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-   -   Combine 7' garage doors into one 16+ ft door - connect brick lintels (http://www.diychatroom.com/f105/combine-7-garage-doors-into-one-16-ft-door-connect-brick-lintels-137626/)

Irestone 03-20-2012 11:22 AM

Combine 7' garage doors into one 16+ ft door - connect brick lintels
 
I have a brick front to my house, and have two 7' wide foot garage doors which have a roughly 2 foot wide column of brick that separates the doors. There is a brick lintel above each door which appears to be about 3/8" thick, and is attached to the respective header above each door. Each lintel extends about 3" on each side into the neighboring bricks (leaving a roughly 20 inch gap between the two separate lintels). There are 4 courses of brick above the lintels, so not too much weight supported.

My goal is to remove the roughly 2 foot wide column of brick in the middle of the doors, create one large 16' door, and ensure the bricks above the current "gap" between the existing doors is strong enough to support the bricks. I'm planning on leaving the existing (separate) door headers in place, and "sistering" one long laminated header on the inside of the garage to support the weight.

My question is this:
Can I use the existing lintels and connect them together somehow to support the bricks above the entire 16' span once I remove the center column of bricks? I was thinking I could either weld a piece of bar steel to connect the two lintels, OR I could get a larger lintel which I connect to the new 16' header which will below each separate lintel and support their weight.

I'm assuming the option of getting a larger lintel, connecting it to the new laminated header, and using that to support the weight of the separate lintels which is currently supported by the brick column between the doors.

Let me know if I'm on the right track, or may have other options.

I know that removing the lowest course of bricks along the existing door headers, removing the existing lintels, and replacing them with one long 16+ foot lintel is an option, but it one I'd like to avoid if possible.

joecaption 03-20-2012 11:48 AM

Not even close to the right way to do it.
A longer lintle will be thicker and wider.

Irestone 03-20-2012 12:09 PM

Joe,
Are you saying the right way to do this would be to remove a course of bricks, and replace the lintel with a new (thicker and wider) lintel?

How about if I get a new thicker and wider lintel, which is the length of the entire 16+ foo span, and install it directly under the existing lintel (so I don't have to remove a course of bricks, but still have the new thicker/wider lintel supporting the weight of the entire span)? Would that work?

Daniel Holzman 03-20-2012 02:24 PM

A picture or two would really help here. If I understand what you have correctly, you say you have two separate garage doors, each 7 feet wide, separated by a 2 foot wide brick column. Each door has a header above it, and a lintel above the header. You did not describe the header, so I am not clear if it is concrete, wood, a steel channel, or something else.

You want to remove the brick column between the doors. If I understand the setup, you will need a new header that spans 16 feet, with a lintel above that to support the brick. Or am I missing something? You mentioned a new laminated header, which sounds like you are planning to install a new 16 foot header, maybe an LVL?

What has my somewhat confused is that the majority of houses I have seen use a steel lintel to support the brick over say a window, or perhaps a reinforced concrete lintel for longer spans and heavier loads, but I can't recall seeing a steel lintel above a wooden header, which is what I think you say you have.

rubberhead 03-20-2012 03:14 PM

Seriously... Don't do that.

Irestone 03-20-2012 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman (Post 881543)
A picture or two would really help here. If I understand what you have correctly, you say you have two separate garage doors, each 7 feet wide, separated by a 2 foot wide brick column. Each door has a header above it, and a lintel above the header. You did not describe the header, so I am not clear if it is concrete, wood, a steel channel, or something else.

You want to remove the brick column between the doors. If I understand the setup, you will need a new header that spans 16 feet, with a lintel above that to support the brick. Or am I missing something? You mentioned a new laminated header, which sounds like you are planning to install a new 16 foot header, maybe an LVL?

What has my somewhat confused is that the majority of houses I have seen use a steel lintel to support the brick over say a window, or perhaps a reinforced concrete lintel for longer spans and heavier loads, but I can't recall seeing a steel lintel above a wooden header, which is what I think you say you have.

Hi Daniel, thanks for your response, and good questions. I'll get some pics and share, but in the meantime I'll try and clarify.

Your description is accurate for what I'm dealing with except for the header part. Currently each door has a 2x12 wood header installed on the inside of the garage. The lintels which currently support the brick above each of the doors is affixed to the bottom of each 2x12 header. So, the bottom of each header is roughly the same height as the lintel and the bottom of the lowest course of bricks.

