How to Build Basement Entrances


Some homes are designed with a walk-out basement, or basement with an additional entrance to the home through the basement. If the home is not originally designed this way, it is possible to add an external entrance with the proper tools and landscaping. Before beginning this project, consult with local landscaping professionals concerning the type of soil that is present. Sandy or loose soil requires a professional for safe and proper completion of this project. Contact local municipalities to locate any buried line or pipes. Before beginning the excavation process, any buried utility or sewage lines must be located in order to avoid breakage.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovels
  • Landscaping
  • Measuring tape
  • Steel-frame door
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Masonry grinder
  • 60-grit sandpaper
  • Diamond tipped drill bit and power drill
  • Remove the soil from the area in front of where the new entrance will be. The exterior soil must be removed to the level of the interior basement floor. If the soil is sandy or soft, this will require professional excavation including barriers to hold the loose soil. If the ground is clay or other hard soil, it may be shoveled away.

  • Trace the frame onto the interior basement wall. Remove the door from a steel-frame and place it against the wall in the area designated for the basement entrance. Mark around the frame.

  • Shrink the wall drawing by 1/4 inch all the way around. Use a measuring tape to move each drawn line inward by 1/4 inch and shorten the height by 1/4 inch.

  • Place a chisel along the inside edge of one of the side lines and hit with a hammer, creating a small hole in the wall. Repeat this action several times around the inside perimeter of the drawn frame.

  • Cut out the frame area with a masonry grinder. Place the edge of the grinder in one of the holes created by the chisel and hammer action. Cut slowly along the lines.

  • Hammer out the center of the frame area. Once the edge is cut with the masonry grinder, knock out the rest of the area with a hammer.

  • Sand the interior edge of the frame with 60-grit sandpaper to smooth out any left over rough edges.

  • Hang the door frame. Place the frame in the opening. Have a helper hole the frame in place. Use a diamond tipped drill bit on a power drill to make the holes for the screws. Push the bit through the openings in the frame.

  • Use anchor or concrete screws to hold the door in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • When selecting a frame for the entrance, match the width of the wall with the width of the frame.
  • Wear protective gear when cutting concrete. Goggles, gloves and respirators help prevent injury from flying debris and dust.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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