Straighten a sagging 14ft window lintel - is it possible?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by mwj666, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. mwj666

    mwj666 New Member

    Hi all,

    After a bit of advice here please...

    We're looking at putting in an offer on a house but there's a problem.... the lounge window is 14ft (yes really!) wide, but it's been replaced at some point with uPVC double glazed units that apparently don't have any loadbearing reinforcement. As a result of this, the lintel is now sagging in the middle resulting in the tell-tale 'A' shaped cracks in the brickwork above - not an uncommon occurrence with replacement double glazing from what I can find online. It also appears that the lintel is still moving as at some point the mortar in the first course of bricks above the lintel has been repaired (badly) and that is also cracking. The steel lintel itself (or what I can see of it) appears to be in good condition. There's no cracks visible inside - but the house is up for sale so any that were there will have been filled and papered over and the vendor is hardly likely to admit it!

    We don't actually like the idea of having a 14 foot window so we're thinking of fitting 2 x 6ft windows and building a 2ft brick centre pier which would also provide the support that is clearly needed, but we'd like to jack the lintel back to something like straight before the centre pier is built (acrow props?). The lintel has sagged maybe 10 - 15mm in the centre.

    Anyone done this sort of thing? Or are we looking at ripping half the front wall of the house out and fitting a pair of huge RSJs to rectify? Though suppose we could get away with 2 CATNICs as we're dividing the aperture in half.

    Yes, we plan to get a structural survey but some advance idea of what may be feasible would be helpful as, if we're looking at well into the thousands of pounds to rectify, we may well save the surveyors fee and look elsewhere!

  2. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    First things first.

    Do you want the house, yes, good then get a surveyor in, the fact that the window is upvc is immaterial the lintel should be strong enough to cover that span, if it's dropped 10/15mm then it's not doing it job properly.

    Could you jack up the center and build a pier, almost certainly but you will need the services of a structural engineer to do the calcs and possibly planning permission to alter the appearance of the property.
    FatHands likes this.
  3. moppylhd

    moppylhd Member

    a 14ft steel bending in the middle. wtf.
  4. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    Could be that the window installers (all that time ago) just put in a 3/8th" steel plate above the window. Not unknown with installers some years ago. Serves very little purpose, but looks right at the time (as long as the customer doesn't see it being put in) ;);)
    FatHands likes this.
  5. metrokitchens

    metrokitchens Screwfix Select

    we want photos, we want photos ...
  6. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Not a lot you can do about the window not having supports. Seen so many times structural support in the jambs, then plonked on top of a hollow plastic sill!!!!

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  7. blertsville

    blertsville Member

    If there are no cracks inside then surely the external lintel is moving , seen this before , to suggest a pvc window with reinforcement will hold the above weight , no , good idea to place two small window make the centre pier 450mm or 550mm brickwork size approx
  8. blertsville

    blertsville Member

    Don't waste your money on structural engineers to tell you the obvious
  9. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    If only, the BC officer would insist on the calcs, unless they proceed without telling anybody.
  10. It sounds like the wrong sized steel/lintel has been fitted.

    You need an S/E to calculate the new lintel ( structural works ) which will carry the loads.

    The above masonry will need propping before fitting new lintel, you will create more work by building a central pier.

    Footings and load calculations will be required.

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