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I live in a house that I can hang pictures on the interior walls, but if I try and put a nail in an outer wall, I can't. I assume that means my walls use some type of infill.

In order to hang stuff on the walls, I need to know what I'm drilling into.

I see a yellow plaster wall from the inside and a red brick from the outside. How do I determine what's in between them?

I hope that these answers can apply to other people. My situation is a house in the midwest built in the late 1920's with an unfinished basement with concrete walls all the way up to the first floor. The brick starts at the bottom of the first floor which is 3' in the air.

  • I have discovered that the first thing I need to look for is "header" bricks, a row of bricks turned sideways so you're looking at their ends. This could mean the walls are made of two brick walls with gravel in between tied together with the "headers". I do not have these sideways rows. – Zach Mierzejewski Jul 10 '15 at 20:32
  • It also looks like those headers could imply a wall consisting of one brick "skin" directly touching and tied into a cinder brick "skin" behind it. This is not a veneer; the two component walls are tied together and both carry the load. – Zach Mierzejewski Jul 10 '15 at 20:40
  • It looks like you can have a gap between the brick and cinder block. You could also have one of these cavity walls and not have the header bricks because there could be hidden metal ties instead. A good indicator that you have a cavity wall is a metal strip all the way around the house protruding from the brick about 12" above the bottom of the brick. This is for drainage. – Zach Mierzejewski Jul 10 '15 at 20:51

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