Load-Bearing or Veneer?

I’m currently working to complete the ‘How to Inspect the Exterior Course’, and my question pertains specifically around the ‘Load-Bearing or Veneer’ section.

I’m having trouble determining whether or not my own home(built in 1954) is just brick veneer, or load-bearing as some of the characteristics listed in the module are not present. The course material provided the following Characteristics for:

A veneer wall:

  • weep holes are installed;
  • there are usually no arches;
  • lintels are installed; and
  • there are no header bricks.

Solid, load-bearing wall:

  • there are no weep holes;
  • it typically has arches;
  • there are usually no lintels; and
  • header bricks are installed.

My home has:
*No weep holes (associated with solid brick characteristics)
*No header bricks (associated with veneer)
*No arches (associated with solid brick characteristics)
*Steel Lintel is present (at least over 1 door where I can see it)

I’m leaning towards veneer, but thought I would ask some the veterans within this forum their opinion.

If veneer, why no weep holes?
Was this typical in the 1950’s?
How is moisture handled with this type of installation?

Best Regards,

Lack of weep holes is very normal especially for that age. Moisture is dealt with by drying out to exterior. Deep overhangs also help. If you have studs in the wall, it’s veener. If it was solid brick wall you would know. Post a pic :slight_smile:

Thank you for the quick reply! I’ve attached a couple of pics, and I do have studs, so veneer it is.

One further question if you don’t mind. During 1950’s was it typical for builders to install floor joists directly onto the foundation wall (i.e. sans sill plate) ? The joists in my house are installed this way.

Not in my area. I am in NY. Post a pic maybe you are confusing something. The sill plate allows to secure the joists.

No headers and the door jamb is set way in along framed out walls, my guess is Veneer.

Here are a couple of pics where the joists meet the top of the foundation wall. I misspoke in that last thread as there appears to be about one inch of mortar applied to the top of the foundation wall that the joist sits on. There had been work done prior to my ownership of the home, so I included another pic without the open cavity between the end of the joist and the exterior wall (looks like concrete block mortared in between).

I agree with David after seeing the pictures…Veneer.

Appreciate the confirmation, Larry!

Thank you, David.

You’re welcome, Kevin. :smile:

I agree with the Veneer answer. Another clue is you see but ends of brick every few cources.
They hold the two wyths together in the wall construction.

Hi Simon - I attached the pics associated with the joist question in a earlier thread. I agree that the sill plate allows the joist to be secured, but as you can see it is just resting on top of 1" of mortar that was applied to the top of the foundation wall. Have you ever seen or heard of joists being implemented in this fashion?

Best Regards,

Yes, seen that on commercial builds of 100 years old. But not on houses.

Always a first, right? :smile:

Thanks for the reply, Marcel!


Retired and living the dream? I’m so jealous!

Thanks, Douglas!

Thank you, David!

I have seen it once or twice posted on here, very old house but not in person.

Appreciate the input, Simon!