Softwood lintel UPVC window

26 Jul 2018
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United Kingdom
I'm in the process of purchasing a new house which is about 300 years old.
I've had a building survey done and also another survey by a surveyor who specialises in damp.

Over the years the building has been patched up using cement rather than lime mortar and the damp specialist had indicated this is drawing in moisture and salt into the property. What is of particular concern to him is that cement has been used above the windows and it could draw moisture into the softwood lintels. The original windows were hardwood so load baring which were replaced with UPVC windows.

A surveyor has indicated the lintel above the downstairs dining room window has failed as the brick work above it has cracked. The surveyor has suggested wall ties to fix the issue but every builder I have spoken to has said this is just patching the problem up and it really needs a new lintel in place.

My concern is that if this lintel has failed, the others could also have the same issue further down the line.

Is it normal for companies to leave the softwood lintel when installing UPVC windows rather than installing a load baring lintel? Will these all need replacing?

I have never bought a house before and I don't know much about building work and I'm looking for help to gauge the severity of this issue. Also I need to determine whether I should pull out of the purchase or reduce my offer.

The seller is currently talking to the company that installed the windows to see if they are liable to fix the issue.

Any advice or thoughts would really be appreciated.
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Get a different surveyor.

There was a thread almost exactly like this within the past few weeks. Search for that.
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