Lintels with a timber frame house

8 Jun 2021
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

I have a timber frame house built in 2002; we have an external porch above the front door (where the roof comes down over the front door), this causes the hallway to be very dark. To try and help the very dark hallway, we have been thinking about having sidelights installed. However, this means we would need to have the doorway widened.... Have a look at the atached photo for a visual description of what we currently have and what we would like to have.

I'm not sure if the existing lintel already spans the front wall enough to allow us to widen the doorway, or whether it is just covering the existing doorway. If it's wide enough, the work will be very easy, just widen the doorway under the existing lintel, make good on either side and install the new frame, door & sidelights.

However, if the lintel is not wide enough it will have to be removed and replaced with a longer lintel strong enough to support the wall above and wide enough to allow a door with side-lights. I've tried searching for such a timber lintel, but I can't find anything, or would it be a case of using some appropriately sized C24 (i.e. a couple of lengths of 225x50)?


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You will need to do some invasive investigation to see exactly what support is there now as the options will vary depending on that.

Generally you will need a steel tray lintel if you have masonry externally as indicated, and yes a timber beam internally. Or you may be able to install a timber beam on the external leaf and support the rafters off that.
Chances will need new lintels inside and out :D
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Hi Matthew,

Bear with me please. I can't recall the exact figures but roughly speaking 90% of the light that comes through a window comes from the top 15% of the window. The rest of the window is there for us to see through and provide a window cill where the cat can sit. There will be two lintels in the door opening your looking at. One for the timber frame and one for the brickwork.

I sort of wonder if there's an alternative way of getting more light into the hallway? My reasoning is the alternative may be less hassle, more cost effective and provide the same result. Hence my comment above regarding where the light in a room comes from. I'm not convinced you will get a huge improvement in the amount of light in the hallway. I don't think you'll get a lot of bank for your buck and may end up quite disappointed with the result.

The alternatives you may want to consider are a roof light in the porch roof. That would be subject to the size of the roof and the options available. I don't think in your position I could convince myself it's a great option. I'd look at artificial lighting in your hallway first. You will be able to get light throughout the hallway and achieve more for less.


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