No lintel above window- Advice please

7 Oct 2008
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United Kingdom
Hello All,

I hope someone can advise me.

I have a wooden (rotten) window frame in an upstairs room which I'm going to replace with a uPVC frame which I've had for some time.

The house is 1920's, has no cavity wall and there's about 4 courses of bricks above the window which is about 1000 mm wide.
There is no lintel as such above the window, but the 1st course above the window is laid as a header course.

A friend has told me that in the 1920's this header course was laid directly on top of the wooden frame.
He's suggested that I could hammer some wooden wedges in between the vertical joints of the header course to improve the support.

Does this sound reasonable?
Can anyone advise the size and number of wedges?
I'd really some advice and tips on how to do this.

Many thanks
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If this is a row of headers and flat rather than arched, then they may stay up or they may well drop, and wedging may not help.

These bricks tend to be whole bricks going from outside to inside, and so you may be able to wedge some timber across the top of the internal window opening on the underside of the bricks.

Even if you successfully replace the window OK, you will then find that the weak plastic frame offers little support for the bricks and either gradually flexes, or with every bang of the opening/closing of the window, the bricks above come loose

Consider fitting a proper steel lintel
Thanks woody

As I mentioned, I've had the 'new' upvc window for some time (approx 10 years- pre fensa!) and it's height won't allow for a new lintel.

I see what you mean about a lintel supporting the header course just on the inside of the room.

I would still like some tips about wedges between the vertical brick joints of the header course, if anyone can help.


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