Q. Widening external door aperture - safe?


Hello all,
We have one of those 'double' wide backdoors - it's wooden framed, the one half is just a window at half height - the lower half being brickwork/wall.
We had a conservatory built and this backdoor opens into it.
I want to remove the old door plus the lower bit of brickwork and replace it with bifold wide door - to improve access/maximise light transfer.
My question is this - can I just rip out the doorframe and cut and knock out the brickwork.
There appears to be a steel lintel and logic tells me that the door frame and therefore lower brickwork/wall section can no way be load bearing.... but the seed of doubt is there all the same! :)
Can anyone reassure me that this is ok - or perhaps more importantly warn me if it isn't!
Thanks J.
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JB wrote:

Commonsense would have it, that what you say is correct, otherwise
a) you have a load bearing timber door frame, and
b) on the basis that the wall is thicker than the door frame, I can't quite see how they would have managed to build the wall above the door frame, in the first place.
If you want to adopt the cautious approach then you simply need to prove the lintel end bearing by hacking away some of the wall finishes (or some other non-destructive method!).
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Bypass wrote:

A bit of a thread hijack here but it is an appropriate place. During a BBQ in the summer a friend commented on the state of our neighbours wall which is cracking above his fairly recently installed UPVC window (a couple of years ago if memory serves me). The window is about 10 feet long and is more or less identical to all the windows in our terrace. Now there is a concrete lintel above the window and looking at ours it appears to stop level with the edge of the window aperture. Commonsense would say that it doesn't but I'm not too sure and don't really want to disturb things as ours is holding up quite nicely. We also get or got until I repointed the back wall (not very neatly since you ask) the occasional drip from the wall above the window if we get a southerly gale and rain.
Do you reckon the lintel extends beyond the window? If so they must have put a very thin brick in over the end.
--
Malc

"AFB Mr Tracey."
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malc wrote:

If there wasn't a 'seated' lintel above your neighbour's window then I imagine the fitters would have struggled to replace the original window. Cracking in and around window openings can be the result of a number of factors. If you have any concerns about structural adequacy then you need to call out a structural engineer. Alternatively you could see what your buildings insurance company made of it.
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