Fireplace - replace lintel or don't bother?

27 Dec 2019
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United Kingdom
I'm opening up an old fireplace in a late victorian terrace what lies underneath is attached. I have removed a load of filler bricks and mortar to reveal the old arch and a lintel someone must have put in more recently (probably in the 80s). The concrete lintel looks to have been put in pretty badly - it has a tiny overhang on each end (about 20mm). However the original brick arch is still in place (one of the bricks wobbles a bit but it seems broadly OK).

Question is do I:

a) Install a new, longer, concrete lintel underneath the arch.

b) Don't bother and just re-mortar the existing lintel, plug the gap between the arch and lintel with mortar and tidy up.

I'm thinking i'll just go for b on the grounds that the original arch is in place and the fireplace opening is pretty small (0.5m wide with both stacks a similar width) so probably doesn't need that much support anyway.

I ultimately am just going to place a combination fireplace over the gap for decorative purposes.

What do people think?


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Looks pretty unstable with hardly any bearing, so I’d remove it. The arch should be self supporting anyway
as above, simply remove the lintel. its hardly on any seatings - it seems to be wedged in.

you would then be best to also remove and re-set the arch bricks.
- for the time being, dont go removing any more plaster, and the brickwork above the arch will stay in place.
thing is, that the arch bricks will need a rough timber former to locate them and keep them in place while the mortar sets.

remove the wood plugs and re-position the outlet to the back wall - not on the c/breast.

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