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Large cracks in brickwork due to rusted lintels

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  1. #1
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    Default Large cracks in brickwork due to rusted lintels

    I'm looking to convert a large single-brick detached four car garage into granny flat of sorts. I'll probably be seeking some plaster, roofing and false-wall advice in other threads, but before I even consider anything, I need to address the immediate concern of rusted lintels across the four windows and roller door.

    The rust is due to absence of appropriate drainage and possible roof damage, coupled with lack of maintenance to the steel surfaces over the years prior to purchasing the house. Unfortunately it's looking like it's gone on for too long - some have expanded 8-12 mm, causing similarly sized cracks in the mortar right around the structure and even cracking a few bricks vertically. Two of the lintels have bowed about 20mms.

    I'm starting to think that a knock-down rebuild would be easier than pursuing remediation work. What are my options? Will a brickie know what to do, or would I need to seek specialist advice? In the case of replacement, how would the brickwork be supported in the process?

    Any advice, costs estimates, etc. would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    With out seeing it a knockdown will prob be the way to go. You are trying to turn something into

    something it was never designed to be. Get a builder to look at it

  3. #3
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    Some pictures of the structure would be good. As it is single skin so only virtually a decoration how is the roof held up? Brick pillars of something different. It is very difficult to get bricks to match if you do a repair job and the repair would be extensive so replacement would be the way to go.
    Getting prices here would be impossible as it is sight unseen and posters here could come from anywhere in Australia so you will have to go locally but you should be able to get good advise here as to how to go about it.

  4. #4
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    Bros: You make a good point about matching bricks - they are a variety that aren't commonly seen across Canberra. The roof is held up with double-brick pillars, supporting I-beams and timber joists.

    Goldie1 - The structure does already have a rendered double brick bedroom occupying 1/4, with proper ceiling, floors and daggy plywood walls (I believe it was built in the 70's)... but the remaining 3/4 is just plain garage/workshop with bare foil insulation in the ceiling. My aim isn't to make a full-blown granny flat (with facilities, kitchenette, etc.) - I just plan of renovating the existing room and converting the garage into a nicer studio/office area, with better light and insulation.

    I'll try post pictures over the coming days, and get in touch with a builder to discuss options.. worst comes to worst I'll demolish the whole thing and have something more practical built, without the built-in problems

  5. #5
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    Replacing lintels is really easy for a brickie. Once they get the arbortech mortar cutter in there it's pretty quick. A qualified brickie will also know how to support the wall correctly. And they will know where to get matching bricks, if possible.

    Just get a few quotes.

    On the subject of the granny flat - does it have a bathroom already?

  6. #6
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    Thanks Joynz - there is no bathroom current;y, but I had considered it. Is there something I need to be aware of if there was?

    Looking through Arbortech videos the job doesn't seem like it would be so taxing for a suitably equipped and qualified tradie. In fact the brand themselves have posted a video that demonstrates my exact scenario!

  7. #7
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    The Lintels are easy to replace if it's single story, a builder or bricky will have it done in no time.

    Turning a garage into a granny flat is not a simple as as closing up a few doors, put carpet in and rent it out.
    There are rules and regulations you need to follow in order to do it properly.

    Main problem with garage is the slab has no vapor barrier under them, you need to address this first before you can consider turning it into a habitable environment.
    This can be address in various ways, first up speak to your council and get a list of what's required to convert it legally.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  8. #8
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    Late update - I got a few quotes and ended up getting a couple of old blokes at an hourly rate. They seemed to actually know what needed to be done and were able to identify the root cause and potential future issues within a few minutes. They were ablr to start the next day and it ended uo costing about $700 for a new lintel and replacement of brickwork.

    the other guys quoted 3k mark, but i think they also factored in cleanup and disposal (still pretty IMO), which I can do myself. Theres no point paying experts to do menial worm that im able to do for free!

    Thnak you all for the advice!

  9. #9
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Turning a garage into a granny flat is not a simple as as closing up a few doors, put carpet in and rent it out.
    Tell that to the Bankstown boys. They don't put doors but courtins no carpet and rent it anyway.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
    Seneca

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