View Full Version : Window Removal Double Brick Home
7th Mar 2011, 09:30 PM
I am just after a bit of advice regarding a window I want to remove in our circ 1957 double brick home. The window in question is the kitchen window which used to be external but since the sunroom was closed in it is now a window inside the house. It divides the kitchen from the sunroom. Anyway I want to remove it and make the ledge into a breakfast bar.
The window is steel framed original type. My concern is will removal of the window create any major concerns such as collapse of the brick work above the window. I know there should be a lintel in there but I just cant seem to see one. I am wondering if the window is structural. Has anyone experienced anything similar?
9th Mar 2011, 11:54 AM
Plenty of views, no comments, maybe some photos will help?
9th Mar 2011, 12:09 PM
Best bet would be to remove the glass and drill a hole to see if you can find a lintel. Or possibly cut some of the frame away to expose it. If there is no lintel in place the problem becomes a whole lot more complicated!
18th Mar 2011, 01:49 PM
Half the battle is won, you have the hole there to start with. Being double brick of that era, you probably wont find anything that resembles a conventional lintel. The common thing of that era was to use a couple of small steel rods across the top of the window and some little bits of shaped wire to hang over them that go between the bricks to act as reo and create a psuedo bond beam for want of a better term. The two rods are usually in the mortar above the course directly on top of the window. This of course means that yes the windows are structural to a degree because they help support the reinforced first course.
If you want to remove the window frame altogether then you need to take the bricks above the window down and install a steel lintel (angle iron, not flat bar) on both walls. Its messy to do and is probably best left to a brickie because the external wall gets rebuilt from the inside unless you want to pull down the ceiling in the sunroom (or if they are really keen they may take some roof up above that window and work from above). Then you need to replaster it. If you go down this road then make sure that the roof structure in this area is supported by props while they have the wall in bits. If your brickie doesnt want to do this, find another one...
Personally I would go the easier option of leaving the window frame there, removing the glass and a small amount of plaster around the walls and frame it out with timber and blue board, then plaster to match it in again. A far more DIY option in my opinion and no messing about with the structure of the house (all you are removing is the glass which is in no way integral to the structure). This isnt an option if your intention is to make the hole bigger of course.
19th Mar 2011, 04:54 PM
racingtadpole is probably right on there not being a steel lintel, but you should be able to remove the architrave (or is it the type that the bricks sit into with a flange?) at the top and see if there is a lintel. Some pics would help. In any case inserting a lintel to achieve what you want is easy enough as all you need to do is to chase out the mortar from the bricks at the first accessible line and do that 100mm or so to each side of the opening. Once you have the mortar cleaned out all the way along and in about 60mm you insert a flat mild steel lintel bar of the correct length - and say 50mm wide and 8mm thick and tap it home.
This needs to be done on both walls above the existing frame, but do one side first then go to the other side and do the other the same way. When both new bars are in place you can then carefully clear the mortar and remove the brick row above the window cut down the sides to make sure it is free of the brick work and then remove the frame.
After that you can frame up in timber to make up and finish off your servery opening.
20th Mar 2011, 03:25 PM
Flat bars aren't code compliant. Havent been for a good number of years.
If you do decide to go down that road (and you can probably get away with it) use a bar that is as wide as the brick and as thick as the mortar joint, 100x10 would be my choice. You also need to set it into the wall at the sides further than 100mm. When the bricks settle onto it over time, it will bend the centre down and the ends up. If the ends arent set well into the wall the ends will try and lift the surrounding bricks causing cracking. This will be even more pronounced if you use a thin skinny bar, only set in at the sides a small amount (an angle iron resists this deflection).
If its physically possible put the flat bar in before you take the window frame out. And dont forget to paint the bar before you put it in.
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