Is lintel safe?

27 Sep 2006
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United Kingdom
I have just moved into a house which has a large opening between lounge and dinning room (was built like that). Having removed the wall paper and bits of wood covering, the previous owner removed a section of wall (about 3 bricks wide) to make the openning larger up to the party wall.

There is a concrete lintel which covered the existing opening then remaining bricks, the previous ower has inserted a long joist underneath about 2.5" thick and 5" wide. This joist has been inserted into the party wall but there is a gap between this and the actual brick / old lintel and so effectively doesn't look like its doing anything. The span now is about 2.5M.

Obove the lintel is a row of bricks on which the floor joists above sit on, there is no wall above so its only carrying the weight of the floor. Does this sound safe enough to leave alone or would it better to replace the whole span with a new box lintel, and would the floor need supporting while the work is done?
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If there is no support at one end, then the lintel is likely to be canterlevered, and not safe.

If the floor is bearing onto the wall, then it will need temporary support whilst a new lintel is inserted

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