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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Hi, This might need to go into the building section, but as it relates to a staircase I thought I would try here first! My staircase has a brick wall 'partition' underneath it creating a cupboard under the stairs. I want to remove the wall in order to install some sliding drawers for better storage but there is a complication with the staircase. I have a quarter turn towards the top, and the newel post supporting the quarter turn is held up by the brick wall partition (see attached photo of the newel post, and a second photo of the staircase). Can I remove most of the brick wall leaving a 20cm section to support the newel post? Would it help to screw in post to the wall to give it extra support to to bottom (I could do this on the back-side of the wall)? The brick wall is single brick thick. Any help would be great, thanks for reading.
Cheers

Gavin


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:47 pm 
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:welcomeuhm: just one thread per topic please. I've deleted the other one.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:47 am 
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:welcomeuhm:

This is one of those jobs where TBH I'd really want to see the arrangement first hand. The weakest point on that stair will be around that top newel (assuming that there's a half landing or a kite winder at that point) which might explain the infill. If the infill below a stair isn't structural the builder would more likely have done it either in timber panelling or stud walling with lath and plaster or (later) plasterboard (because they were generally cheaper) and I've rarely come cross a masonry infill wall in such a position which has left me wondering why it's there. It leads me to suspect that there may be structural element to that wall and that if you remove it the stairs might not be adequately supported at the top. But on the other hand I could always be wrong.

As an aside there have been a couple of times over the years when I've been called out (always at weekends) to do an emergency propping job on staircases in terraced houses. It was the same both times - straight stairs with a kite winder at the bottom and "non-structural" T&G matchboard cladding floor to ceiling. Of course, the matchboard at 1/2in thick couldn't possibly be structural so it was chopped out to make a nice modern open-sided staircase, which them drooped and started to detach itself from the trimmer at the top......... Over 100 or so years the "non-structural" matchboard had become a structural element. Cunning, those Victorian builders.....

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:02 am 
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Also you cannot rely on a sleeper wall (or absence of one) to signify if it is a load bearing wall or not. Often infill walls such as these might provide a propping role and rest on a joist. As your plan is to have a drawer type system I would play cautious and put an Acrow in and build a substantial framework in to give support for the stairs and drawer units.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:14 pm 
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Thanks very much for your replies - I'll get someone in to have a look. I suppose it is the nature of old houses (1927 in this case) that they never make life easy, or give up their secrets easily!

Cheers,

Gavin


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