Monday, 13 July 2015

Retro-fitted lintel above window

So one day I came home from work and happened to glance at the front of the house for a few seconds longer than I usually do.  That is when I noticed a big crack above our lounge window, and to see the bricks 'dropped' onto the window frame.  Eek!

Like all sensible adults, I didn't tell the husband, daren't open the windows and hoped the problem would magically go away on it's own.  Funnily enough, it didn't.  Who would have thought...

A few weeks later, I finally admitted to myself that we would need to throw some money at this thing to make it go away.  And devastatingly money which wouldn't make the house prettier, or add value, but rather keep the whole thing standing - to me that's the most annoying type of spending!

We had a few builders round to quote to retrofit a lintel above the window.  We wanted to keep the actual frame as there was nothing wrong with it.  Basically, the problem stems from when the houses were built and they were built with lovely structural timber window frames.  Then in the 80's Mr Cheapskate who used to live here ripped them all out and replaced them with cheap PVC which is not structural.  Essentially the window frames are therefore holding up the outer skin of bricks - not what they were designed to do.

A week later our chosen builder came round and fitted a lintel for the princely sum of £520.  Admittedly we had a 2.4m window so it was a big bit of steel he put in there.  Unfortunately I was at work that day, so I made the hubby take as many photos as he could without being a pest so I could see the process.



A brick that has been cut to hide the lintel at the edge


Overall it took the builder a day and a half to complete the job.  You can see in the after photo (before he put some white sealant in the gap), how much the middle of the window frame had actually bent under the strain of the bricks.  I think that's a permanent deformation now, but I'm glad we caught it when we did.

The next job out here is to paint the rendering to cover up the unsightly insulation holes. I'm waiting for a sunny day! 


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