An exterior door, while seemingly simple, serves a very important purpose to the rest of the house. Aside from just being an entrance, it can provide access to an isolated section of the home. It can also help strengthen the security of your household and can even conserve energy. When making this addition to your brick home, it is important to be aware of what can and can’t be done.
While it does require some planning, a door can be added to a brick wall if it is not a load-bearing wall. It is important to utilize the proper tools and follow safety procedures when attempting to do this installation. This is an addition that often can be completed without hiring a professional.
Can you DIY an exterior door installation into a brick home?
Installing an exterior front door, especially in a brick home, is a process that is notoriously expensive. Many homeowners are hesitant to do it themselves, so contractors usually charge high rates to carry out a procedure that can be quite simple.
You can save yourself the cost of hiring a contractor. Installing an exterior door to a brick home is a process you can probably do on your own. As long as you get the right information you need, we believe you can do it!
There are a few important things to make note of before beginning this process. Due to the structure of your home being brick, it is best to get a pre-hung door. You will also need to make sure that you have access to materials including a mortar saw, a spirit level, a chisel, and a hammer.
Can you add an exterior door to a brick house?
With some experience in home renovation projects, anyone can effectively add an exterior door to their brick home. It does take some time and effort, but it is possible! Completing the installation with brick does require a different procedure for it to work and be stable. This is compared to adding a door in place of other materials like drywall. You should make sure that you have the best quality masonry tools for your project.
There are three primary steps to follow when installing a door to a brick house:
Scope out the brick wall
To start, you need to cut a small hole into the bottom of the wall inside the home. This allows you to reach into the hole and check no gas lines or plumbing runs through this section of the wall.
If there isn’t anything important running through this wall section, you can cut a bigger hole. This second cut should be around the size of the door that you want to add to the home. This roughly forms the interior opening for the door.
After this, you can then cut out the exterior sheeting that sets between the drywall and brick, again in the shape of the door.
The wooden studs that make up the frame of the wall can be cut from the top and tapped out of place with a hammer. Once the studs have been removed, a 2 by 4 board can be added flat against the remaining part of the studs at the top.
Once you have addressed the initial cuts from the inside of the home, you can move on to the exterior brick. Start by marking the door measurements – including framework and support – onto the brick. You can use construction chalk/French chalk pencils to clearly mark the perimeter on the brick in the planning process.
After sketching the door perimeter on the wall, you can use a hammer and chisel to add line indents where the chalk is. Try to get rid of as many bricks around the door as possible to make later steps easier. This means removing a brick as a whole, not cutting them down yet. You can adjust specific fitting later.
Use the hammer to chip out the brick in the middle once the edge bricks are gone.
The cement at the bottom of the wall and the drywall on the inside should be carefully removed.
Installing the door in the brick wall
The first step before installing any part of the door or frame is to add a layer of caulking below the site of the new threshold. Once the bottom has been prepped, you can add the frame of the door into the open clearing.
The bottom of the frame is put in first because the rest can be secured into place lightly with a hammer. To ensure that the door is straight and laying flush within the frame, use a level. You can use the level to alter the placement of the hinges until they are level. Then you can add the door to the frame.
The door can be adjusted with screws that are inserted into the brickwork that is still whole. Make sure to check that the door is level after it is secured.
Apply the final aspects to the door in brick wall
After the door and frame have been put into place, you can focus on filling in gaps in the structure. This is an important step to enhance the strength of the door and its frame. You are also making sure that the aesthetics of the installation are properly intact.
The spaces between the door and the surrounding masonry may not be wide enough for a whole brick. If this is the case, cut a brick to add in until it fits snugly. A multi-purpose diamond blade saw is a great tool to use when cutting bricks. The bricks should be cemented in place firmly and carefully. Any further gaps between the door and wall should be taken care of with insulating foam. This stops uncontrolled air from entering and leaving the home. Caulk can then be added around the outside of the frame with any additional molding you install. After this is finished, your door will be ready for use.
Can you put a door in a load-bearing brick wall?
It is best not to install a door into a load-bearing brick wall. Before removing part of a brick wall for a door, it’s important to make sure that it’s not a load-bearing wall. This is an essential part of the strength of the home’s structure and should be treated as such when carrying out a DIY renovation project. Incorrectly altering a load-bearing wall can bring about serious issues — even as bad as the home collapsing.
Another wall or area of the home should be chosen instead so that this is not an issue. But maybe this isn’t an option for you. If so, you need to contact a certified, experienced contractor to reinforce the structure. They will also complete any necessary modifications beforehand.
How do you secure a door frame in Brick?
One of the best ways to secure a door frame in brick is with the use of punch and dimple anchors. They are also referred to as pipe and strap anchors or existing opening anchors. They work by providing structural support to the frame that prevents it from flexing when secured to the brick wall itself.
When you add a door to your home, you open up more options for home renovations. Have you considered adding a new bathroom to your house? What about a new fire pit? We know the best bricks to use in a firepit. Paragon Tools offers quality bricklaying and masonry tools to help with your building needs.