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I'm looking for some advice on whether something I want to do is sensible and any potential risks.

Background:

Between my dining room and utility room at some time there must have been a doorway. Inside my utility room I have a small (4 ft high) brick wall that comes out of the profile of the existing wall that separates these two rooms. There is no load on top of the utility room wall and seems largely useless apart from it takes up space in the utility room. What I would like to do is remove this wall. However on closer inspection what I can see is that the brickwork is tied into the existing wall that runs along these two rooms. This wall is load bearing far as I can see. The way it is tied in is that every so often half a brick is in the existing wall and the other half into the brick work for the wall into the utility room. I think its about 8 bricks in total that are tied in out of the 100 or so bricks that make this wall up.

What I want to do:

If I was to take down the utility room wall and used an angle grinder to cut the bricks that are tied in would this be OK ? Essentially I leave the half that is tied into the load bearing wall in place. I could then repair any damaged cement work as well.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think your plan is correct.

I would speculate that the brick wall was the exterior wall at some point, and that construction is similar to modern veneer brick exteriors, where a freestanding masonry wall is 'tied' into the interior structure, mainly for support (the interior house supports the exterior veneer wall from sway). Your setup uses bricks for tiebacks; currently, galvanized brick ties are nailed to the structure. A single wythe of common bricks is rarely structural, being inherently unstable as the wall rises.

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So then wouldn't cutting out the knee wall make the remaining brick wall less stable? –  Richard Raustad Sep 7 '13 at 2:34
    
A knee wall implies it is supporting something. If it was supporting the roof or was a double wythe, structural wall, I would revise my answer. What in the OP's statement makes you think its a knee wall, besides its height? A veneer, single wythe wall GETS support from the adjacent structure, it doesn't provide it. –  HerrBag Sep 7 '13 at 14:36

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