I have a bricked garage wall that I want to cut a hole into and install a door. How hard is this to do and would I be better off letting a professional do it?
I have never done anything like that but I would think the toughest thing would be to figure out how much structure is needed to support the load above. This should be done by an engineer since it is such a wide opening. If you've never done masonry work this one may be better left to a pro in my opinion. Hope this helps you out.
I can think of one option, if this is a single-story brick-clad home or has brick on the first floor exterior and some type of wood or vinyl siding on the second. I've seen it done before, and it appears a lot easier for a homeowner to complete. But you will need some serious tools for both wood and masonry, and at least one helper.
When removing bricks from the area where the door will go, remove them all the way to the eave (if one story) or the bottom edge of the second-floor siding. Then cut the opening through sheathing and studs. If you are considering a large 2 vehicle garage, a two-door solution might be best and a center pillar will provide better support the roof/second floor.
After you have framed out the door opening(s), put siding on the exterior wall above the door opening instead of brick. That way, a load-bearing support for bricks will not be necessary.
If your house is two-story and has brick all the way up to the eaves, then you best hire a professional. Plus, you will have to cut bricks in half to finish out the door opening. If you don't have the tools, let someone else do it. Good luck!
If it is a brick garage you will need a professional because the brick above the opening must be supported while a lintel is installed.
If it is a brick veneer on a framed building and you are talking about a walk door not a garage door, this is what I did, but I won't guarantee that it will work for you or your situation. I measured up 1" above the rough opening I needed and marked a level horizontal line 4"wider on each side than was needed for the door. I rented a masonry saw from a tool rental place and cut a slot 3/4" wide by 44"long (for 36"door). I chipped out the brick in the slot and installed a 1/2" X 2½" x 44" piece of steel flat stock for a lintel. I used wedges to push the flat stock tightly up against the brick and mortared under the 4" on each side to keep it in place. After the mortar dried I marked and cut the sides of the opening with the masonry saw and removed the brick. Used a sawzall to cut and then removed the sheeting. I then cut the frame and installed a header and then installed the door.
Like I said I won't guarantee this will work in you situation.
It sounds like you would be better off letting a professional do the work. No engineer is needed for a man door, but a knowledge of construction & a little experience should keep the project moving smoothly.