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Old 01-11-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


I have a small 1928 Craftsman Bungalow. First story exterior walls are masonry. Problems with masonry wall. 1) No insulation. 2) Can't hang stuff on wall well. 3) No insulation. 4) The ground shakes here. 5) No insulation.

The normal way to insulate a wall like that is to build a frame wall on the inside. But I refuse to sacrifice that much space. I tried to pack insulation into the tubular spaces while remodeling the downstairs bathroom, but without success. If the tubes were vertical it might have worked. But they're not and it didn't. Then I thought of just replacing it. Prop up the upstairs downstairs, knocking out the wall, and building a frame wall in its place. But this gets into aesthetic issues. Now I'm thinking...

1) build frame of 2x4s on outside
2) drill and set anchors between bricks on outside
3) attach anchors to frame to stabilize brick wall
4) [carefully] knock out the interior terracotta tiles down to the foundation (cast concrete)
5) Build frame wall in place of terracotta tiles
6) drill into mortar from inside, set anchors, and attach anchors to inside frame
7) spray foam thermal break on inside of bricks
8) wire electrical
9) insulate
10) install plywood sheathing on inside of frame wall
11) cover plywood with drywall for fire blocking
12) Remove bracing from outside and touch up mortar

Advantages:
Maintains vintage brick wall.
Maintains internal space
Provides real insulation
provides for framing in smaller windows (raise sills so tables/desks can be parked under them)
Supports cabinets
Provides improved level of earthquake resistance (everyone has their faults and mine's in New Madrid)

Disadvantage:
Lots of tedious work even if restricted to the back room
getting good attachment to foundation.
Other?

I can't set j-bolts in foundation top, so either epoxy in bolts or use ties to connect stud wall to inside face of foundation in basement. Second floor is frame so should be easy to attach to. Since the big plan is to extend out the back of the house, the frame walls would simply extend past the end of the side walls and become the addition.

Since the back wall gets blown out, I only have to do this on two small areas about ten feet long each on the north and south ends of the country kitchen. But the outside of the these walls are visible from the street, so saving the brick wall has value. The bricks from the back wall provide material to rebrick the window opening to match higher sills. The result is the kitchen which has been poorly heated/cooled now becomes a comfy insulated room.

Does this sound practical or am I missing something.

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Old 01-11-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


Don't know. Got lost about half-way through.
Sounds like a lot of work.
Hope it gives you the desired results.

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Old 01-11-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


Want insulation then your going to have to compromise.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


Are the walls in good shape?
If they are you can use metal channels and 2" styrofaom on the walls. Your drywall attaches to the metal channels.
Good info on Building science website http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...lation-systems
Also depends on what zone you are in as to how much Insulation you need.

Do a search on this forum for Basement insulation, been discussed lots.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


This is the cross section of the wall. There is disturbingly little mortar connecting the outside bricks and the inside tiles.
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility-img_0165-small-.jpg  
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


different constructionthen I am used to. I will let others answer your questions.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:46 AM   #7
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


Quote:
Originally Posted by mwpiper View Post
This is the cross section of the wall. There is disturbingly little mortar connecting the outside bricks and the inside tiles.
That's a good thing really, as the mortar doesn't connect the two wythes, a mechanical anchor should be. It looks like those are old clay partition blocks?? If so, you may be able to use core-bond or a similar care spray foam to insulate. Your plan to leave the brick standing & re-anchor to a new wall is naive IMO.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


You've presented us with a disembodied view of a section of your house and you're asking us if your idea is sound. If you are trying to preserve the load-bearing capacity of the wall I think you are embarking into very dangerous territory if you're not a licensed structural engineer.

I would think, given what your ultimate objective is, that your best route is to install a steel beam across the span that you are talking about to take the load of the opened up area, even if you're leaving some of the brick wall up. Either way, get an engineer who can examine the existing structure, calculate what loads need to be supported, and design a solution that will be safe, feasible, and code compliant.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


Quote:
Originally Posted by mwpiper View Post
I have a small 1928 Craftsman Bungalow. First story exterior walls are masonry. Problems with masonry wall. 1) No insulation. 2) Can't hang stuff on wall well. 3) No insulation. 4) The ground shakes here. 5) No insulation.

