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Old 04-25-2012, 03:12 PM   #16
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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Originally Posted by jpearson311 View Post
It's just brick. No block or poured cement behind them.
Interesting. What I would do next is inspect the other foundation walls of the house. Are they also only brick? Three minutes of digging outside should answer that question. If they are brick only then it's reasonable to assume the wall between your basement and the crawl space is load-bearing and I would definitely not remove any more bricks. In fact, I'd have someone repair that opening pronto. I'll be curious to learn from others about these types of walls; I've never seen a foundation wall made up of brick.

If the other foundation walls are not the same, then there's some hope that you're not looking at a load-bearing wall and removing some additional bricks may be OK. However, I yield to the expertise of the structural engineers on this site who will be able to better advise you on this matter.

That said, I'll reiterate that I think the best solution here is to avoid getting in that crawl space altogether.

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Old 04-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #17
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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Interesting. What I would do next is inspect the other foundation walls of the house. Are they also only brick? Three minutes of digging outside should answer that question. If they are brick only then it's reasonable to assume the wall between your basement and the crawl space is load-bearing and I would definitely not remove any more bricks. In fact, I'd have someone repair that opening pronto. I'll be curious to learn from others about these types of walls; I've never seen a foundation wall made up of brick.

If the other foundation walls are not the same, then there's some hope that you're not looking at a load-bearing wall and removing some additional bricks may be OK. However, I yield to the expertise of the structural engineers on this site who will be able to better advise you on this matter.

That said, I'll reiterate that I think the best solution here is to avoid getting in that crawl space altogether.
The house was built in 1905 and has a poured foundation. You can't see it in this photo, but the foundation is about 4' high and then the brick part is about 3' high. The bottom of the brick wall on the outside of the house is ground level.

Jesse
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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The house was built in 1905 and has a poured foundation. You can't see it in this photo, but the foundation is about 4' high and then the brick part is about 3' high. The bottom of the brick wall on the outside of the house is ground level.

Jesse
OK. So far, it's looking good for you. That wall appears, based on what you've described, to not be load bearing. However, again, I'll yield to the engineers. I'm not qualified to make such an assessment, and even they are often hesitant to do so based on information provided over the internet . I'm just explaining the way I'd look at it if it was my home.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:57 PM   #19
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


What you have for a foundation certainly isn't uncommon or unique for it's age. Many were built just like that, with brick above grade, and concrete below. I've also seen a number of them built completely with brick, usually at 4 brick wythe and out of soft, porous "Cream City" brick.

There's no doubt that the wall is carrying at least some floor load, likely even more than that. If you wanted to widen the opening, you'd have to install a hanger to the existing skirt board and fasten some sort of additional header on the back (crawlspace side) side. You could put a temporary post under the floor joist that needs the hanger. The only thing that would make this more complicated is if there is brick veneer above that is being supported by that part of the foundation.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:03 PM   #20
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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What you have for a foundation certainly isn't uncommon or unique for it's age.
Interesting. I guess I misunderstood the OP. I thought he was saying the perimiter foundation walls are concrete with brick veneer, as found in modern construction. My point was that if the wall in question has the same design as the perimeter foundation walls, it should be assumed to be load bearing.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:17 PM   #21
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


I'm wondering why no suggestion has been made to drill a hole through one or two of the bricks in a different area rather than taking out a whole pathway of them. Maybe there's a reason, but as a plumber that seems like the most obvious solution. Masonry hole saw should do it pretty easily through brick.


How many wires are we talking about here?
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:58 PM   #22
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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I'm wondering why no suggestion has been made to drill a hole through one or two of the bricks in a different area rather than taking out a whole pathway of them. Maybe there's a reason, but as a plumber that seems like the most obvious solution. Masonry hole saw should do it pretty easily through brick.

How many wires are we talking about here?
You missed it. The point is he needs to get himself into the crawlspace (though I'm not convinced it actually is necessary). I.e the opening needs to be big enough for a person to fit through
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:07 PM   #23
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


You're right, I missed that.

Would it be easier to cut an access into the floor in the corner of the room or a closet or something?


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Old 04-25-2012, 11:22 PM   #24
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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My point was that if the wall in question has the same design as the perimeter foundation walls, it should be assumed to be load bearing.
I think it's safe to assume the wall was indeed an exterior wall at one time, and the lower part of it technically still is, as there's dirt against it under the crawlspace. The crawlspace portion was an addition after 1905. And the fact that there are joists resting directly on it certainly hints that it still likely is load bearing.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #25
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Can I widen this crawl space opening?


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I think it's safe to assume the wall was indeed an exterior wall at one time, and the lower part of it technically still is, as there's dirt against it under the crawlspace. The crawlspace portion was an addition after 1905. And the fact that there are joists resting directly on it certainly hints that it still likely is load bearing.
I find it real hard to believe that it's an addition. The brick on the outside is exactly the same as the rest of the house and so are the floors, woodwork, etc on the inside. Thanks.

Jesse

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