Rowhouse structure quesion - Posted by Dwayne Frazier

Posted by Mike O on November 15, 1999 at 22:11:27:


They could be tie-rods. They are used for reinforcement, they hold the front and back of the house together. Some large commercial buildings also have them, they can be identified by stars on the fronts or sides of buildings. Check the rest of the homes in the row to see if any others have them, they may be concealed. hope this helps.

Mike O

Rowhouse structure quesion - Posted by Dwayne Frazier

Posted by Dwayne Frazier on November 14, 1999 at 17:01:38:

Recently bought an all brick rowhouse at foreclosure here in my area of Baltimore City (these rowhouses are quite common here). We have already improved the place cosmetically and have had it on the market for the past few weeks. Had a buyer very interested who had a contractor friend come by later for a closer look. It seems that the contractor convinced the buyer to pass because of some possible structural damage. There are apparently rods of some sort which run the length of the house. These rods are covered on the front face of the house by a decorative plate (I have seen these decorative plates on other houses before but did not know that they were there for any reason but decoration). I will probably have my own inspection done on the property to assure myself that there is no serious problem. Before I did I thought I would ask if anyone here has ever had any experience with these rods on older homes and whether they are a sign of problems.

Reinforcement - Posted by Shawn M. Crawford

Posted by Shawn M. Crawford on November 15, 1999 at 15:21:42:


The rod in in stucture most likely is there to reinforce an area where settling has occured.

I live in Charleston, SC and most of the masonry structures have these rods because of settling problems (the city was built on a marsh) and to repair damage from earthquakes(yes we get them in the South).

The structures that have them in South Carolina have been standing since the 1700’s. They don’t seem to be going anywhere fast.

Since it appears that you do not have much experience in construction I would highly reccomend hiring either an engineer or contractor or both to look at the problem.


Re: Rowhouse structure quesion - Posted by Bert G

Posted by Bert G on November 15, 1999 at 14:48:59:

We don’t have many rowhouses in North Dakota, but do have some old brick buildings. Its my guess that the rods are there to reinforce the brick construction,particularly if they were starting to bulge. Then again, it may have been a standard practice to install them at construction time. (We do that here with wooden grain bins.)I’d suggest contacting a freindly and knowlegeable masonry contractor and ask him to explain just what those things are for.
Bert G