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Header support for brick wall?

georgek's picture

Hi guys, I post on Knots but this time I need help with a construction issue. I want to cut an access hole from the attached garage into the basement work shop. The garage was a later addition. I want to cut the hole 3' x 5' at floor level in the garage through a brick wall. This opening will be at 4' off the basement floor. How do I support the brick? Is this too big for me, I only work with wood?

Thanks for any advise,



(post #98201, reply #1 of 1)

You are trying to support a single course brick wall?

There are two ways to do it.

One: you support the brick with a steel angle. The steel angle inserts 3½" either side of the opening and is supported by the brick below.

Two: because this is a brick veneer and is non-bearing (the wall only supports itself) you can use wood to support the opening. You will have to cut the opening a bit higher/wider  to allow for a 2X10 header, and wood posts. This might be a good option for you because it will be easier to mount doors.

I would recommend you saw the opening (don't worry, the wall will support itself while you do the work). You can either have a concrete cutting company wet saw the opening, or you can do it yourself with a rented concrete saw. The former is still messy but not as dusty. Once the saw cuts are made you can remove the remaining brick anyway you like.

I have knocked out several openings by hand, with a chisel and hammer. DO NOT USE A JACKHAMMER! The vibration can weaken the mortar enough to collapse a section. I did that once, and I'm lucky I'm not dead. (that was a very old wall, 4 courses of brick) If you want to do the opening by hand, take a sledge and make a hole. Knock out the brick one at a time with a chisel and hammer untill you can get in your supports.

Piece of cake.

Edit: In the picture, the sawcut on the left was a perfect fit for the 3½" X 5" angle. On the right, a brick had to be re-mortared to get a good fit. The metal post was left overnight to give the mortar time to set.


Edited 5/6/2005 12:22 pm ET by gordzco