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  1. #1
    Pam Wallace's Avatar
    Pam Wallace Guest

    Exclamation Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    I have a visible deflection in my garage door opening and received a contractor estimate ($6K) to remove the brick, replace the lintel, rebrick & paint around the garage opening. I'm wondering if this will completely fix the visible sag since nothing is mentioned about the header. There is no visibility to determine if the header is also sagging. If all of this is done and my header is actually sagging as well, will I still have the sag?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Wallace View Post
    I have a visible deflection in my garage door opening and received a contractor estimate ($6K) to remove the brick, replace the lintel, rebrick & paint around the garage opening. I'm wondering if this will completely fix the visible sag since nothing is mentioned about the header. There is no visibility to determine if the header is also sagging. If all of this is done and my header is actually sagging as well, will I still have the sag?
    If the header is bowed you will likely see deflection in the roof above the header.
    To me it looks like the header is bowed.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Pam, Good question about the header. If the lintel is deflected then it stands to reason that the header is also bowed and I could see a contractor boosting his fee if the header is problematic and it's not in the proposal. Have you considered having a "flitch plate" installed? (You can Google that term for description) If you can live with the sag the plate will keep things from moving any further and work quite well. I'd like to think that a conscientious contractor would have suggested this option.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    I can't tell decisively from the pictures what exactly is going on. Although I don't see deflection (in the pictures) in the roof, the bricks seem to be sagging and I see what looks like a crack in the bricks near the garage door (right side).

    I don't know the experience or qualifications your contractor has (maybe he designed the existing lintel), or if the replacement will suffice or if it will be more of the same.

    IMO, $6k is a fair price to replace a lintel that size.

    For that span you will need a lintel comprised of a pretty hefty beam with a brick shelf, that can carry the weight across that span.

    Have your contractor provide you with a sketch/shop drawing (with dimensions) of what he is proposing to install. Then, if you want to be sure; speak to a structural engineer.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    The pictures don't appear to show any signs of brick movement or separation at this point. Based on that I wouldn't spend any money to fix it unless you are looking to sell. If planning to sell you could either fix it properly or scum it by faking the trim.
    A bit more seriously though. If it's original construction it probably has a lintel with a double 2x12 behind it. The lintel could be bolted to the 2x's or not. I've seen various configurations, some better, some worse. On a 2 car opening, this type of lintel/header install sags, just the way it is. Most Codes around here require a double LVL now on a 2 car opening.
    I would suggest you look at the back side and see what the headers look like. Determine exactly what's installed, etc. Can you determine the size of the lintel or is it an actual beam; If wood, is the wood split, rotted, etc. OR does it just look good but sags. Immediate collapse is not typically an issue unless there is significant rot, splitting or rust.
    Trying to jack it up and get the sag out doesn't work. To get the sag out you have to remove and replace everything over the opening. At that point, LVL with a nice ornamental capping would work fairly easily. It would also save a lot of money over re-installing the bricks.
    As far as the contractor, his proposal should specify materials, method of repair and end result, what will and won't be removed, what will be replaced, will the sag be dealt with and gone or is he just increasing opening integrity.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    The pictures don't appear to show any signs of brick movement or separation at this point.
    There are large cracks in the brick on the left of the garage door and a smaller crack on the right.
    Also cracking about 2' to the left of the light.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    For that span you will need a lintel comprised of a pretty hefty beam with a brick shelf, that can carry the weight across that span.
    Steven is correct, a hefty lintel will be needed for that.

    I suspect that the lintel/header across the opening was not up to par for the width of the opening, and then they hung a brick shelf on it and added the weight of the brick, resulting in the lintel/header bowing as shown in the photos.

    Trying to get a lintel/header out of wood to span that opening may be difficult with the existing size limitations for height you have, you probably need a flitch plate as Eric mentioned.

    As Steven said: "speak to a structural engineer", let them design it, than have the contractor install it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Why not forget about putting bricks where bricks do not belong? Trim the space above the door with wood or Hardi plank siding and save a bunch of money.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Why not forget about putting bricks where bricks do not belong? Trim the space above the door with wood or Hardi plank siding and save a bunch of money.
    .............I agree. You have a 16' opening which is already carrying the roof load-adding the weight of the brick is really poor design......Greg.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Why not forget about putting bricks where bricks do not belong? Trim the space above the door with wood or Hardi plank siding and save a bunch of money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    .............I agree. You have a 16' opening which is already carrying the roof load-adding the weight of the brick is really poor design......Greg.
    The brick can easily be addressed in the design of the lintel/header. That is a designers choice, not something that home inspectors typically address. On the other hand, once the designers choice has been made, it becomes the home inspectors obligation to address the poor design which allowed what happened over the years.

    Brick across that opening? Sure - NO PROBLEM AT ALL ... as long as the structural engineer knew it was going to be there when they designed the lintel/header.

    Personally, on a brick house ... *I* *would NOT want* *HardiePlank or some other similar siding there*, it would look *el cheapo*. Just design for what is to be there, that is all that is needed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Pam Wallace's Avatar
    Pam Wallace Guest

    Smile Re: Is lintel or header or both sagging?

    Thanks everyone for the input. You have all helped me know how to address this issue. I'm still getting estimates.


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