Cutting a door opening in block wall

Old 04-03-17, 05:02 PM
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Question Cutting a door opening in block wall

I have a concrete block fence / wall surrounding my pool in Florida. It is 8 block courses and over 5.5 feet tall. The wall was built in 1965 and a pool cage was added on top in the 1990s. The wall is in ok shape; besides a lot of peeling paint there are some step cracks and some areas that need repair.

I need to cut a door opening into the wall (as it is now, the wall completely surrounds the pool area with no exit in case of fire - the only way to access the pool area is through the house).

I have no problem cutting the opening, but I am concerned that doing so may make the wall unstable (especially during a storm or hurricane). My plan was to rebar each side into the footing and fill the cores on either side with concrete. I'm not sure how it's normally done. Any suggestions?

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Old 04-04-17, 03:12 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

It sounds like a plan While I used to paint new residential construction in fla I never came across anything quite like you have. With houses the top course of block almost always uses lintel block filled with concrete and rebar. Can you tell if your wall is built that way?
Old 04-06-17, 02:02 PM
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Thanks for the reply!

This is a fairly unique setup for a pool in my area. I love the privacy though It will look much better when it is re-stuccoed and painted.

Luckily I have a loose block that I was able to remove. It appears they used regular blocks with a superficial fill of concrete (about 3 inches). There aren't any notches indicating lintel blocks and no rebar that I can see. I am actually surprised the wall has held up so well. This house went through a direct hit from a Cat 4 hurricane that destroyed two adjacent homes!

I may go ahead and cut the opening and see how stable the wall is. I will still fill the cores but I was thinking of having two pieces of angle iron welded to a plate at a 90 deg. angle. The plate would be bolted into the footer and the angle iron would hug the cut block on each side of the opening. I am only mounting a screen door in the opening so I can get fairly creative.
Old 04-06-17, 02:28 PM
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I think after you open the wall up, you will definitely need some support, from either rebar being driven down or the angle brackets you describe. The opening will be your weak point. You could also install gun turrets at the corners . Just kidding. Nice enclosure, and private as well.

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