Internal Doorway Concrete Lintel Replacement

5 Nov 2018
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

I have removed plaster to expose an internal (single brick) wall in my living room but I've noticed that the concrete lintel above the doorway has blown. I do want to keep it exposed so would like to replace the lintel.

There are four joists running perpendicular to the door but no bricks sitting above what you can see in the picture. (One of the joists isn't even sitting on the brick.) On the floor directly above this is another doorway leading to a bedroom.

I'm guessing I would still need to acrow prop it(?), but I'm wondering how I would get the old lintel out and new one in, as surely the props are going to be in the way? As mentioned, the doorway covers four joists in total, but I'm thinking I wouldn't really need four props?

Also, from a purely cosmetic point of view, the ceiling is wallpapered so would want to limit ruining it with the props, so any advice on how to get away with that would be welcome.

Thanks folks.

P.S. The long strip of wood below the lintel is only about 1 to 2mm thick and is just tacked against some 2x4 either side of the door and doesn't appear to be anything else but cosmetic.
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You may as well take the brickwork down, replace the lintel and rebuild the brickwork.
If you're going to prop the ceiling, place a timber (e.g. a length of joist on its side) on top of the props before they meet the plaster. You can scrub the timber clean or put something clean such as paper on top. It's possible the plaster will crack while you are working.
You may as well take the brickwork down, replace the lintel and rebuild the brickwork.
Thanks Stuart, that's exactly what I am planning on doing. I just needed to know if acrows were necessary and if so, how I would be able to pull the lintel out (after removing the bricks) with the acrows being in the way. Cheers.
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I didn't see any joists resting on the wall, but if they are do as John said and use a board back a few feet from the wall. No need to over tighten the acrows, just enough to take the weight.
I didn't see any joists resting on the wall, but if they are do as John said and use a board back a few feet from the wall. No need to over tighten the acrows, just enough to take the weight.
And screw the acrows to the board, so they can't fall on anyone
Hi all. Thanks for your advice this week, it's been very helpful. However, on closer inspection, I'm not too sure if this job will be as easy as I thought. What you probably can't see in my original picture is that there is (dirty cream) wall running at a right angle, just to the right side of the lintel.

It looks as if about 4" of the lintel is set into this side wall, which suggests it is load bearing as the bricks run up into the loft.

Now I have managed to get my house layout off Rightmove, which may describe how the lintel is situated a bit better.

This is the aerial view of my original picture.

So, the bricks in the lounge directly above the lintel end at ceiling height and can be removed with acrow support, but where the end of the lintel enters the side wall (front room), the bricks continue up into the loft.

With that in mind, would it be feasible to pull the remainder of the lintel out of the side wall and 'quickly' slide a new lintel back into the gap? A bit like playing a life size Jenga game? Maths and physics isn't my strong point so am happy to be firmly educated and put in my place.

Thanks for any advice.
on your first pic thers no sign of any joists above the brick panel, only a rough line of loose rubble on top of the last course of secure bricks?
are these joist coming across the longe an entering above the doorway? or are they coming in from across the hall?
typicaly for that house plan layout you would have both lounge an hall joist tails meeting an sittin above that panel of bricks.
unless the lounge joists run all the way over the supporin brick panel an then across the hall to the stairwell beam carrier? that would take pretty long joists?
any more pics ?

as advised by others above you should prop the joists (wherever they are comin from) an then take down the panel of brickwork an remove the old lintel.
its doubtful that removin the lintel from the side wall will cause any brickwork to drop - just ease the lintel out. dont do anythin fast, nothin. work nice an steady.

ther must be no chance of any movement - the propped ceilin plate timber must be touchin under the joists, no gaps.
use a floor plate an a ceilin plate.
allowin for a bit of comin an goin - keep the door an all the other doors nearby an upstairs shut durin the work
As said - brickwork above down - new lintel in - re-build. One acro if joists fall on wall. Some plaster remedial work likely in the room next door.

Simple job - but dusty.
Wow, thanks all for this. Now I'm almost there but...

I've measured the height of the existing lintel and it's about
  1. Height: 82mm)
  2. Depth: 100mm)
  3. Length: Between 90cm and 100cm depending on how far the one end of the lintel goes into the side wall.

Length: Now the lintels I've seen (don't shoot me down!) from B&Q and Wickes are of varying lengths, so presumably I should be able to cut through one to match the size with an angle grinder with diamond blade?

Height: The height of any lintel at either store is 65mm, which seems standard, but my existing one is about 82mm. I'm guessing that I could / should pack out with shims to help match up the brickwork, but would metal or slate be more appropriate? Also, would I pack below the lintel or above (or a mixture of both, and are padstones overkill for a small doorway with little brickwork above?

Who would have thought this would evoke so many questions! Again, big thanks for all your input.

Oh, and do I need to approach this slightly differently as I'll be using lime mortar?

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