What I'm planning on doing is installing a new (roughly 18 foot) LVL header on the inside of the garage, and this new header will be nailed to each of the two existing headers, and I will support the new header on each side with jack studs and king studs. The bottom of this new header will be the same height as the bottom of the existing headers, and will therefore be roughly the same height as the existing lintels.

My question is: Could I affix a new lintel to this new header (during installation of the new header) which is mounted directly under each of the existing individual lintels which currently support the weight of the brick above each door. This way the new LVL header is supporting the weight of the full 16' course of bricks above the new single garage door as well as bearing the weight of the new 16' garage door itself.

Is this an option? If not, why not? It would seem to me that removing the lowest course of bricks above the garage door, removing the existing lintels, and replacing them with a new thicker/wider lintel is essentially the same as putting that same new thicker/wider lintel in while leaving the existing lintels in place, but I'm definitely interested in learning the pros and cons of this from you folks who have been there before!

Tscarborough 03-21-2012 08:44 AM

The angle iron should not be attached to the wood header. They are loose lintels and the angle iron must be sized to fit. A normal angle for that size opening and amount of brick supported would be 6x4x1/2". Since there is a wooden header behind the brick, you can not do the normal method which would be to work from the back side of the wall.

You will have to remove the brick and re-lay it.

Daniel Holzman 03-21-2012 10:38 AM

I think I am beginning to understand better what you have, but pictures would still be much appreciated. I am not clear why you want to effectively sister a new header in place, why are you not replacing the two headers you currently have with a single, appropriately sized header? That would seem like an obvious alternative. But you must have had the header sized by a professional,unless you are comfortable doing computations yourself. Perhaps you should ask the individual who sized and detailed the LVL header if it is OK to attach a lintel to that particular header, or alternatively as you suggest attaching a lintel to the new header to support the old lintels, a technique I have never personally seen, not to say it could not in theory work.

Irestone 03-22-2012 10:16 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman (Post 882173)
I think I am beginning to understand better what you have, but pictures would still be much appreciated. I am not clear why you want to effectively sister a new header in place, why are you not replacing the two headers you currently have with a single, appropriately sized header? That would seem like an obvious alternative. But you must have had the header sized by a professional,unless you are comfortable doing computations yourself. Perhaps you should ask the individual who sized and detailed the LVL header if it is OK to attach a lintel to that particular header, or alternatively as you suggest attaching a lintel to the new header to support the old lintels, a technique I have never personally seen, not to say it could not in theory work.

I have attached a few pictures. Hopefully they help tell the story. I will get the LVL appropriately sized when I get to that point, and definitely will ask the person helping me size it if I can sister the LVL to the existing headers. The reason I'm asking question about that option is the suspicion that the existing lintels are attached to the existing headers, and removing the existing headers would require removal and replacement of the brick. If I can sister the LVL to the existing header, install a new (appropriately sized) lintel which can be attached to the new header AND can support the weight of the span+brick by being installed directly under the existing lintels, then I'd like to investigate that option thoroughly.

I appreciate your help!

TenToes 03-22-2012 10:41 AM

I just had a thought that you may consider or not. It actually solves most of your problems. Why not consider completely removing the brick over the garage doors and finishing with a different material like wood panels or something similar. The remaining brick outside the garage doors would become like columns. You now don't need any lintel and you can rebuild the header as you like. just a thought!

Cheers!

Tscarborough 03-22-2012 11:52 AM

If the angle irons are attached to the header, it is incidental. They do not need to be, and should not be attached. The problem is that to replace a steel lintel, you have to have access to the backside of the brick. You do not have that access, so you will have to remove the brick. The LVL beam I know nothing about, so I will leave that to others.

Daniel Holzman 03-22-2012 11:53 AM

Those pictures help out a lot. Lintels may be unattached to the header (loose lintel) or bolted to the header. My understanding is that lintels more than 10 years old are usually loose. I am not sure why you think your lintel is bolted to the header, but if it is, you can presumably remove a course of brick (while temporarily supporting the brick above) and bolt the two lintels to the replacement header. Sistering a new header to the old one just to avoid some brick work seems like more trouble than it is worth.

Irestone 03-22-2012 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TenToes (Post 882919)
I just had a thought that you may consider or not. It actually solves most of your problems. Why not consider completely removing the brick over the garage doors and finishing with a different material like wood panels or something similar. The remaining brick outside the garage doors would become like columns. You now don't need any lintel and you can rebuild the header as you like. just a thought!

Cheers!

I agree, that would look good. Definitely an option! I have some other "interested stakeholders" who have significant say in the design once I determine what my options are for rebuilding the span, but I appreciate the brainstorming help!


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