Advice on basement window lintel?

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Posted by: from Toronto
12/16/2014 at 12:30:05 AM


I am leaving in detached house (bungalow), around 50 years old.

I need to make our basement window bigger, I have cut the wall around 2 in x 2 in.

I saw 2 Lintels, one from outside and one from inside. Now I need 102 in. length lintel.

Can replace one by one lintel myself?

Also, from where I can get new or used 102 in. length lintels, because Home Depot and Rona has max. 91 in. lintel.

Can I buy 2 lintels and welding to make 102 inch?

I really appreciate if you suggest some solutions.


Advice on basement window lintel?
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Date/Time12/16/2014 at 11:37:44 AM

Hi Kal,

I am assuming that your home is built from two layers of brick with an airspace between.

Lintels are simply the name of the structural unit that transfers a load around an opening to two bearing points. They can be made from dimensional lumber, engineered lumber, steel angle iron (of various dimensions), steel "I" beams, brick, stone, and a lot more.

Your 102" inches is a concern.

I know this is probably not what you will want to hear, but a component such as a lintel over a large opening must be designed by a P.Eng (Structural Engineer) and they must provide a stamped report on their prescribed method.

If it is indeed a "double brick" bungalow, brick and mortar themselves comprise an "engineered structure" in the wall, and while you may be amazed at the size of an opening that can be made in a wall like that, if it is not properly supported, IT WILL eventually collapse.

Things that can rapidly speed up that collapse is "50 year old mortar", window or door openings above, etc.

It may appear that you can cut the opening to the new size and insert new longer lintels and while you are doing it the opening seems to be holding up fine, but please understand that if the lintel is not sized correctly, the wall will suffer a catastrophic failure, including around areas other than the opening you are working on and will most likely compromise the roof structure.

It sounds like a lot, but you will find that a Structural Engineer's services are a suprisingly great value and an absolute necessity.

I am fairly certain you will require an "I" beam for an 8 and a half foot opening.

Also, you can order structural steel from RONA at the contractor desk or obtain the pieces from a number of suppliers throughout the GTA.

And finally, a structural steel element cannot be extended by welding on an extension without an Engineer's stamp.


Jason Irving

The Cedarbrook Group Inc.

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