Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • Load bearing window?
  • Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    We’ve finally ordered a new window for the front of our living room after noticing the seals were so badly blown the wind was moving the blinds (!).

    Anyway, when the fitter came round to take the measurements he noticed the two wide vertical sections between the glazing (see photos), something I hadn’t noticed before myself. He said he expects there is a lintel of some description above the window.

    He seemed pretty chilled about it and noted a lot of the other (identical) houses around had had their windows replaced with modern units without the wide upright bits..

    Other than find out what’s above the unit on the day he tips up to fit the new window is there any way of checking? Are load bearing windows a thing (1963 house)? I don’t want to make any assumptions when it comes to the structure of my house.. does any have any tips or pointers please?

    Cheers




    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    Can’t imagine a window wanting to take any load, the roof of your house is loading the inner skin of the house well it does in Scotland, there should be a lintel of some kind on the inside
    Strange the English style of sticking a window right out of the buildings

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Cheers @redmex
    Aye it’s a strange old concept.. and the upstairs dormer rooms are baltic in the winter and boiling in the summer. Shockingly poorly insulated.. something which is also on the list.

    Premier Icon oldschool
    Full Member

    There are old building where the window frame does carry some load/is structural. Can’t see the photos though?

    Premier Icon ads678
    Free Member

    The window and frame will never be load bearing. Well for new UPVc anyway. Old timber windows did take some load. The loads from the outer skin will need to supported on a lintel or angle iron.

    Can’t see you pics though so no idea what yours are doing…

    Premier Icon alanl
    Free Member

    Did he mean no lintel above the window?
    There is a row of houses up the road from me that have a half bay window. 3 of them had have the wall above the window rebuilt when the old wooden windows were removed, as the wooden frame was load bearing.
    One was bodged, held up by acrow supports, and a plain upvc window put in, this window wasnt strong enough, and is sagging in the middle now, with cracks in the brickwork above it.These houses definitely needed the extra support bars fitting in the windows, to support the bricks above.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Thank you for the responses all. I can see the pics when on the forum on my phone but not on my laptop.. FFS this site is a nightmare for posting pics. Will try again now.

    Premier Icon oldschool
    Full Member

    Sorry. Should have said, I was talking about timber frames when I said some are/can be load bearing.
    But without photos we’re all pissing in the dark a bit and guessing*
    .
    .
    *much like most stw threads, and someone will be along soon to recommend what they had fitted even if it wasn’t windows. 😂

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Premier Icon ads678
    Free Member

    Use posimages.org for photos. Jus paste the hotline for forums straight in the text box.

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    There has to be a lintol on the inside skin taking the weight of the roof and the former
    The window if it’s sitting on the outside skin might be carrying a couple of courses of brick that the facia is attached to but no other weight

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    Dormer not feffin former

    Premier Icon Squirrel
    Full Member

    I’ve experienced older bay windows in England where the windows took some load from the lintels above, and more modern timber casement windows where the frames were loadbearing. The solution adopted by the aluminium/upvc window installers was to inset telescopic props (like slimline Acrow props) between the window frames, crank them up to take the load, then conceal them behind pvc trim.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    **** images still aren’t showing on Chrome browser after using postimages hotlink for forums. FFS

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    There are structural elements that can be fitted between windows that take a load, especially in curved bays windows. There will be a lintel in the above pictures, whether it needs additional support would depend on the type.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Free Member

    I’d be surprised if that window is taking any load, the roof will probably be supported on the wall plate that will span the window. There’s bugger all above that window, no brickwork anyway, so won’t be any load passed through the window.

    Probably…..

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Full Member

    I think you need to copy and paste the URL into the img box not use the hotlink.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    I’ve experienced older bay windows in England where the windows took some load from the lintels above, and more modern timber casement windows where the frames were loadbearing. The solution adopted by the aluminium/upvc window installers was to inset telescopic props (like slimline Acrow props) between the window frames, crank them up to take the load, then conceal them behind pvc trim.

    Yep.

    When I was a kid our neighbours were having both front bay windows replaced (ground & first floor) and the fitters took out the ground floor one first. Big rush for acrow’s…

    Premier Icon P20
    Full Member

    We were looking at buying a house where the old wood frames had been replaced by upvc. The survey recommended an additional report which proved there was no lintels put in when the windows had been replaced. Through time they reckon it would all fail. The lintels could be retrospectively fitted however. We couldn’t come to an agreement with the sellers how this was going to be done and bought something else

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Thank you for the responses all. I still can’t get the photos to work on my laptop although the second lot appear to be working when viewed on my phone.

    My concern is that given the window is the full height of the room there is no inner (or outer) skin of bricks above the window so I’m not sure what is holding the roof up in that part of the room. I’m struggling to understand how I find the answer to this question without starting to smash bits of the house open to have a look..

    Premier Icon ads678
    Free Member

    How wide is it?

