Ask a tradesman


Is there anyway of ascertaining if i have a lintel above a window or not[ground floor]

When I originally bought the house 16 months ago[circa 1930's] the Chartered Surveyor questioned the fact if a lintel had been inserted above the bathroom window or not[ground floor]. He has not elaborated upon his query! I in the first instance need to know from a professional builder:
1.How can the presence of a lintel be determined? In the absence of a lintel what could have been incorporated in place of this to enable the bricks to remain in situate, as is? I understand from said Surveyor that if there is no lintel above the window then I can expect sight movement in brickwork!What slight movement might I expect and what would the impact on wall coverings be if no lintel is present ?
[Whether it was the plasterer or not it appears that the window sill is not lateral. Is this any indication of no lintel above?]
Should a lintel not be put in..or if there is not one in currently..what would the likely impact be[as I guess that there must be one there whatever its form]

Thank you in anticipation of your advices!

2 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

Best Answer

Hi Bluey,
There may be a timber lintel, maybe a steel bar, maybe a concrete lintel(hopefully), or it is possible to from the opening with a profile, then remove it when the mortar has dried(this is probably what the surveyor is expecting) or just build the window in(if it's not too wide especially if it is a Crittle metal frame.) It is possible to configure bricks to form their own lintel (look up welsh arch) and the only way to establish if this is the case is removing the plaster. I am guessing outside is rendered which is why he is querying as he can't see. As to establish what is there the easyist way is by drilling a couple of holes, approx 2" Out from top corner and 2" up drill a hole, if you get grey dust and it's hard to drill, it'll be concrete. If you get sawdust-wood, and if you get brick dust then drill upwards about 3" toward the window and 2" in from the corner...if you hit metal you'll hear it and there will be a steel in there.(try a couple of places on the same line to make sure you are not hitting window fixing straps.
As for what damage it would cause if there is none, probably tight window(hard to open) hairline cracks in the wall covering(plaster/render) at 45-60 deg. from the top corners upwards,
Cill angle is unlikely to have anything to do with lintel.
The surveyor may have wanted to report something, so he picked on the unknown, don't panic, if it hasn't moved yet it probably won't unless it's deteriorating timber.


Answered 24th Mar 2015

Above the window in question, if it hasn't got external trims to cover your view, you should be able to see a catnick lintel, if it was a concrete one you would easily be able to see we it.if it's a metal lintel, the fitters would of sealed right
up to the lintel, therefore probably covering it's view.mcs


Answered 20th Sep 2018

Post your job to find high quality tradesmen and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories