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Cutting a 4" hole for my basement bath exhaust fan

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[OP]
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Nov 12, 2015
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Cutting a 4" hole for my basement bath exhaust fan

Good day,

So part of my work on the basment, I have to cut a 4" hole on my side wall.

The wall is a brick veneer. Would this hole saw be good enough?

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.4-in ... 34798.html

Or should I go rent this from HD (Looks like an overkill for brick veneer)

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/tool-a ... 01119.html
Stay strong, situation always looks harder and that it will never end when you are in the middle of it, but remember past experiences, everything has an ending.
45 replies
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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BTW... Your other option is to use a masonry bit (like a 1/4" bit) and drill a circle of small holes that can then be busted out.

C
[OP]
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Nov 12, 2015
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Naz wrote: None of those from your link will work.With a big hole saw and hammering mortar joints can crack and you can create a bigger problem .
Cheaper and less risky will be to use small, long 3/16" or 1/4" carbide drill and drill many holes in a circle very close to each other. Use a small sharp chisel after.
Diamond hole saw with water will work nice, but it will be expensive.

Same like Cneufeld posted earlier. Was faster..
@Naz @CNeufeld
Thank you guys. I actually have a 1/2 inch diamond bit that I used for my floor tile to get the fridge water line in. Would that be good ?
So the idea is to drill from the inside with a masonry bit, just to know my centre and the entrance. Then create the 4 inch diameter with the drill hole in the center. So once I cut the veneer after creating these mini circles, I will use the whole saw to cut any material following that on the wall including wood.
Does that sound like a plan?
Stay strong, situation always looks harder and that it will never end when you are in the middle of it, but remember past experiences, everything has an ending.
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Oct 19, 2008
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$6 masonry wheel on a small grinder, don't need a round hole as the vent hood covers the area. Cut out 1/2 brick that falls in the hole area at mortar, its soft-just need to cut across brick about 3/4 deep. Smash with framing hammer, remove. Make some more cuts on brick, cold chisel and pieces break right off.
Sounds hard but actually very easy...and messy as crap, grinding very dusty. Done this about 50 times, buy a $25 princess auto grinder if you don't have one.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
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Go rent a cement coring bit in the exact size you need and the tools to run it. This is all terrible advice. You cant drill tiny holes in a circle without slipping with a mason bit... Its not wood.
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Oct 22, 2002
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'sauga
CNeufeld wrote: BTW... Your other option is to use a masonry bit (like a 1/4" bit) and drill a circle of small holes that can then be busted out.

C
For my first exhaust fan hole I rented a SDS drill and 4" bit from HD.

For my 2nd exhaust fan hole I decided to try the "many small holes in a circle" method.

I vastly preferred the 2nd option. And it's a heck of a lot cheaper.
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Dec 17, 2001
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Ajax
I rented the fancy setup from HD. But some really nice cheaper alternatives here, if you're doing the small circle of drill holes, I'm sure a hammer drill would help.
[OP]
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Nov 12, 2015
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Jerico wrote: Go rent a cement coring bit in the exact size you need and the tools to run it. This is all terrible advice. You cant drill tiny holes in a circle without slipping with a mason bit... Its not wood.
But they all tried it. I see your point. But I am not drilling through cindar blocks. It's just a thin layer of veneer brick. Can you elaborate on the reasoning please:) ?
Stay strong, situation always looks harder and that it will never end when you are in the middle of it, but remember past experiences, everything has an ending.
[OP]
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Nov 12, 2015
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Out of curiosity, how much is it go get someone to do the drilling for me?
Stay strong, situation always looks harder and that it will never end when you are in the middle of it, but remember past experiences, everything has an ending.
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
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I had a HVAC guy from Kijiji drill 4" holes for me at $50 dollars a hole but they did other HVAC work for me as well. I made one of my other 4" holes larger to a 6" hole by using a concrete chisel.
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Dec 26, 2005
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CNeufeld wrote: BTW... Your other option is to use a masonry bit (like a 1/4" bit) and drill a circle of small holes that can then be busted out.

C
I basically spent a few hours doing exactly this to cut two 6” holes through a poured foundation last weekend. Man, it was tiring and you will need a big rotary hammer (for a poured foundation at least).

