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Old 10-19-2010, 06:47 PM  
hayesdp
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Default new window in brick wall?

Hello,

I have a 120 year old house that is brick with stucco on the outside. I'm adding a small bathroom in an existing bedroom, and want to put a little window above the toilet.

I found some information about how to cut a rough opening for the window. Then I found other threads saying that if it's a load bearing wall, I need a lintel (sp?) above the opening and it's a fairly complicated process.

My question is, do I need a lintel? It's a single story house, and the walls are 10' high. I believe the wall is 4 bricks thick (I forgot the term for that). It is load bearing, as all of the ceiling joists in the attic rest on the top of that brick wall; however, the roof slopes up on all four sides (there is only a 4- foot ridge at the top of the roof). There is one other window on that wall that is regular size (roughly 2' x 4').

I'm hoping that since the new window will be relatively small (18" wide) and the walls are pretty high, I don't need to do the whole lintel thing. But I obviously don't want to risk the wall falling down.

And finally, if I do decide to hire someone, what's the approximate cost not counting the window?

Thanks!



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Old 10-19-2010, 10:51 PM  
DrHicks
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I have very little experience in this, but I'll shoot you my opinion...

It seems pretty much a no-brainer that you MUST have a lintel in any opening in a brick wall - especially an older one. Any time you remove the support under brick/block & mortar, it's apt to crumble.

I've seen window openings in brick walls where the lintel consists of a 3/8th inch thick (approximately) steel plate, the width of the wall. I suspect this would work fine with an 18" opening.

You might also want to look into making a 2x10 or 2x12 frame, and having the top of it serve as your lintel. I suspect that would work as well.

Mostly though, my advice would be to seek out a professional opinion & bid. This is not a job where guess-work is adequate.


I'd also ask if you honestly think putting a small window in this new bathroom is really worth the bother. I can't answer that for you, but it does seem as though you might be putting a lot of money and effort into a relatively small window.



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Old 10-22-2010, 05:53 PM  
itsreallyconc
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4 brick wythe will require a wide lintel set into the adjoining brick by 1/2 a brick,,, here in atl, i'd guess my friendly mason would do it for my house for $ 500,,, for anyone else, probably $ 750,,, probably less expensive to put in a fan & light which can be used all year 'round
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:14 PM  
mudmixer
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The brick is not load bearing if there is a wood structure - the brick is probably just a veneer with no structural ties to the wood frame.

The linter will only have to support the weight of the brick above the opening at most, but no structural loads.

Dick

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