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Cracks above kitchen window - brickwork.

Discussion in 'Building' started by rshome123, 7 Aug 2013.

  1. rshome123

    rshome123

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    Have a problem that I've been putting off that I need to get sorted. If there is anyone with any building experience who can offer advice I'd appreciate it.

    Cracks have appeared over the course of the last few years in the brickwork mortar above the kitchen window.

    This, I am recently informed, is because when the UPVC window was fitted, they did not fix an adequate lintel (if any), and therefore the brickwork seems to have been supported just by the window (eeek yes I know!).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One builder I've spoken to on the phone (i.e. described the problem - he's not seen it) reckons it wouldn't cost £200 - £250 to correct, which implies a days work.

    Another builder who came round this afternoon hasn't provided me with a costing yet, but reckoned it would be more like 2 1/2 days work, involving scaffolding etc, which implies it will be much more costly.

    I'm getting a couple of other quotes done tomorrow, to compare.

    My concerns are (as you might imagine)...

    1) Getting good value for money
    2) Good Quality job
    3) Disruption and any interior decoration required to be done afterwards.

    Thoughts please anyone ?
     
  2. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Get a few more estimates.
    It's not a big job, but that doesn't mean builders will be prepared to do it for peanuts.
     
  3. Jackrae

    Jackrae

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    There appears to be mortar under the line of bricks immediately above the window with suggests there might be a catnic type lintel fitted.

    From the line of the crack I'd think the problem might be a subsidence issue which is more serious than you're hoping.
     
  4. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Have to disagree there! It's the classic case of insufficient support over the window, due to no or insufficient lintel.
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It's two men for one day plus no more than £100 materials
     
  6. stuart45

    stuart45

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    Does look more like a felt tray than a catnic.
     
  7. rshome123

    rshome123

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    Thanks for the info. I'll post an update tomorrow.
     
  8. rshome123

    rshome123

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    Not a Lintel problem... just needs repointing.

    Thanks.
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Who said that?

    Why has it cracked then?
     
  10. rshome123

    rshome123

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    House movement over the years.
     
  11. noseall

    noseall

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    It has been recently re-pointed and has since cracked.

    How do you explain this?

    The crack is indicative of bricks dropping due to window head loading and sagging, i.e. no lintel or failed lintel.
     
  12. cotswoldbuilders

    cotswoldbuilders

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    There might be a cast in situ boot lintel which should be carrying the inner skin of brick/blockwork.
    Years ago the face work would have been build straight over the existing windows, either heavy framed timber or crittal windows.
    The movement occurs after removal of the existing and refitting with the upvc units which wont take the weight, plus you will notice slight bowing of the head of frames.
    Its not a big job to fit a lintel.
     
  13. RonnyRaygun

    RonnyRaygun

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    Doubt there's a boot lintel. It looks like quite an old property and boot lintels are usually only found in properties from the 60s and 70s.

    Agree though that this is due to installation of a UPVC window that is unable to take the weight of the brickwork.
    No lintel was required before, and the window installers should have advised on the installation of a lintel prior to fitting window.
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Get surveyors opinion, not one off a circus clown
     
  15. cotswoldbuilders

    cotswoldbuilders

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    You could be right Ronny but, there was an estate of local authority houses not far from me which had the same problem.
    All the Critalls were changed for upvc, hence the movement, which had to be rectified later, as you said it should have been picked up by the window company, as fitting the lintels would have been easier at that stage.
    The brickwork looks similar, but there was a concrete lintel carrying the inner walls.
    There was astos dpc, cavity tray draped over lintel onto head of existing frames ( which Stuart mentioned ) and face brick built over.
     
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