This homeowner had an unusual situation.

They discovered that their home had a void along the left side of their home under their garage slab and right next to their utility room. They wanted to turn this into a potentially usable space as well as provide another access door to the yard.


Accessing this void sounds easy, no? Cut a couple of holes and call it a day, right?

Not so much.

First, anytime you cut into your foundation you want a licensed structural engineer involved. You wouldn’t want to cause the whole building to collapse…right?

This homeowner hired AO engineers to evaluate the feasibility of this project. They concluded that the wall in question was in part bearing the weight of the garage slab as well as a portion of the exterior brick veneer and framing above it. They recommended that a new steel lintel header be installed over the new double doorway. This lintel will carry the loads previously supported by the exterior wall. The length, thickness, shape, and attachment methods of the steel lintel are carefully calculated to bear the necessary loads.




The interior opening was also load-bearing, but the engineer determined that this doorway did not require any steel so long as 18″ of foundation wall remained above it. We cut the opening 21″ down, ensuring the upper floors had plenty of support.

The most fascinating part of this job was working with Donley Concrete Cutting Inc. and their big remote-controlled electric saw to open up this wall. Wall sawing utilizes hydraulic driven equipment mounted to a track. This saw can cut precise openings on both vertical and horizontal surfaces as well as round structures.




Interested in revealing a void in your home? Contact us to discuss potential options, we are always happy to assist you.



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