Lintel on French doors

4 Aug 2013
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United Kingdom

We have a 1930's house with solid walls and we want to change the french doors.

In true 1930's style there is a wooden 4x7" lintel (2 x 2x7" together) on the inner leaf of the solid wall but the external leaf has no lintel and is pretty much just resting on the pretty sturdy frame of the existing doors.

I know I need to put in a lintel on the external leaf before fitting the new doors but I would like a bit of advice on what sort to fit if possible,

The opening is 2m wide, the joists run parallel with the wall so there is no load from the floor above. Above it is predominantly the brickwork between the top of the doors and the window of the above bedroom although the above window is not quite as wide as the french door opening.

The plan is to support the wall then with the old doors still in place cut the bricks out above and slide the lintel in...simple!

the easiest would be to use a concrete lintel as it will slide in easily and will be 1 course of bricks but will it be strong enough? the other option i can see is a Catnic box section lintel.

also if possible I would like to be able to put fixings into it to support the french doors, is this possible with any lintels

any suggestions would be appreciated

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A one-course deep concrete lintel would not suffice for that span; a two-course (140mm) will be heavy.
A steel box lintel would look naff.
Have you considered an angle iron, or alternatively a Catnic single-skin angle lintel (thinner and lighter but not as sturdy as a conventional angle).
Is angle iron up to the building regs? that would be the easiest possibly, could stick the vertical up the centre of the bricks.

would I have to get this calculated or could I just over engineer it?
i'm assuming I would have to treat is as it would probably not be galvanised?

Something like a 150x90 angle would be fine. Whether or not you would have to provide calcs is up to the inspector, but he would have to be pretty dim if he didn't know by instinct that it would be OK.
Two coats of metal protector (Hammerite etc) and a flexible dpc over it.
Min 150 bearing each end.
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6 or 8 mm?

A stupid question I know but i'm assuming the 90 is the horizontal and the 150 the vertical?
also the dpc to be put in the course above the lintel to stop water coming down or literally on top of the angle?

That size is only done in 10mm I think. But you may be able to find some 2nd-hand sections which would be thinner - 6mm would be perfectly OK.

If using an unequal angle, the longer leg goes upright.

For the dpc, it should be on the steel itself, not on a course above.
Great thanks for all your help, I will give my local steel supplier a call in the morning

Oh yea, also if I put 2 x holes in the steel just to get some frame fixings in the top will this cause any major problems?

Oh yea, also if I put 2 x holes in the steel just to get some frame fixings in the top will this cause any major problems?

It will weaken it by 0.0000000000000000001%. :LOL:
Practically all the strength is in the upright leg.

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