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Thread: Window Lentils

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default Window Lentils

    I ran across a basement with poured concrete walls today. There were a number of vinyl windows set into the walls at the top that were about 2' wide and 16" tall. The sill plate and foam seal sat right on top of the walls and windows. There were no lentils or other additional support over the window openings. Found on both load and non-load bearing outer walls. Is this standard construction practice?

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  2. #2
    Eric Barker's Avatar
    Eric Barker is online now Member
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    Default Re: Window Lentils

    Not normal and quite questionable. Now perhaps they ran the floor joists to the rim joist and intended load transfer there but still not standard practice nor appropriate.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Leslie Stone's Avatar
    Leslie Stone Guest

    Default Re: Window Lentils

    Stuart, having been a general contractor for over 20 years I can tell you that local codes in my neck of the woods require that any opening in a load bearing location of the foundation wall 24" or greater requires either (1) that the rim joist be doubled across the opening extending a minimun of 3" past the edges (just like a standard header in a framed wall) of the opening and any adjacent floor joists falling within the span in question be secured with appropriate joist hangers, or (2) the opening must be spanned by an engineered LVL with the same rules applying concerning the overlap and joist hangers.
    Could be different in your area, but I promise the builder would be a very unhappy camper if I caught him trying it on my new house.

    Last edited by Leslie Stone; 10-04-2007 at 08:06 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Window Lentils

    Thanks Guys! I had alarms going off in my head. Nice to know I wasn't totally out of whack. BTW, these are new 1 yr old homes in the Remington VA area put up by one of the big national builders long known for the "Modular" approach to construction.

    I was not able to see the framing above the sill plate. Everything enclosed, as usual. However, I can at least report what I saw and recorded on camera.


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Window Lentils

    This is just FYI, it is Lintel. A Lentil is a bean, not a beam. And a bean is not needed above a window.

    While I know this is being persnickety, misspelling can give a poor impression.

    CREIA CCI & Evil Genius
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default Re: Window Lentils

    Thanks Gunnar - You are absolutely right and I'm glad I didn't use the word lentil but once in the report. Of course, there are people who would say I'm full of lentils anyway.

    A spell checker wouldn't catch it either - the MS Word checker didn't because, as with most spell checkers, context is not a consideration. I wonder if someone will or has developed an AI spell checker that would at least flag context issues. Oh! Wait a minute! I'm a computer scientist! (in previous life) I should know the answer to that! I'll look into it.


  7. #7
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Wink Re: Window Lentils

    I personally prefer kidney or garbonzo beams over lentils. They make the walls much tastier.


  8. #8
    Zane Remenda's Avatar
    Zane Remenda Guest

    Default Re: Window Lintels

    I realize this is an older post, but heregoes anyway.

    I get this all the time. There is about 3-4 inches of concrete over a basement window. I cannot see if there lintel or not. Plus the basement windows from the inside are difficult to open.

    The other thing I find odd, is that there is almost always no caulking around these basement windows frames. Is this standard in your neck of the woods?

    Zane

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