Edit: used a 3/16” and chisel bits.

bjl
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Jan 25, 2007
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PriceHunter wrote: But they all tried it. I see your point. But I am not drilling through cindar blocks. It's just a thin layer of veneer brick. Can you elaborate on the reasoning please:) ?
The bit slips. Hammer drill bits dont grab like wood bits.
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You can rent the proper tool from Home Depot; it'll probably be a Bosch or Hilti, and it won't take you very long to have a perfect hole. The bit will eat through your brick cleanly and smoothly, especially if you have some water on there (you can ask them if it's recommended for that bit).

The drill is something like $50, and the bits vary, so you'd have to call them to see what those cost; I'd personally expect about $100 for the combo, for 4 hours.

Today I drilled a 2-1/4 hole with it, and I will happily spend the $80 to do it again.
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May 18, 2004
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PriceHunter wrote: Good day,

So part of my work on the basment, I have to cut a 4" hole on my side wall.

The wall is a brick veneer. Would this hole saw be good enough?

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.4-in ... 34798.html

Or should I go rent this from HD (Looks like an overkill for brick veneer)

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/tool-a ... 01119.html
Just remember that a 4inch hole isn't actually big enough for a 4 inch pipe.. but they never think of this when they make the bits.. so you will probably be manually making it a bit bigger, especially when you do the wood part of the hole.

secondly.. if you are getting this inspected. code now a days says it has to be a 5 inch pipe.. i got caught on this and had to redo which was a pain in the ass and very stupid considering no exhaust fan uses more than a 4 inch.
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Jan 2, 2012
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The_Madz wrote: Just remember that a 4inch hole isn't actually big enough for a 4 inch pipe.. but they never think of this when they make the bits.. so you will probably be manually making it a bit bigger, especially when you do the wood part of the hole.
secondly.. if you are getting this inspected. code now a days says it has to be a 5 inch pipe.. i got caught on this and had to redo which was a pain in the ass and very stupid considering no exhaust fan uses more than a 4 inch.
What jurisdiction are you in that wants a 5 inch hole?
[OP]
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Nov 12, 2015
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The_Madz wrote: Just remember that a 4inch hole isn't actually big enough for a 4 inch pipe.. but they never think of this when they make the bits.. so you will probably be manually making it a bit bigger, especially when you do the wood part of the hole.

secondly.. if you are getting this inspected. code now a days says it has to be a 5 inch pipe.. i got caught on this and had to redo which was a pain in the ass and very stupid considering no exhaust fan uses more than a 4 inch.
Interesting, I don't know if that is the case for Ontario though. Also, the core bit at HD is 4 1/8 inch, so they accommodate for the extra 1/8 th of an inch.
Stay strong, situation always looks harder and that it will never end when you are in the middle of it, but remember past experiences, everything has an ending.
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2017
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miscbrah1 wrote: I had a HVAC guy from Kijiji drill 4" holes for me at $50 dollars a hole but they did other HVAC work for me as well. I made one of my other 4" holes larger to a 6" hole by using a concrete chisel.
I've been looking for someone who will do that and also move some ducts around. If your guy is in the gta would you be able to pass along his contact number?
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May 18, 2004
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MrFrugal1 wrote: What jurisdiction are you in that wants a 5 inch hole?

Ontario... look it up in the building code.. minimum now is 125mm (aka 5 inch) and it's stupid..

it's not so much the masonry bit.. once i got to the plywood i used a nice hole saw which i thought was perfect only to realize they made the 4 inch exactly 4 inches and so it wouldn't fit so i always measure now to make sure.. the brick wasn't so much of a problem as the vibrations from the hammer drill made the hole a bit bigger anyway


PriceHunter wrote: Interesting, I don't know if that is the case for Ontario though. Also, the core bit at HD is 4 1/8 inch, so they accommodate for the extra 1/8 th of an inch.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2015
3520 posts
3934 upvotes
The_Madz wrote: Ontario... look it up in the building code.. minimum now is 125mm (aka 5 inch) and it's stupid..

it's not so much the masonry bit.. once i got to the plywood i used a nice hole saw which i thought was perfect only to realize they made the 4 inch exactly 4 inches and so it wouldn't fit so i always measure now to make sure.. the brick wasn't so much of a problem as the vibrations from the hammer drill made the hole a bit bigger anyway
So your recommendation is to use a hammer drill with a masonary drill bit like some guys here ?

How long did it take you for that hole if using this method ?
Stay strong, situation always looks harder and that it will never end when you are in the middle of it, but remember past experiences, everything has an ending.

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