Concrete Foundation Cutting:
"Opening Doors" for Home Improvement
What is concrete cutting?
Concrete cutting is a process of controlled sawing, drilling and
removal of concrete performed by skilled operators using special saws that use
diamond impregnated blades.
Unlike the old-fashioned dusty "jack hammer" method,
modern concrete cutting leaves a smooth attractive finish and utilizes water so
as not to create any dust or mess. There are many different kinds of concrete
cutting but the most common are wall sawing, core drilling and
slab or flat sawing.
Wall sawing is the process of cutting openings such as doors or
windows in concrete walls, usually no more than 12" thick but in some cases up
to 24" thick. This is accomplished by using a saw that attaches to a track on
the wall to be cut.
This process utilizes an enormous 30" or even larger
diameter diamond blade that can cut 12" or more of concrete all of the way
through from one side. This aspect of our business requires the most skill and
cannot easily be done by your average "do it yourselfer." As stated, wall sawing
may entail cutting openings in concrete foundations but may also include
lowering a foundation elevation, entire foundation removal and also the cutting
of concrete retaining walls in part or in whole. This type of concrete cutting
requires skill and experience to cut perfectly smooth plumb and level openings
with virtually no dust or mess, so it is a rather expensive service. Most
concrete cutting companies charge a minimum of $425 just to take their equipment
to a site and cut.
Homeowners that build additions on to their home that have basements or
cellars commonly find they need to cut into their existing concrete foundation
to add an entry or passage between the new and existing basements. It is much
easier and in most cases less expensive to have this service performed during
the construction process and not after.
Core drilling is the process of drilling perfectly round holes through
concrete walls and floors. The diameters of the holes range from 1" to 12" round
but average 5" for
most homeowner applications. In commercial applications core
holes can range anywhere up to 60" round and more. Core holes are used for
"utility penetrations" such as electrical, plumbing and heating but are also
commonly used for venting furnaces or clothes dryers. Although not recommended,
core drilling can be performed by an advanced "do it yourselfer" and the
equipment necessary to perform core drilling is readily available at your local
tool rental and supply store. Most companies have a minimum charge of $250 to
core a hole for you and it can take a professional as little as 10 minutes to
unload his equipment, core the hole, and reload his equipment. Yet, I have seen
homeowners rent the equipment and spend an entire weekend trying to core a
single hole and then call a professional to complete the project. Just like with
any trade a professional concrete cutter will make his job look easy.
Slab sawing, also known as flat sawing, is used to cut
horizontal flat concrete surfaces such as floors, bridge decks and pavement.
Slab saws feature a diamond blade that is mounted on a walk-behind machine that
requires only one operator. They can cut up to 33 inches in depth but generally
only 6" or less is necessary in most homeowner applications. Slab sawing is the
perfect solution for making penetrations or openings in concrete floors to
access and repair a broken water pipe or sewer line. When a basement or cellar
is being remodeled to add a bathroom the concrete is removed to add new plumbing
for the fixtures. A slab saw is also useful in demolition work to break up and
remove a cracked or unwanted patio, driveway or walkway. Sometimes a homeowner
might want just part of a patio or other concrete slab cut in order to alter
their landscaping. Attempting a slab saw project can be very time consuming for
your average "do it yourselfer". but it can be accomplished. I always recommend
spending a few extra bucks and saving yourself some very serious danger and
aggravation by contracting a concrete cutting professional.
No matter what your project is, don't let a little concrete stand in your
way. Concrete can be a homeowner's worst obstacle if he or she doesn't know that
there are companies out there that specialize in removing it very quickly and
neatly. To find a reputable concrete cutter I recommend that you start with the
yellow pages and always check them out with your local Better Business Bureau or
your local Department of Consumer Protection. To get more acquainted with the
industry just do a search for "concrete cutting" and check out a few websites
dedicated to the subject. Of course, be sure to visit our web site at
Cutting Boston services the contractor and homeowner in and
around Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. They specialize in cutting doorways
in concrete foundations.