Looking for advice on putting a lintel in above window

31 Aug 2010
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United Kingdom
Hello, i am about to tackle the job of putting in a lintel above my bathroom window on the first floor and would be grateful for some advice.

Our house was built in 1902 and the windows have been replaced at some point with UPVC.

The walls are non cavity 9 inch thick and above the windows are bricks on edge.

It looks to me like the windows were not measured properly as there is an inch gap above the window between the brick on edge, this is starting to cause the brickwork above to develop cracks and sag.

I intend to take down the brickwork on the outside course and install the correct lintel for the job.

My questions are-

1) The internal brickwork appears to have a perfectly dry wooden lintel above the window, the windows are 4 ft wide, would it be o.k to leave this in position and install a C section lintel on the external brickwork? or should i have to remove the wooden lintel and install a T shaped lintel spanning both walls that make up the 9 inch?.

2) If i do need to replace the wooden internal lintel, obviously i will need to support both walls with strongboy acro's, however if i leave the wooden lintel and install a C section lintel do i need to support the external brickwork? or is it possible to dismantle and replace without support? if i don't have to i would rather not have to damage the plasterwork in bathroom to install strongboys, however i would rather replace the plaster than have the wall end up on my head!.

I have thought this job through but would appreciate the advice of someone with more experience than i have in this field.

Many thanks in advance.
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The internal timber may be a deep section and may be the wall plate too. In any case leave it alone if there are no problems with it.

Use an L shape lintel for the external bricks only, not a C shape lintel

Depending on how many courses are above it up to the soffit, it may be easier to take a few courses out up to the soffit rather than try and support them. Otherwise see if they will self support
Thanks for that woody,
The window is on the gable end of the house and i don't think the internal wooden lintel i can see is part of the wall plate, but still i would rather leave it alone if i can, my worries are about supporting the brick work above the window, however the window is close to the pitch of the roof and at one side has only 5 courses of brick above it until the roof line so i might get away with it???

Why do you recommend an L shaped lintel over a C shaped lintel? i looked through the catnic and i.g lintel ranges and figured the C shaped one would be what i might need?
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Both L and C shape trays are for single skin. C shape are for longer spans or higher loads and are fiddly to slot the bricks into - especially imperial guages

If the window is near a pitch with few bricks above on one side, then it may not self support - unless there are header bricks tying the external across to the internal. So you need to be wary of this and support it if necessary

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