1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Are wooden lintels still allowed?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by cjb1971, 20 Apr 2018.

  1. cjb1971

    cjb1971

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2006
    Messages:
    1,108
    Thanks Received:
    125
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Recently had a front door replaced, was originally an arch frame but had it made square with side panels euther side of door.
    On the outside a concrete lintel was used, but on the inside a wooden one has been usee, do building regs allow this?
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    34,628
    Thanks Received:
    4,688
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Have you applied to see?
     
  4. cjb1971

    cjb1971

    Joined:
    25 Mar 2006
    Messages:
    1,108
    Thanks Received:
    125
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    With them being fensa registered, they are supposed to do do all the notification etc,but the way other parts of the job have gone(faulty lock, damage to the frames of the side panels,size of door not as stipulated in contract.... list goes on)
    I dont have much faith in the work carried out
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    34,628
    Thanks Received:
    4,688
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    FENSA does not cover any structural work. That needs a separate Building Regulation application. Have they actually done that? You need to check, as these firms rarely do. It's your responsibility as the homeowner to ensure that the application is made.

    A timber lintel would not normally be acceptable in a masonry wall but especially not in an external wall.
     
  6. tony1851

    tony1851

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    10,400
    Thanks Received:
    1,571
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Timber lintels and beams are perfectly acceptable structurally, as long as they are suitably protected from the effects of fire and damp-penetration - just as steel beams have to be.
     
  7. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2007
    Messages:
    19,955
    Thanks Received:
    2,223
    Location:
    Devon
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Timber was all the rage in your day Tony.
     
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    34,628
    Thanks Received:
    4,688
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yeah, he was profiting from adze way before Google
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. stevethejoiner

    stevethejoiner

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2011
    Messages:
    310
    Thanks Received:
    49
    Location:
    Kent
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I know this is an old thread but I think I should say the following about timber lintels and building regs.
    Twice in 12 months, and with two different local authorities, different building control officers have required me to remove perfectly good timber plate lintels when replacing windows. They say it’s a building regs requirement when replacing windows.
    One job was a box sash replacement with soldier bricks on outer face and BLdg Insp made us remove the chunky plate fitted on inner face and put in a concrete plank.
    The other job was a 1900s cottage where we were replacing single glazed timber casements for DG timber casements. 9” solid wall construction with timber plates above 1st floor windows to roof. There was one course of brickwork on the timber plates and then a wall plate with roof rafters birds mouthed over and ceiling joists tied in, typical construction for this era and sound. But Bldg Insp made us remove all the plates over the windows and put in concrete planks.
    There was nothing structurally wrong with these properties, and a Fenca company self certifying would have not bothered to replace them for sure, but doing work on a bldg notice and having BC officer on site now means replacing timber plates.
    Technically Fenca fitters should also be replacing timber plates they say, as part of the FENSA self certification is complying with current building regs.
     
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. tony1851

    tony1851

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    10,400
    Thanks Received:
    1,571
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Put simply, the inspectors in both those cases were wrong. There is no requirement at all in the Building Regulations that timber lintels be replaced when installing new windows; neither is there any stipulation that timber lintels must not be used structurally in new work - full stop.

    If those were my jobs, I would have asked the inspectors to show me precisely where in the Regs it states that timber lintels are either not allowed, or must be replaced if existing. I would also ask what they would do if someone was replacing timber windows in a 1970s or 80s timber-framed house with pvc. Would they demand that the timber beams on the inner skin be replaced by concrete? I think not.

    Not are they only wrong from a structural point of view, they are also applying the regulations (or what they think are the regs) retrospectively, which is also wrong.

    You can appeal any incorrect determination by an inspector, but would you go through all the paperwork and wait 6-9 months, and put the client to the uncertainty, for the sake of replacing a lintel? When I started out many moons ago, I would often contest decisions such as this on principle, but as you get older you go for an easier life and remember the old addage that 'principles don't pay the rent'.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. stevethejoiner

    stevethejoiner

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2011
    Messages:
    310
    Thanks Received:
    49
    Location:
    Kent
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Tony 1851,
    You raised perfectly good points, and I am 100% you are correct about the interpretation of the building regs. But it’s not fair to say as you get older you go for an easy life. You can argue with the BC officer as much as you want, but it’s what you need to do to get the house closed up and water tight. If you have already ripped out the old window and trying to fit the new one, you just have to carry on, even if it means popping to Jewsons (other builders sell lintels too ) and picking up a concrete lintel and fit it.
    Any jobs we do where the window is out and back in finished before the BC officer sees the old timber lintel exposed have been fine. Its just the times they visit when work is in progress.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. tony1851

    tony1851

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    10,400
    Thanks Received:
    1,571
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Steve, I do agree with your points (though I said when you get older you go for an easier life - not the same as an easy life!)

    I've done literally hundreds of jobs in which inspectors have been plain wrong in what they ask for, but we have to be diplomatic because they can cause trouble further on. It just annoys me when officials get these things wrong, though in your shoes I'd probably have done the same because the client doesn't want the house left opened up. Sometimes you have to hold the candle to the devil!
     
  14. As woody says you wouldn't expect builders to use timber lintels in masonry walls nowadays.
     
  15. tony1851

    tony1851

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2012
    Messages:
    10,400
    Thanks Received:
    1,571
    Location:
    Manchester
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I agree with this, yet there must be millions of pre-war houses up and down the country with timber lintels across internal doorways and the inner skin of windows.

    If we ask the builders precisely why we still don't do this, we usually get the answer: "er, well, building inspectors don't allow it, do they?"

    If we ask building inspectors why they don't allow it, we get the answer: "er... it's in the Regs".

    If we ask said inspector where in the regs it says timber is not allowed , we get the answer: "er......I'll get back to you...... let me know when the roof trusses are on.......must rush - bye."
     
  16. clifford1

    clifford1

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2010
    Messages:
    263
    Thanks Received:
    15
    Location:
    Pembrokeshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There are plenty of houses with wooden outside wooden lintels too. Oak lasts for hundreds of years.
     
  17. So specify oak lintels over all openings :!:
     
  18. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2019
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

    Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


    Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

     
Loading...

Share This Page