The front of my house has brick veneer wainscoting on the bottom 1/3 of it. It's ugly brick, and it's in the way of my continuous insulation retrofit project due to how it projects 4" beyond the stucco on the rest of the exterior, so I need to demolish it. The bricks are actual bricks stacked in a running bond with mortar, not thin bricks adhered to a stucco/mortar scratch coat or anything.

How should I go about demolishing this brick wainscoting without wrecking the fiberboard sheathing and 2x4 framing behind it? I suppose the fiberboard is disposable, as I could just replace it with even more foam insulation, but naturally the 2x4 framing needs to remain intact.

1 Answer 1


From the top down, one brick at a time.

All your chisels strikes should impact towards the lower and next brick, laterally or directly downwards. Place the chisel point in the mortar bed, drive it under the brick, and voilà. If the top row abuts something, these bricks may be difficult, but the rest will come right out once two adjacent sides are free.

This is how I'd attack most brick walls anyway, that I couldn't just push over; using my chipping hammer. Let this be your excuse to buy a rotatory chipping hammer (that toggles to just impact) or have fun with your 5 pound sledge and a cold chisel. (zoro.com)

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-Swinging hammers sucks; popping out a single row of bricks (from the top) is child's play with a chipping hammer.

  • I do already have such a tool, and I've been using it to great effect on my stucco. I wasn't having much luck on the brick but maybe my technique was wrong. The top row is horizontal, sloped toward the exterior, and keyed into the stucco above it.
    – iLikeDirt
    Nov 7, 2014 at 3:15
  • 1
    @iLikeDirt That's your problem area. Remove the entire top row (removing the first row under that as you go may make it easier [2 adj. sides!] or free it from the stucco) soon you will begin to wonder why brick houses don't just fall down all by themselves.
    – Mazura
    Nov 7, 2014 at 3:28
  • Now that I picture it better- yea, that top row's not going to be fun. You may end up having to pulverize some (or all) of the top row to get started. Once you have a hole going though... Sounds like you're covering the stucco; completely free the brick from it first.
    – Mazura
    Nov 7, 2014 at 3:40
  • Yup. Covering the stucco with foam insulation and more better stucco.
    – iLikeDirt
    Nov 7, 2014 at 5:37
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    Worked like a charm! You're right, they come off astonishingly easily with the right technique.
    – iLikeDirt
    Nov 9, 2014 at 22:03

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