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 Post subject: Lintel Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:41 pm 
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Hi,

Been lurking around the forums getting some great tips for a while, now time for my first post, its going to be a bit long i'm afraid.

I've recently moved into a 1970's house and have had some builders in to quote for a few bits of building work (including removing a supporting wall between the kitchen and dining room). One of the other jobs I have asked to be done is for a doorway to be put through a downstairs internal wall. The wall is a single brick thickness but runs the whole height of the house.

One of the builders noticed that there was a bulge in the wall, which appeared to be the outline of a door that had been bricked up.

I have taken off some of the plaster, and it does appear that a door was there at some stage. There is no frame in place, however there is a wooden lintel above the door, approx 2.5" high x 4". There is a gap above the lintel of about half an inch which a couple of pieces of wood wedged in but only about 2" inches of the brickwork above is resting on the wood. :shock:

One end of the lintel extends into the external wall and the other end sits about 2" onto the brickwork.

As this has obviously been there for some time without the wall sagging, would it be ok to unblock the door and put the lining in, saving me some money 8-), or would it be advisable to replace the wood with a concrete lintel?

Thanks,

Mat


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:59 pm 
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Hi and welcome.

Not sure what you mean about a bulge, I'd expect if there was a problem with the lintel then a drop of bricks would be seen as seen by stepped cracks above the wooden lintel. The bulge could be the way the doorway has been bricked up....is the 'bulge' in the old doorway or above or at the side ?

I'm not a builder so you need to balance my info :wink:. If its single brick surely thats not a supporting wall :shock:. A 'real' builder will clarify (hopefully)

As for putting a doorway in and the lintel then this is reasonably straighforward altho' hard work. (just done it myself!). For the lintel I had an overhang of a min of 4 inches - idealy should be 6 inches but I couldn't get more than 4 inches. :lol:

I'd personally replace the wooden lintel with a concrete one - £4-6 so it shouldnt increase the amount of work/cost, increase the overhang eitherside of the doorway and make sure the gap above the lintel to the bricks above is well packed with muck. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Also look at this


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:12 pm 
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Sorry, should have made myself clearer. The bulge is at the side of the doorway, it's just where the door has been bricked up and the bricks for the infill have not been lined up correctly with the bricks of the wall.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:15 pm 
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Does that imply no structural damage then, just dodgy brickwork - did I do it :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:25 pm 
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There is no structual damage there at all. :grin:

I'm just suprised that the bricks above the lintel are hanging there and haven't moved. There are only two bricks supported by a thin piece of wood!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Like skiiking says I would put a small lintel in above, just to be on the safe side.

You can make an opeinging in most walls and in most cases the wall will not fall down completely, but the bricks will rake down like in the picture-

So it is best to put something there to support them and so a lintel is best.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:01 pm 
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So you think it is worthwhile replacing the existing wooden lintel with a concrete one, just to be on the safe side?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:10 pm 
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I certainly wood....a lintel is only going to cost £4-6 and the labour involved insn't too much then it just needs pointing up....should only add £20-30 ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:12 pm 
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Personally I would, just to be on the safe side :wink:

If you look at the page that skiking posted the link to-

http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/OPENING_A_WALL.htm

you will see that I put an archway inbetween two rooms, I did not intend on doing this, but there was a window between the two rooms. When I removed the plaster there was only a wood lintel in and it was badly bowed and so that is why I went ahead with the arch, I installed a steel rsj and then removed the window and made it into an arch.

The lintel will not need to be huge, but it is better than a piece of wood :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Ok, concrete lintel it is then. :-)

Thanks for all your help.

Mat


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:02 pm 
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For peace of mind use strongboys on acrows, while you replace the lintel, I recently took down a chimney breast and supported a double skin on two 6"x 4" steel reinforce concrete lintels 6' long, didnt realise they weighed nearly 10 stone each, good fun putting them in, NOT.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:34 pm 
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If not too late to post.
A single skin brick wall would be the norm for an internal supporting wall.
I wouldn't necessarily replace the wooden lintel with a concrete one.
a. If it aint broken dont fix it (is the timber sound? no worm, rot etc?)
b. The timber lintel is in all likelyhood as old as the original structure and they dont make timber like they used to!
c. if not done correctly you may cause more harm than good (not meant to upset your sensibilities).
In conclusion, if the timber lintel is sound and has a reasonable bearing either side I would open up my doorway (infill above with a nice stiff strong mix) and be mighty pleased with the reduced cost & effort.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:52 am 
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No it's not too late!

I've actually asked the builder who is doing the rest of the work to replace the wooden lintel with a concrete one. He is only charging £80 all in. (which is not much more that it would have cost me to do it once i've hired acros/strongboys bought the lintel etc). :grin:


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