How to Install a Door in a Masonry Block Wall: Part 1

Lead Image
  • 5-8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 50-350
What You'll Need
Circular saw
Diamond blade
Tape measure
Safety equipment

Adding a door to a masonry brick wall is something that takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. It is not outside of the realm of a DIYer, but it should be treated as a precision project. Cutting a hole in a masonry block wall is something that many people find is necessary if they want to add a new door. This is very common during a remodeling project where you want to finish off a basement, or have a walk-through door to the garage. If you need to install a door in a masonry block wall, here are some steps to get you started. (This is Part 1 of 2. To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)

Step 1 - Determine Location

The best place to install a door into a masonry brick wall is in a non-load bearing wall. This way you will not have to worry about adding any supports or other beams to take the load of the home. Once you locate a wall, then find out the actual position of the door. Look behind the wall to make sure there is not going to be any interference from mechanical pieces, wires, or other appliances. Make sure it is an easy area to work in.

Step 2 - Wear Safety Gear

When cutting into mortar you will want to take several different safety precautions. You will be using a circular saw with a diamond-tipped blade on it for cutting out the door. This safety equipment will require the use of safety goggles, gloves, heavy boots, and even a canvas covering for your legs and chest.

Step 3 - Measure Door Opening

When you measure for your door opening, remember that you are going to be installing a door frame. This means that you are going to need more room than just the width of the door itself. Measure the door frame for the best measurements. Transfer these measurements to the mortar wall and make the outline with chalk. The chalk outline will be much easier to see than a pencil or marker.

Step 4 - Score Lines

To help with the cutting out of the mortar you should go over the chalk line with a chisel and a hammer. Score in a line around the entire outline so the saw blade will have something to follow as you cut through the bricks.

Step 5 - Cut through Mortar

Start at the bottom of the mortar wall and start cutting through the bricks. Let the saw do most of the work as you make your way up the wall. You will need to push it a little to keep the blade moving along the lines in an upward fashion. However, do not force it too hard.

Step 6 - Remove Blocks

After you cut through the mortar block wall you can then remove the bricks that have been cut out. Make sure to move the bricks to a different area so you will not be tripping over them while you install the door. Clean out all the mortar and seal around the edges with a mortar sealer. This will prevent moisture from rotting out the door frame.