Patio Door – In!

Yep, my neighbor was right. We did it in a day! (With the help of 5 evenings of prep.) It went well. The brick was in good shape but easy to cut. It was easy to square the sub sill. And it looks amazing. But let’s start at the beginning. The first step to tearing out the wall was to put up a forest of columns, 5 outside and 2 inside, to brace the cantilever. 3 would have probably done the job.


The plan was to do this Friday. I went to the Home Depot to get the columns on the way in, but the first one I went to didn’t stock them. The second had only one there. They had plenty of a different, kind that said they would hold 18,000 pounds but we decided they were inadequate. So my neighbor and I went to a third Home Depot and a Lowe’s. Anyways, it worked out. And my dad ripped out the window while we were putting up the temporary supports.

Next step? Saw cutting. You’ll probably never see anything this hardcore on my blog again.


Remember how I said cutting the bathroom tile made a lot of red clay dust? I’ve never been so wrong. Except when I said the house would be move in ready by Memorial Day 2013.


Then he knocked it out. It’s possible that the only bad thing about yesterday is that I didn’t get to take a crack at the wall with a sledge. My dad cleaned up the whole time. Which is kind of ridiculous because I was doing easy stuff. But he wanted to. Here you can see the results of both of these things.


And the new beam. Let’s just say the house isn’t falling down anytime soon. These are 2×10’s and plywood, for only a 5 foot span. He wanted to use all this wood partly just to make it as thick as the brick.


And the rest? A header to square up the crooked opening. Wedges cut on site out of scrap wood hammered in to shim the gaps between the joists and the beam. The beams are all different sizes. Plywood. Spray foam. And in it went!


So much light! And I can now see a tree from my living room! And a way better kitchen layout. I can already see it; can you?


And let’s remember what it looked like before. Even I hadn’t changed the door, the drywall was installed badly and the wall had no insulation.



15 thoughts on “Patio Door – In!

  1. Andrew

    I just wanted to say – I love each and every update! So much work … you’ve convinced me to never take on a fixer-upper project but also given me such huge respect to people who do!


  2. Mary Elizabeth

    Yay, Chad! I happen to think your supports before removing the brick were not at all overkill. I just watched “This Old House” yesterday, and in their new project in a row house in Boston, they did the same thing–cut a hole in a brick wall. (They were putting in a bump-out, not a door.) There were many warnings about doing this job without proper support in place, especially since their wall was bowed. Well done!

    What did you decide about a curtain/blind/sliding shutters in the end? Can’t wait to see the kitchen come together. It will be gorgeous.


  3. CindyH

    Love Love Love! I hope you don’t have to put any curtains/blinds/shutters in – the light is wonderful and makes the kitchen. I love the clean lines.


  4. Ross

    Chad, I just discovered your blog, and have now read every thread. Enjoyed it all! That you would undertake such a project as such a tender young age amazes me! Congrats! Congrats!



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