The normal way to insulate a wall like that is to build a frame wall on the inside. But I refuse to sacrifice that much space. I tried to pack insulation into the tubular spaces while remodeling the downstairs bathroom, but without success. If the tubes were vertical it might have worked. But they're not and it didn't. Then I thought of just replacing it. Prop up the upstairs downstairs, knocking out the wall, and building a frame wall in its place. But this gets into aesthetic issues. Now I'm thinking...

1) build frame of 2x4s on outside
2) drill and set anchors between bricks on outside
3) attach anchors to frame to stabilize brick wall
4) [carefully] knock out the interior terracotta tiles down to the foundation (cast concrete)
5) Build frame wall in place of terracotta tiles
6) drill into mortar from inside, set anchors, and attach anchors to inside frame
7) spray foam thermal break on inside of bricks
8) wire electrical
9) insulate
10) install plywood sheathing on inside of frame wall
11) cover plywood with drywall for fire blocking
12) Remove bracing from outside and touch up mortar

Advantages:
Maintains vintage brick wall.
Maintains internal space
Provides real insulation
provides for framing in smaller windows (raise sills so tables/desks can be parked under them)
Supports cabinets
Provides improved level of earthquake resistance (everyone has their faults and mine's in New Madrid)

Disadvantage:
Lots of tedious work even if restricted to the back room
getting good attachment to foundation.
Other?
Does local code require this step of plywood and drywall? Also have you looked into just using hat track and rigid or spray foam on the walls behind the hat track. Hat track is a thin metal framing used for hanging drywall. Often used in commercial applications where 2x framing would be more costly or difficult.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


I would use an insulated platerboard with a built in vapour barrier. Stick to the wall using dot and dab. This way you only lose 1 or 2 inches.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


This type of work is done here on some types of PRC houses that were thrown up after the war. Here's a few pics.
Replace masonry wall - feasibility-3.jpg

Replace masonry wall - feasibility-392275_217418838334655_145016475574892_471078_556831647_n.jpg

Replace masonry wall - feasibility-385024_217416938334845_145016475574892_471067_2018214026_n.jpg
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #12
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


The walls in question don't carry the loads the front and back walls do. Joists run front to back and since it's a balloon structure, the second floor doesn't really touch the side walls (seriously). The side walls hold up themselves and the gable end above. The idea is to use the frame wall to take over the structural loads from foundation to the sill plates on top of the masonry and relegating the outer brick structure to a veneer (nonstructural). The plywood sheathing and anchoring is to replace the racking resistance of the original wall.

Quote:
...as the mortar doesn't connect the two wythes, a mechanical anchor should be.
None that I could see when I replaced the doors.

Quote:
Your plan to leave the brick standing & re-anchor to a new wall is naive IMO.
Yeah, I thrive on naivety.

Quote:
You've presented us with a disembodied view of a section of your house and you're asking us if your idea is sound.
Actually I was looking to see if anybody had seen an operation similar to this. I can accept "Run! Run away!" as valid input. Of course, stuart45's was more useful.

Quote:
Are the walls in good shape?
Structurally, yes. As long as the ground doesn't shake too much. Energy efficiency-wise, no. Aesthetically, somebody covered the inside with stucco that we want to remove and that's probably going to mess up the plaster something terrible. Sanding it makes the Evil Dust. I've contemplated trying to skim coat it, but that doesn't solve the efficiency issue.

Quote:
If they are you can use metal channels and 2" styrofaom on the walls. Your drywall attaches to the metal channels.
Good info on Building science website http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...lation-systems
Been there. I am trying to avoid building inside the walls in question. Takes up precious floor space. Makes it difficult to tie into other room features. Can I lose 2"? It's better than losing 4. I will keep that on the options list.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:36 AM   #13
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Replace masonry wall - feasibility


The best advice has already been given to you - Call someone local to look at it. What you are wanting maybe can be done but at what cost.
Could maybe remove brick, lift house build new wall, Insulate, re-install brick. Not sure if it will be as thin as it is now. Plus a lot of work and expense to save 2". But maybe worth it to you.

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