    The only real way of knowing whats there is to expose it, either by taking the window out, maybe removing the soffits or if you have access into the eaves through the bedroom above see if there is timber spanning the window gap.

    It doesn’t look that wide, I’ve got 2.5m wide windows in my house that didn;t have any lintels put in when the old timber windows were replaced years ago. the brickwork above was a right mess, cracking and sagging. We’ve just had all ours replaced as part of a bigger renovation and had the builder install lintels in upstair windows and steel angle irons behind the brickwork in the downstairs ones along with heli bars in the brick work above…

    Your roof will not fall down if you remove that window. Infact on closer inspection theres a trim at the top of the window that might show if theres a lintel or timber behind it if you, or the window fitter remove that.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    The window is 3.5m wide. On closer inspection on the inside it looks like there is a timber spanning what would be the inner leaf at the top. Window fitter is coming back out this afternoon so I’m going to ask him to try and remove some trim/fascia and see if he can see anything. Thanks

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    The solution adopted by the aluminium/upvc window installers was to inset telescopic props (like slimline Acrow props) between the window frames, crank them up to take the load, then conceal them behind pvc trim.

    Saw that being done on a bay window in our street the other week, super thin props about 1″ wide maybe, just hidden between the three window panels.

    Premier Icon austen
    Full Member

    I think there is a good chance that the frame is loadbearing as the posts in the centre look quite big and there looks to be very little height above the frame for a lintel spanning clear across.  If you can strip away inside the timber to the top of the frame will either look ‘chunky’ (probably okay), or ‘skinny’ (probably not). Your fitter should be able to tell by eye.

    As others have said this is common in bay windows and I’ve seen them slowly collapsing when replaced with UPVC without props.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Yeah this is what really worries me, that there’s a couple of timber posts in the centre holding something up above them.. My neighbour over the road has had his done recently so I’m going to try and collar him and see if he can offer any insight.

    Premier Icon Squirrel
    Full Member

    If that opening is 3.5m wide there must be either a fairly substantial beam above it or smaller beams (lintels) supported on posts between the windows. At the very least there is likely to be the roof load and quite possibly the upper floor too. I would be asking the window installer how they would be investigating that and what measures they would put in place depending on what they find. I would also want to see the structure exposed before they fit the new windows and cover everything up.

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Solid advice, thank you. Fitter is coming at 5pm today so I’ll be asking him to remove some trim and go from there. I’m pretty much the last house with the thick posts between the windows, some have bricked up the bottom half, put a small bay in, etc. I’m waiting for the bloke over the road to come back from work so I can badger him about it!

    Premier Icon nickewen
    Free Member

    Update: Fitter came round earlier and removed the trim above the window to reveal a single very large piece of timber spanning the entire 3.5m. There is nothing in the upright post sections of the window coming up through the top of the unit and supporting the timber.

    The fitter had spoken to a builder who had done one recently in the area and said he expected that’s what we would find. I wanted to see it for myself though. Thank you for the tips and advice above all – much appreciated.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Free Member

    Nice one, should be a simple refit then.

    Premier Icon white101
    Full Member

    A very timely thread, we have french doors at the back of the house and we’ve been asking the same question about lintels and load bearing.
    Last year on the same ground floor level we had to remove a 6×6” 2.5mtr long timber lintel and replace with a concrete one, this was above a window that had a flat utility room/garage roof on it, cost us £300 to have it taken out and replaced and the remedial brick work sorted.

    However this french door situation is possibly not as straight forward as it’s bearing the weight of an upstairs, agree with above comments that really the fitter should have insisted on putting in a replacement suitable lintel at the time but hey ho!
    We are now looking at a situation this year that will require the removal of the door and lintel, replacing any damage bricks and installing a new concrete lintel. It was quite straightforward on the utility roof but this also has the added buggery factor of just having had the house rendered at ground floor level.

    Looking forward to the fun and games and mess this will bring in the summer.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    For a long span, eg > 2m I’d assune you’d use a steel lintel rather than concrete. Our workshop patio door has a custom welded steel thing in situ.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/dsFi28]French door lintel in situ[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/dsHLG7]Inside front wall[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/dtB1FN]Front gable padstone[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    Premier Icon white101
    Full Member

    I would much prefer a steel one in place above our french doors, there is some evidence of a couple of crack brick facings. The window one we replaced I’ve just measured and it’s 2mtr. But it isn’t taking anywhere near as much weight as whatever is or isn’t above the french door.

    I had hoped we’d got all the work on the house done last year, good job I’ve ordered a new bike already and the boss can’t reallocate the funds!

    Premier Icon Squirrel
    Full Member

    @white101 I would get the timber beam exposed (on the inside might be better if you’ve just had the outside done) then get a Structural Engineer to look at it and advise. It would cost you, obvs, but there might be a way of strengthening the existing beam, for example with a steel angle section bolted to the inside face with the toe under the timber beam. That way you might avoid having to take the timber beam out. Just a thought…….

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