How to Block off a Doorway when Making a New Opening in a Wall


If you are making a new opening in a wall, it’s possible that you will also have to block off the original one. Obviously, you’ll want the patch to be invisible, which takes careful plastering or joint filling of plasterboard.

Choosing the right materials

It is generally better to fill in the opening with the same materials used in the construction of the wall-although you can consider bricks and blocks as the same-to prevent cracks forming due to movement in the structure. You could use a wooden stud frame with a plasterboard lining and plaster finish to fill an opening in a brick wall, but it would not have the same acoustic properties as a solid infill and cracks are difficult to prevent or disguise.

Block off  Doorway

Removing the woodwork

Saw through the door jamb linings close to the top and prise them away from the brickwork with a wrecking bar. Start levering at the bottom. If the linings were fitted before the flooring, the ends could be trapped: cut them flush with the floor. Next, prise the soffit board away from the top.

Bricking up the opening

Cut back the plaster about 150mm (6in) all round the opening. It need not be an even line; unevenness helps to disguise the outline of the doorway.

To bond the new brickwork into the old, cut out a half-brick on each side of the opening at every fourth course, using a club hammer and bolster chisel. For a block wall, remove a quarter of a block from alternate courses.

It’s not vital to tooth-in the infill if you’re using blocks (which are easy and quick to lay) as it will require more cutting to fit. Instead, 100mm (4in) cut clasp nails driven dovetail fashion into the bed joints of the side brickwork can be used to tie the masonry together. Galvanized metal frame cramps can also be used to save cutting into the bricks -screw them to the wall, resting on every fourth brick.

Lay the bricks or blocks in mortar, following the original courses. If a wooden suspended floor runs through the opening, lay the bricks on a timber sole plate nailed across the opening. When the mortar has set, spread on a base coat of plaster, followed by a finishing coat. Fit two complete lengths of new matching skirting, or add to the original. When making up the skirting from old pieces, make sure the joints do not occur in the same place as the original opening.

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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