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slou0122 08-04-2010 09:26 AM

how to enlarge window opening in solid brick wall
I have a 1930 house made entirely of brick, not frame with brick veneer. We are going to replace majority of the windows on both floors. Since the current windows are all too small, we will have to knock down some part of brick and enlarge the opening.

I saw on Youtube that people use some kind of saw and cut the masonry like cutting a cake. Then they put on lintel immediately to support the weight coming from above the enlarged opening. My question is, is this (lintel) sufficient to ensure proper support? The width of the wall is close to 1 foot (maybe two brick width). will one lintel (which is usually a couple of inch wide) be enough?

Please help. We are going to hire contractor for this job. All of those that we interviewed seemed very suprised to know my house was solid brick because they always deal with framed houses. I want to make sure they know what they are going to do. Thank you.

inspectorD 08-04-2010 01:35 PM

This is the way it is done, but i would keep looking for contractors who are farmiliar with what you need done. Don't let them learn on your home.

An Engineer is the only one who can actually answer the question, and give details on how it should be performed for your home, all homes are different and these are structural points on the house.

Good luck.

Marksextra 08-12-2010 10:05 PM

well, I'm a little confused by some of the things you posted.

A question for clarification;

1. When you say made entirely of brick. You mean to say what? There are masonry block behind the brick? Brick need something behind them. What's behind the brick?

A masonry lintel is more than a couple inches wide and will be sufficient to hold the weight.

Don't hire a contractor that isn't sure what they are doing. The contractor you interviewed were most likely carpenters; not masons. They will most likely subcontract out the part we are talking about.

BrianKiernan 08-14-2010 06:41 PM

A lintel is an angle iron and can come in many different sizes. Also you can put one on the inside of the house also.

Talk to a mason about the brick work and talk to a carpenter about the windows

This will save you money because like the poster above me said all a carpenter is going to do is sub out the brick work and then mark it up to make some money of the work.

Get references from any mason you use, you want the guy who is not intimated by the job also.

Good Luck

slou0122 08-15-2010 10:40 PM

Thanks all. To Maxsextra, I really don't know what's between the double layer brick and inside drywall. Our house is build on concrete foundation, above the basement line (which I observed from inside the basement) is exposed bricks. So I figured for both 1st and 2nd floor, it is the same----bricks facing some wall like material and then directly, inside of the room. Our house has very little if any wall insulation and can get very cold and energy-inefficient in NY winter

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