How best to relocate or replace window lintel?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Paul Tagliarini, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Paul Tagliarini

    Paul Tagliarini New Member

    Hi, I have a window and door I want to replace with just a window, but the new window will not be in exactly the same opening. Therefore I will need to either relocate or replace the existing lintel. Can someone give me some advice about how to best go about doing this?

    To help with my query the existing is shown below with where I want the new window. The existing wall is a solid 2 brick thick.



    Attached Files:

  2. Hammerman99

    Hammerman99 New Member

    From the picture of the inside I would think that the lintel could be either a pre-stressed concrete which was placed in during construction or it could be that the contrete was cast insitu.  If it was placed in during construction then the bricks in front may be independent of the lintel and will stay when you remove the old lintel, however I have come across lintels that were cast insitu using the front bricks to retain the concrete.  This means that they do not stay when you break out the back lintel.  Also, as the windows are wooden it may be that they form the lintel support for the front wall.

    I would do the following: Build a prop wall using a piece of 4x2 up against the floor joists and props supporting every 600mm.  Break out the lintel with a kango in pieces.  Remove the windows and put a Catnic steel lintel in place making sure that there will be enough support on the left and right.  Build up the right hand wall to support the lintel then cut away the excess on the left.
  3. Paul Tagliarini

    Paul Tagliarini New Member

    Thanks for your response, am I right in thinking even if it is a pres-stressed concrete lintel it would still be easier to replace it rather than relocate it, it does look heavy?
  4. Hammerman99

    Hammerman99 New Member

    Yes.  I think that you should replace it for two reasons. Firstly as you say it is very heavy and is hard to handle. I have lifted them down before but have also broken them with a breaker insitu to a more manageable size. Be sure that the lintel is not attached to the front bricks. You can check this by seeing if a damp proof membrane (probably thick bitumen based) separates the two. If the lintel has been cast insitu the front brick will be hard to keep in place.  The other reason to replace the lintel with a steel one is the front wall. I believe that the current windows are supporting the brickwork above (unless an arch does this) but either way after the window has been removed the wall needs proper support. Windows in the past were used as the front support. UPVC windows are not sufficient. That's why you often see replacement windows with dropped brickwork above. A lintel fr that window shouldn't CSS much more than £60.

    Hammerman99. A member of the Stanley Tool jury. Follow me on Twitter
  5. MrGrimNasty

    MrGrimNasty New Member

    Is the outside wall arched above the window - if so, probably currently no exterior lintel - and the arch will need removing or it'll look stupid. You sure the internal lintel isn't wood? - could well be if it is contemporary, doesn't really matter though - dump all current lintel(s). You have a cavity? Probably 50-70mm? If so I'd use a suitable galv. steel cavity wall lintel. Are those internal bricks soft/sandy pink and is the mortar very dry/sandy/loose (not any bits that have been patched up, but in the main) - if so, you need to be very careful with support with strong boys/props etc. probably not just under the joists, as you have a highly unstable wall. You need to remove the half bricks and tooth in and build the wall out from the right installing wall ties and continuing DPM if necessary, and cut back on the left (obviously), install the lintel with cavity DPM/weep holes etc. with suitable length and base of bearing either end. Building control will need to sign off as a structural alteration in the UK - so you'd be best asking them for tips!
  6. Paul Tagliarini

    Paul Tagliarini New Member

    The external wall is rendered so I think the lintel sits under both courses is that likely?
  7. MrGrimNasty

    MrGrimNasty New Member

    You need to know exactly what you are deaing with - Drill/chop a chunk out the window frame on the inside and/or remove a brick so you can look into the cavity.
  8. Hammerman99

    Hammerman99 New Member

    It is unlikely that there is a lintel which covers the entire wall. See my earlier post about either single lintel or cast insitu. Either way. Establish whether the lintel is attached to the front wall or not. Probably not from the clues you ave given. Remove lintel after supporting floor joists which in turn are supporting upper wall. Take out windows, take out excess brick/block work, slot in steel lintel with cavity tray above and chock up off of window cill. Build in lintel and supports to new window size. Remove chocks to leave window opening. Job done

    A member of The Stanley Tool Jury. Hammerman99. Follow me on Twitter
  9. MrGrimNasty

    MrGrimNasty New Member

    Pointless rehashing what has already been said in such a general way it is of no help whatsoever, and still including your dangerous advice about the floor joists supporting the wall. Firstly, what about the outer skin! Secondly, that type of internal brickwork is very prone to collapse and it is likely the bricks between the joists and the built in wooden wall plate would drop. And if he followed your advice about demolishing the lintel in situ, the vibration would also cause considerable risk. Please don't reply just to spam your Twitter account!

    And Paul, with all due respect, get a professional in, you obviously don't have a clue.
  10. wiggy

    wiggy Well-Known Member

    Hey guys i dont want to get involved in a beatch slap, and as i am only a humble carpenter i may be talking out the back of my head, surely as the wall is rendered on the out side you could just leave the lintel in and build the wall up to it........

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