Cutting Thru Brick Veneer

Brick veneer is a popular siding material that can give the classic look of brick without the involved process of laying actual bricks and mortar. It can be adapted for both internal and external installations, and it is very durable. At some points, repairs or replacements are needed. Building and/or replacing your own brick veneer siding requires familiarity with the needed tools, materials and processes, particularly how to cut through a brick veneer siding panel.

Tools and Materials Needed:
Electric drill
Masonry bit
Safety glasses
Protective sheeting
Work gloves
Dust mask
Cleaning rags
Angle grinder (optional)
Masonry brush
Stud finder
Bucket of water
Masonry blade
Circular saw

Step 1 – Locate Studs
Use the stud finder in the area where you need to cut through the brick veneer. Mark with a pencil where each stud is installed at evenly spaced intervals so that you do not cut through any of them; this could compromise structural integrity. Also mark the center of the opening you need to cut on the interior of the house. Lay down plastic sheeting to protect any furniture and other fixtures from dust.

Step 2 – Drill into Center
Drill through the exact center of the interior mark you made in the previous step. Make sure the masonry drill bit is able to reach through to the exterior. This step requires some endurance and patience. You will need to apply some steady pressure on the drill to accomplish this, and always wear safety glasses when operating a drill and other power tools. Always operate these in a well ventilated room to avoid inhaling too much dust from drilling and sawing.

Step 3 – Trace Veneer Opening
Return to the center mark you drilled through and use the chalk to trace the outline of the brick veneer section you will be removing. Keep the small hole in the direct center of this area, regardless of its shape or size. This helps ensure you cut out an even and accurate section, which especially applies to cutting circular sections out of brick veneer.

Step 4 – Saw through Veneer
Start in one corner of your chalk outline and saw through with the masonry blade and circular saw. Make sure your circular saw is fitted with a masonry blade designed to cut through brick veneer. It is a good idea to have more than one size of these masonry blades on hand.  Continue carefully until the section of brick veneer comes loose and you can easily remove it. Turn off the electric circular saw and allow it some time to cool down. Giving it this break will prevent the saw from getting too hot while cutting and causing the veneer to spark, possibly damaging it.
If you are cutting a small area of your brick veneer, you may need to use an angle grinder. This power tool uses a diamond blade for precise cutting, and they can be fitted with saw discs in a variety of sizes. Continue sawing until the entire section can be removed. Use your masonry brush to sweep away any debris or dust from the brick veneer, and clean the area with a wet rag.