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Old 10-19-2010, 05:47 PM  
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Default new window in brick wall?


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?


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Old 10-19-2010, 09:51 PM  
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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, 04:53 PM  
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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, 07:14 PM  
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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.

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