job and had given up until I read your post. Couple of questions....do you need a permit?, are you getting the trades yourself in terms of cutting the foundation, excavation and pouring the concrete?
     
  14. Jun 24, 2006 #14

    allworld

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    You do need a permit but I am going to do it without one to avoid redtape. I got a guy to dig it out and take a dumpload of dirt for $300. He even has a saw to cut the wall but hasnt quoted that yet. The only thing that bothers me is the draingage and frost protection.
     
  15. Jun 29, 2009 #15

    slownsteady

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    I may be a little late to this conversation, but I'm not sure I understand why you would put a patio door (6 ft.) below grade? There's not much of a view...:)
     
  16. Apr 15, 2012 #16

    djarvis8

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    How did it all work out? post pics!
     
  17. Apr 16, 2012 #17

    nealtw

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    djarvis8; welcome to the site, you most likely won't get an answer here. If you have a question, start a new thread.
     
  18. Sep 30, 2016 #18

    allworld

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    Well it has been about 10 years since I installed this and my door keeps sticking more and more and deadbolt dropped about a 1/2" down from original whole. House also developed stair step cracks in mortar, flashing from window above pulled away and concrete sill under window cracked.

    I have had 6 companies look at the issue and 4 said I need piers and 2 said it is not a structural issue. So I paid $300 for a structural engineer to determine if it was structural and in need of piers. Engineer got back to me and said there are no structural issues. House does not have any cracks on the other side of the house only above the door. One of the piering companies that said I did not need piers suggested installing a thicker, wider lintel. I believe above the door I have 2 4x4 headers but I am about to tear out drywall and trim to check. I am attaching updated pics if anyone has any ideas it would be greatly appreciated.

    100_3543.jpg

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    100_3582.jpg

    100_4570.jpg
     
  19. Sep 30, 2016 #19

    KULTULZ

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    :(

    I wonder if your local PERMITS AND PLANNING would have caught the mistakes... :confused:

    I am not trying to rub it in, but...
     
  20. Sep 30, 2016 #20

    allworld

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    I know. I am kicking myself now
     

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