remove window to install door - structural brick

myleviMay 2, 2011

My house is a 1921 brick semi. I have a window that I would like to change to a door. The rough opening is wide enough however the height is too short. I will need to remove the exterior cement window sill and 2 full layers of brick below it. This will leave 2 layers of brick before the brick arch above my basement window.

Do I have to install a new steel baseplate when I remove the brick? Can I removed the brick without causing structural problems. Please help!.

Thanks

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millworkman

First thing I would do is bring in an engineer to determine if you risk the wall collapsing by doing this, as from here I don't believe anyone would feel comfortable answering this question.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:07AM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

+1

I would have an engineer or a very capable contractor look at the project.

It can certainly be done, it is just a question of what sort of re-structuring you will need to do.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 12:11PM
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brickeyee

There is no significant structural loading under a window.

The loads have already been transferred to each side of the opening (or the opening would have already collapsed).

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:01AM
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millworkman

there you go, you have the brickeyee seal of approval to change your opening without risk of your house collapsing!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:22AM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

I don't think the question was whether or not a window was load bearing, but rather what would need to be done to re-structure the opening.

It will require the installation of either a new header beam or some sort of steel lentil to support the weight and load of the structure above it.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:20AM
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brickeyee

"It will require the installation of either a new header beam or some sort of steel lentil to support the weight and load of the structure above it. "

Not if there is no change to the height or width of the opening.

You can remove the wall area UNDER a window and use the existing header and lintel without alteration.

If you need to change the height of the top of the opening or the width then a new header, new lintel, and framing changes are required.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:52AM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

That is correct. I was thinking, as is normally the case, that we are removing upper courses of brick and going up.

If nothing changes at the top end (width or height) they are fine.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 9:32AM
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brickeyee

"there you go, you have the brickeyee seal of approval to change your opening without risk of your house collapsing!"

"The rough opening is wide enough however the height is too short. I will need to remove the exterior cement window sill and 2 full layers of brick below it. "

Reading the OP and understanding how loads are transferred around openings is not all that hard.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 9:54AM
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