More on Plaster Arch Saga - It Is Structural and not sure what to do

Re: plaster arch in tall thin hall - after all advice received here
(many thanks), and being told that a plasterer would charge £350 for
repairing it, I decided to restore it myself (I used to do car
bodywork and stuff so I think I can repair the existing mouldings, but
not sure I could build the whole thing from a kit or whatever) I was doing it, a piece of the round edge moulding came away,
revealing that it actually covers a brick arch.
As stated, there is a crack through the arch where the house has
subsided and the crack goes through from one side of the arch to the
other, so I am presuming that the bricks themselves have actually
slipped a little. So would just repointing these bricks make it ok, or
would I need to get a builder in? (no I'm not up to bricklaying off
ceilings!). It looks like there is some kind of iron bolt in the
middle of the arch - a strengthener I suppose. The bricks have slipped
to one side of the bolt.
This is all a bit of guesswork at the moment as I have not yet removed
the plaster - it would have been easy to repair the arch using the
existing plaster as a guide but taking it all off I suppose I would
need a kit so I haven't done it yet.
Just really need to know if people think I need to call in a builder
to deal with the brickwork (it's only a small area) or if just
remortaring the bricks would be sufficient. As I said, there is no
solid wall above the brick arch so I guess it acts like a stretcher,
or is it there purely to provide an arch?
Sorry to ramble on about it!
Reply to
Don't apologise, it's fascinating.
But I can't answer your question! I'm not sure that I'd trust all builders :-(
Reply to
Mary Fisher
Hi Maria Interesting indeed IME I have never seen a structural arch in the position of your photo as it defies need, the inner wall of the lobby will only be single brick and unless the arch supports an upstairs fireplace flue would only be decorative. More information is needed to determine the exact use for the arch. As you state the footers have been removed so if the arch is brick it may not be keyed into the walls at all just built on the (now removed footers) this would explain the cracks and a Danger! If the arch is purely decorative and was built from the footers then the only thing holding it in place is the plaster/morter and the subsided brickwork of the arch.
Are there cracks at the ceiling? Are any of the arch bricks keyed into the side walls? Is there a heavy load (fireplace,2nd floor staircase etc) directly above the arch? Is the lobby that the arch is in part of the property.(ie was it at one time a side entrance to the rear of the house.)? Many question but be careful and if unsure consult a qualified builder. Or ask your local council planning officer after all they are civil servants.
Reply to
Perhaps the arch is a brace to keep the walls either side apart. There are many such arches between the house walls in the mediaeval towns of Italy
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