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Type of lintel / rsj is best?

A friend has received 2 quotes to have a load bearing wall opening made wider from 1.4m to 2m, the wall is double skinned with a bathroom above on one side and bedroom other side, at present there is a catnic lintel supporting
floor joist and the 1st floor wall!!
One quote is using a steel rsj and the other quote is to use concrete lintels. Are concrete lintels strong enough to support the huge amount of weight?

* cheers for the replies :-) just want to add an SE report was done, steel was preferred but lintel could be used.
The 2 quotes submitted had a big difference in price, the steel done by my cousin fully qualified brickie seemed reasonable, where as the lintle from someone unknown
was cheap... almost to cheap, which my cousin laugh at!!!
My friend wants to go cheap, but i have doubts, could anyone shed a rough price guide so I can push her in right direction!

10 Answers from MyBuilder Bricklayers

Best Answer

You could use a 152x102 prestressed concrete lintels as its only a short span. However you would need a se to do calcs for this type of work. I would recommend UB'S Universal beams (They dont make rsj's any more)as the price difference would be minimal i would also have them painted in red oxide.

A resonable price would be £300-£400 for concrete and £350-£450 for steel to remove 600mm of wall and install. Price depends on what area you live


Answered 20th Feb 2011

I think it may be mandatory now to have structural engineers caculations and specifications for this type of work. It certainly would be the safest way to go and would be a good thing regarding any insurance claims should anything go wrong


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Every single time it comes down to whats above ,, ie dead or live weight,, this means is there moving weight if so then use a steel,, the concrete is very good but only where dead weight id present as live weight can crack the concrete hope this explains it abit more for you


Answered 20th Feb 2011

hi,i have done many of these,s.firstly has your friend got a structual engineers report.that way he will have calcalations and what beam to use.and it should be painted with red oxide.and make sure who does this has done some befor and has pulic liability insurance ,does,t matter how good you are,there is always a risk.thanks nick


Answered 19th Feb 2011

Hi, concrete lintles would not be able to take the weight from above over that distance. You should use steel rsj


Answered 15th Jun 2011

Go for the RSJ its a big problem if it all go tits up and some one some where has tryed to save a penny, now you are talking big pounds to put it right even if you was to get hold of a 2nd hand RSJ from the reclamed yard you would only pay some where around 60 pounds and your saFe to, and saved your self a quid


Answered 4th Mar 2011

Hi. If you have a SE plan it will recommend what to use and all the dimensions. You should heed their advice and use what they recommend. Make sure the builder uses acroprops each side to support the weight during the work.


Answered 20th Feb 2011

woulnt think so unless hes using 8x6 block concrete ,but to be honest any structural work carried out should be done properly ie structural calcs/engineer and building control sign off .


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Hi. Always get a stuctural engineers report on this kind of work. There is obviously a lot of risks involved in this kind of work and they should be minimised by seeking professionals advice. I would recommend using steel rsj's and imagine an engineer would say the same! With regards to price I agree with D.S. Builders, the installation of Universal Beams and removal of the wall should cost no more than £500.



Answered 20th Feb 2011

that would depend on the lintels they intend to use.for example in germany we used to make our own lintels on site.some made with steel bars, just laid in others with a pre-made steel corb. making it much stronger. what you need to do is find out from your builder what strength the lintel is he intends to use . have used lintels of this size before .hope this helped.


Answered 19th Feb 2011

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