how to know if its an all brick building

4 Replies

in NYC and perhaps other places too, its a big difference between a full brick building (where all 4 exterior walls are from brick) or a building which is frame, even with a brick front wall.

i would really appreciate if anyone could explain me how i can find out on a building with a brick exterior wall in front, and the rest of the three exterior walls are covered with cement, if its all brick from inside?


I was looking into this awhile back. I couldn't get any clear hard and fast rules but if it's 6 stories and below, depending on the year built, it's probably wood frame. If you can visit in person it's often pretty apparent through how sound travels and the feeling under foot if it's concrete slab or not.

thank you.

if its built after year 2000, its more likely to be frame or brick?

Hey @Hertzke W. from my experience if it is built after 2000 it is more likely to be wood framed w/ brick veneer. Furthermore, if it is built anytime before the 1950’s it is most likely an actual brick/masonry house. 

From my experience:

Typically, one thing to look for in true masonry built houses are the header bricks. The headers are the squares of the brick (short side). When you stand back and look at the brick house it will appear all the bricks are laid down lengthwise and you notice the rectangular sides of the brick. If it is a masonry built house you will ALSO notice rows where the bricks are laid down as such where you will see the square ends (header bricks). These are typically underneath the windows etc., or every 5 rows or so.

You can also check above the window and if you notice large  random holes every 24-32 inches, then these are weep holes used for drainage on brick veneer houses.

If you go in the attics and look towards the Gable wall of most masonry built houses you will be able to see the masonry block/brick construction.

Typically, masonry houses will have little to no insulation in the exterior walls due to lack of space. Drill a hole from the inside and check it out

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