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replacing a lintel

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  • replacing a lintel

    Hello and thanks for your help!

    I have 3 doors that I need to widen in a building I'm working on. The doors are in block walls. 2 of the doors are 2" and need to be 3". One of the doors is 3" and will be 3" when done but there is no Lintel. The top of the door is sagging and wall needs to be repaired.

    So, my question is this. Do I need to cut out the wall and install a lintel over each door or is there another way? I keep imagining a thick piece of steel that I bolt to through the wall that holds the block together and acts like a lintel. Or, some kind of fiberglass reinforcement (like that stuff you use to make a block wall without mortar) that I can adhere around the top of the opening.

    Anyone know of an easier way to do this. I have the ability to buy larger lintels, break out the wall above and around the doors and install the lintel but I'm nervous that rest of the wall will fall or that I'll be doing more work than I need to.


  • #2
    Re: replacing a lintel

    I have really limited knowlege of the products in this area, but having done this before, I know that installing lintels is possible and will fix the problems. First you need to support as much of the weight above the area as possible. Build a temporary support wall just inside the door and wall. Make sure it can withstand the pressure for the couple hours you'll have an unsupported hole in the wall. Then bust out your block in the area where the new lintel will go. Install the lintel and mortar/lag bolt it into place. Leave the temporary wall in place while the mortar sets up, usually at least overnight.

    I'm sure someone with a better answer will pop in here. It's been a while since I've done this, so technology and better products may have yielded a better answer. Good luck!!
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


    • #3
      Re: replacing a lintel

      You don't say what is above these areas (weight) nor do you say what the finish needs to look like, but assuming it is a one story building and the asthetics are not a concern, you could use 4x4x1/4 angle irons on each side. Chisel out the mortar from the existing blocks and slip in one side(add mortar if necessary) then do the other side.


      • #4
        Re: replacing a lintel

        You should speak with an engineer. I have done this once for a commercial customer. We had to put in a large opening in an office expansion. My mason took out the first half of the block on one side. We made the lintle out of a gluelam beam the exact size needed as specified by our engineer. We installed the beam into the slot in the one side of the wall, making sure to shim and tighten everthing up. Then we repeated on the other side of the wall and finished making the beam in place. We then removed the block under the beam. This method was devised after discussing all the factors involved with the engineer at the site in question. It worked great. But I will end the way I started "you should speak with an engineer"


        • #5
          Re: replacing a lintel

          In some areas you can purchase ready made concrete lintels but the "standard" is to install rebar in these and pour concrete inside to strengthen the support. Like all the previous comments you need to consult an engineer about your particular situation.