How to open up a wall

Before opening up a wall in your home, consider the structural implications. Professional advice from a structural surveyor should be sought before starting any work.

You will find the majority of load-bearing walls are constructed using blockwork or brick, but bear in mind that some modern dwellings have load-bearing walls of wood frame and plasterboard construction.

Contact the local building inspector for a consultation once you have decided where you want to open up the wall. If the building inspector gives permission to proceed, a brief order of works is as follows:

•    Fit a supporting lintel to prop up the wall above before removing any bricks. Acrows, or steel props, should be put in place to support the wall’s weight while positioning the lintel. Ascertain beforehand that the floor has enough inherent strength to support the weight of the wall on the steel props.

•    Carefully remove bricks, creating a space for the lintel.

•    Fix the lintel in using mortar.

•    Once the mortar has set, supporting props may be removed. Carefully take out the bricks from underneath, thus creating the desired opening.

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