opening a wall
You have to be pretty skilled and experienced to consider opening a wall and installing a lintel - if you need to read this site for tips on how to do it, then it is beyond your skills!
Opening a wall and installing a lintel is a dangerous job, with serious implications for your house and your health if you get it wrong!
Before even considering opening a wall you should consult with a structural surveyor. Although most load bearing walls are made from brick or block, it is still possible that a wood frame and plasterboard wall is load bearing - many modern houses have timber load bearing walls.
The basic steps are as follows:
- Decide exactly where you want the opening
- Obtain permission from the local building inspector
- Fit a lintel to take the weight of the wall above before removing the bricks - this involves installing steel props (acrows) to take the weight of the wall above while you are installing the lintel
- Check the floor is strong enough to take the weight that will be placed on the props once they are inserted into the wall
- Carefully remove the bricks to create the space for the lintel
- Insert the lintel then allow time for the mortar to harden fully
- Remove the supporting props
- Carefully remove the bricks from below the lintel
This is typically a job for a specialist who will also obtain the necessary permissions and building approval - this is essential when you come to sell the house.