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Do I have lintels above my windows?

Discussion in 'Building' started by henry23, 23 Sep 2016.

  1. henry23

    henry23

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    I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but I've got a 1950's house and can't find any evidence of lintels above my windows. I have cavity walls and have a course of soldiers which run all the way round my house. They stick slightly proud of the other brick work. I'm just about to have some new double glazing fitted and the surveyor was questioning the evidence of lintels.

    has anyone seen anything like this before and offer any advice, I had my builder round a week back and he wan't really much use other than to say there had been no movement.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    how can I check?

    many thanks,

    henry
     
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  3. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Remove a window and see if the bricks fall down.
     
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  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You do know that you already have double glazing?
     
  5. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Personally I'd just drill in and see what's there.
     
  6. henry23

    henry23

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    i drilled in horizontally into the mortar just above a window. drill bit stopped after going the depth of a brick plus the cavity. I think i only have internal concrete lintels. the internal walls are the load bearing ones i believe. not sure if building regs or the window fitters will be happy with just internal lintels.

    does anyone know?
     
  7. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    So you think you hit concrete from what was on the drill? So it looks very much like just an internal lintel and you internals are your load bearing walls. This shouldn't matter to the window fitter unless he foolishly thinks the windows are holding the house up :LOL:. As for BR, well the house is already built, so I really wouldn't worry on that score if all you are doing is changing like for like there's no structural issue surely.
     
  8. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    So it sounds very like your internal is your load bearing wall. I'm guessing you had concrete showing on the end of your drill? Or could you have hit metal? Either way, I can't see it being an issue for the window fitters at all as it's not as if the windows are holding the house up! It may be that you have a composite lintel (I have to say I have no idea when these were first around) - I've put a (bad) diagram of one here. The steel is much, much thinner than I've shown it of course. either way, I really would not worry about it as regards having replacement windows fitted.
    (this above is not to be confused with a cavity tray though in cross section it looks similar).

     
    Last edited: 23 Sep 2016
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  10. henry23

    henry23

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    culewhouse, thanks for your reply. the window fitters have said that their windows can't support load. which indeed i don't think they will just the potential load of 1 course of bricks. i don't see there being an issue, but the window fitters are being very tetchy "we will not take responsibility for anything!" i've emailed my building regs guy hopefully he can help out and tell the fitters that everything will be fine.....

    i hadn't appreciated until a few weeks ago that you need BR for replacement windows or FENSA registered fitters.

    To cut a long story short I was going to get my builder to fit my new aluminium windows, but he gave me a quote for more than twice what the window manufacturers quoted me. In the interim because he is not FENSA registered I signed up and paid for building regs. Now I've gone back and accepted the cheaper quote I don't need BR, but I've already paid upfront for them.
     
  11. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Yes, it's all a pricy learning curve isn't it! :rolleyes: If the bricks don't fall down when the windows are taken out (which I'd be amazed if they did looking at the standard of the work in the photos) then clearly they aren't putting a load on the window. There looks to be no cracking of the mortar or anything to lead you to believe they've moved one thou since the day they were put in actually.
     
  12. stuart45

    stuart45

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    When your house was built concrete lintels were usually either done insitu with wall ties built into the lintel and brickwork joints, or precast 6 inch on the inner skin with the timber frames taking the weight of the brickwork facework from above.
    Plastic frames don't take the weight as well as timber and there have been problems when they have been used without adding a lintel to the external skin.
     
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  13. henry23

    henry23

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    does anyone know how much it would cost to have lintels fitted, for an outer skin? just had a check round the side of my house and there are cracks above a small toilet window, both sides in the mortar of the soldiers. certainly no window fitter would risk taking out this window.
     
  14. kazuya

    kazuya

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    chances are theres no external lintels, they would have used wooden windows and build straight on top as the wooden ones are stronger, however seeing as your windows have already been changed to upvc at some point either means either there was a lintel put in at the time of changing or more than likely they didn't bother because the brickwork stayed up when they cut out the wooden ones.
     
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  15. henry23

    henry23

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    kazuya: exactly you hit the nail on the head. a lintel was never put in since the windows were fitted 18+ yrs ago there were no building regs for new windows. I'm sure the brickwork would probably stay up fine, but the new window fitters will not take the responsibility of fitting without lintels in place.
     
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