Patio door / pebbledash / lintel query

1 Feb 2006
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United Kingdom

I have just visited my mums 1930's house and tried to open her large horrible aluminium patio sliding doors - they seem really stiff to slide. Once outside I could see that the original pebble dash above the door has a crack and appear to be 'blown' from the brickwork. I checked upstairs bedroom above the patio door and (after peeling away wallpaper) could see cracked plaster and a 3/4 inch gap between bottom of skirting board to floorboard.

I think this points to a failed lintel?

I have stripped back a small amount of plaster from the inside above the patio door and it appears to be a wooden lintel. The walls are solid (no cavity). Having checked with neighbours, I can see that the opening has obviously been widened (compared to original) - presumably to fit these ghastly patio doors.

My questions are:

1) I guess it would not be covered by any kind of building insurance?

2) I'm ready willing and able to strip walls/pebble dash and do all the redeocrating. All I think I need is a builder to do the easy(!) bit of taking out the patio doors, sizing and correctly installing the lintel, refitting doors, plastering etc. How big a job is this for a builder (I'll fit the bill as mums on low wages) . Am I talking big bucks?

3) Cosmetically how good a match can most builders get pebbledash to match existing?

Thanks WG :?:
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i couldn't give you any idea on cost but making good pebbledash around windows is an awkward, thankless task. the mess created alone is soul destroying. :cry:

i would put your chances of an invisible finish as grim. it is notoriously difficult to 'blend-in' pebbledash.
If the opening's been widened and you've found a timber lintel, pound to a penny that's the original lintel, for the original opening, meaning that the masonry above the extended part of the opening sits on the patio doors. These are not designed to take loading: thus, frame deflects, door becomes difficult to open, brickwork and render above cracks as a result.

It is not covered by buildings insurance, as it is a building defect. Not a major cost to install a proper lintel, unless vast swathes of render fall off in the process (a distinct possibility). Absolutely no chance of matching-in pebbledash.

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