Restoration & Refurbishment Question

Bricking up an archway

My father in law knocked down an internal load bearing ball from lounge to dining room and used a timber post which had spent the previous few years as a fence post in his garden! We are looking at buying his house and would want to brick up the opening and reinstate the original doorway. What work is required, will it be just a case of bricking up and making good to walls & ceilings or would we need to provide any additional support while the structure has been compromised?

9 Answers

Best Answer

If it is a load bearing wall and your father in law used a fence post as a lintol, after being in the garden a couple of years, I am suprised the wall hasnt collapsed.
How much of the wall did he take out, any works like this are structural, he should have had a S/E to calculate the steel beams and inform building control, who inspect the works, to make sure it has been done accordingly, they then sign it of and issue a certificate, which obviously he hasnt done, makes a difference when you come to sell your house, surveyors may pick it up.
This isnt a diy job, you need a good builder in to advise and put right.
If your father in law is moving to another house, dont let him take the fence post with him, incase he does it again.

Answered 30th Jun 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

i dont understand what the timber post has been used for?

Answered 30th Jun 2011

Prestbury Developments and Refurbishments Ltd

Member since 17 Aug 2008

Hello. Providing none of the masonry over the opening had dropped (you will see cracks if it has), then you can safely brick up the opening in a loadbearing brick or block (min 7 Newton). Make sure no timber is trapped in the masonry. The original foundations should still be in place but this should be checked and if they are inadequate then consider laying proper foundations. (However, given that the wall was fine before the opening was made then foundations may not be an issue. You will need to temporarily support the masonry over the opening whilst you do this work. You can hire a couple of props with a scaffold pole or similar metal bar and build the wall with this in place, then remove it a week after the wall is built and fill in the hole. Good luck - Ian

Answered 30th Jun 2011

Inner World Design & Build Ltd.

Member since 19 Sep 2009

To remove any load bearing wall you must have a lintel or rsj fitted to support the wall above ,in most cases you will need a structural enginers report to determin the size of the r.s.j and a site inspection to check the remaining wall can take the r.s.j and that the foundation is strong enough to hold the new support.These jobs must be inspected by the building control to give you the piece of mind that the job has been done up the building regulations.

Answered 30th Jun 2011


Member since 15 Jul 2009

Having done loads of these type of jobs I will not tell you what to do - its NOT a DIY job - believe me things can go wrong pretty quickly even if you know what you're doing. Please get at least 3 builders to give you an estimate - it will be money well spent to get the job done properly -and if you are replacing a lintel on a load bearing wall you will have to get a building regs certificate

Answered 13th Jul 2011

G.&C. Bainbridge Stonemason Builder

Member since 9 Jul 2011

reading this,you will require an rsj! how did he support the "load bearing wall" before he knocked it down?

Answered 30th Jun 2011


Member since 22 Nov 2010

concrete lintel will need to be installed to new door opening

Answered 30th Jun 2011


Member since 7 Jun 2008

Hi, supposing the wall is a 4" brick or Block wall, he must have propped up somehow to remove or partially remove it, it is not a good idea to leave the old timber lintel / post there. You will need to prop up again using acrow props, with needles placed through the wall, just above the old wood. The acrows should be placed either side of the wall aprox 4 feet intervals. The old wood can then be removed and the wall re built to the under side of the original brickwork, leave a gap of about 1" between the top of the new wall and the underside of the existing wall, the gap should then be packed with a dryish mix of sharp sand and cement 3 to 1 ratio, this reduces shrinkage of the top joint, build between the needles, which can be removed once the brickwork has set. Fill in the needle holes with the same mix, you are then ready to plaster

Answered 30th Jun 2011

Bernards Construction & Maintenance

Member since 7 Jan 2010

If the wall is going to be boarded out and plastered
after rebuild you can use 7.5 Newton block,
Quicker to build and load bearing , you will need
to make sure upper wall is supported before
removing timber which by the way if wall was
Load bearing the wooden post is not sufficient.
My advice get a competent builder in and get work
done properly .

Answered 30th Jun 2011


Member since 25 Nov 2009

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