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Rodney R 09-08-2011 06:04 PM

2ft thick stone wall removal
I have an old farmhouse, and I'd like to remove a section of wall. The wall is made of stone - I have no idea of the quality of the stone, I just know it's about 2 ft thick. Years ago a small addition was added to the house, and that addition was made into a kitchen, and it joined the rest of the house thru a doorway in the wall that I want to remove. The reason that I want to remove the wall is that my kitchen is small - the table is a special order cause it's so small. I want to make the kitchen and dining room into one room. Right now the dining room is a lot of wasted space, but the wall stands in my way. How do I remove the wall without having the house fall down? I know that I have to support the load on each side, but as I remove the stones from the 1st floor area, what's to keep them from falling above me? I haven't done any exact measuring, but I'd bet that the section that I need to remove is about 10ft. I know I can do small sections and then support each one, but how do I get me final beams in place then? Is there anywhere that I can find more info? Most everything I have found is just related to stud type walls.


nealtw 09-08-2011 06:45 PM

You may have to do some foundation work and you will have to do some work on the structure, you're best bet is to have an engineer look at it first. He will tell you what needs to be done, then you can get help doing those jobs.

stuart45 09-09-2011 03:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You normally need to use needles and acrow props as shown in the photo.
Attachment 3062
Once the wall is propped you can knock out below, build up the supporting piers and put in the beam just below the needles. Then build up between the needles, remove the needles later and fill in the holes.
Stonework usually requires more needles than brickwork and is more unstable when doing this kind of work. If you are unfamiliar with construction methods I would get some help in, as although this is a straight forward job for a pro, it can give serious problems to an amateur.
Stone houses like this are common where I live, but the Building Inspectors will usually want an SE to calculate the size of the steel for a large opening.

BridgeMan 09-09-2011 06:26 PM


You didn't specify, but is the 2-ft. thick wall composed of smaller rocks, mortared together? Or are they all huge, full-width chunks? If it's the latter, you better start conditioning yourself! Typical construction stone density can be as much as 160 lb. per cubic foot (that's heavier than concrete), meaning a 2 ft. x 1 ft. x 1 ft. piece will weigh more than 300 pounds.

Rodney R 09-11-2011 03:33 PM

I am certain that they are not full width. Probably nicer looking ones on the sides that were 'seen' years ago, and smaller stuff on the inside. This is all held together with horse hair and mud, if it's like anything else around here. Right now they are covered up with drywall and wainscoat, so I cannot be certain. This was built in the early 1800's, so construction materials were a little different. There are houses a lot older than this thing here, so I'm betting that the biggest stones were already used in other construction, but I don't think anybody is old enough to tell me.
Stuart - the picture did not appear in the post, but I can picture the needles.... Sorta sounds like the necessary tools are going to be expensive, and I should just hire somebody for this one.


stuart45 09-11-2011 04:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 3067
It's come out this time. You need props each side of the wall. The equipment isn't usually too expensive. I normally use 6x4 timbers as needles. For random rubble stonework you may need needles about every 2 ft.

Rodney R 09-12-2011 06:35 PM

Stuart - Thanks for the picture! I was imagining a metal rod when you said a needle. I'm not certain how much hidden space I have in the ceiling, but for a 6x4 and a prop, I might have to disturb the 2nd floor. Definately more to think about.


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