fit a window which is smaller than the frame

6 Sep 2008
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United Kingdom
I have a window in an old house which is timber-framed and with no lintel. It's single glazed and the wood is bad anyway. I want to fit a smaller window and, as luck would have it, I've been donated a upvc window frame with 2 double-glazed windows. Nice.
The new frame is about 2 inches smaller in height and over a foot smaller in width. I reckon the height difference could be accommodated with a wood batten, but the width is more tricky.
Could I fill in the bulk of the 2 sides with two brick 'stacks' and lay a lintel across the top of the 2 stacks. If the wooden frame is removed at the top ( where, presumably, it acts as a lintel ) there would be room for a lintel, 3 or 4 inches in height.
The window is upstairs and theres only a few rows of bricks above it. I suspect a lintel would be a good idea, but also expect the thing not to collapse in the short space of time it takes fit the new one. Or should I fit one of those long steel rods in the wall above first?
Advice would be much appreciated
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Well, not a great help.
I'm not going to ask permission and I'm going to do it myself.
So, what was the answer to the original question?
What you are asking is pretty it absolutely necessary to reduce the window size?
If it is, your brick piers will need to be tied in to the existing brickwork or more than likely they will crack at the mortar join.
As for the brickwork above the lintel, often you can get away without needles if the brickwork is sound.....drilling to insert the needles can upset things anyway - no one can really tell.
Are you happy with how things will look, both from outside and in?
John :)
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Well, not a great help.
I'm not going to ask permission and I'm going to do it myself.
So, what was the answer to the original question?

your choice really
may cause problems if you want to sell or if somone reports you
the reason for my first post was because route one you would need to find out what would satify building control to get your certificate
or route two they would do the work
Thanks for the replies.
This place is a little outside the envelope and so a lot of the concerns you all raise are not that important. It's unlikely that anyone will bother reporting me for this. And selling it isn't a concern, either. When I'm dead, the whole place is likely to be pulled down anyway. And, no, I don't give a toss how it looks, inside or out.
Yes, I do want to fit a smaller window: the existing ones are too big IMO. A smaller window is cheaper and easier to fit. It's only me living there and it's what I want, so what's not to like?
Of course, I would tie the stacks to the existing wall. The tie-rod idea is probably a bad one. As the wall is 9 inches thick, and solid brick, I guess
I could fit a lintel say, 6 inches wide before I remove the wooden frame.
Sounds plausible to me.

i am sorry if my post seemed unhelpful or unfriendly it wasn't meant that way :D :D :D
we need to remember every post will be read by hundreds off people so some information that might seem excessive will be more for general advice
sometimes for people that are not aware and other times to save suplimentery questions for others reading a thread ;)
Fair point, well made.
However, you seem to know what you're talking about.
Bearing in mind the circumstances I've laid out, do you think the procedure I've devised is reasonable?
No reason for your proposal not to work......why not rake out any grot above the existing window, just to see whats resting on it?
If you can see daylight then things ought to be stable enough.
Maybe its possible to set in a piece of angle iron as a lintel, until the work is done?
John :)
Thanks John,
The window is part of an extension, but was added a long time ago, looks like. I don't imagine the work was done to any standard acceptable today by FENSA, or, in fact, anybody! I'm fairly sure theres no lintel, but I will do some exploratory work to check. Looks like just 2 rows of bricks above the frame, but the roof weight is on top of that, so I wont take risks: I'll make sure it's propped somehow before I add the lintel and remove the frame.
I realise this isn't trivial, but it isn't rocket science, either.
As I'm doing the work myself I'll take a lot more care than many builders, and I'm not in a hurry to finish it.


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