French doors / RSJ query.

The previous owners of my house decided to knock an archway from the rear main wall of the house into the conservatory. Unfortunately, this means that most of my heat disappears out of the conservatory roof and I would like to install double glazed French doors in the gap instead!
The house was built in 1867 and has a timber frame. As far as I can tell the archway does not have an RSJ above it, however, this part of the house does not appear to have any brickwork above ground level with the exterior of the first floor protected by tiles instead!
I've only ever worked on newer houses, and must confess to being a little confused by this! As there appears to be very little brick work above the archway, will an RSJ be needed when installing the French doors?
Many thanks,
Ben
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I'm not sure you are sure of the terms you are using. You knock through a wall to make a doorway or whatever but you must either have an arch or a lintle to take the weight of the wall above.
If there is no masonry above the ground then is it a timber frame building? It was quite normal to protect a wall with tiling in those days. It still is a good method. Much better than the horrible plastic stuff that seems to be the fashion.
You don't need the RSJ in either case. Concrete or timber will do for a lintle. With a timber frame the cill may be acting as a lintle.
The problem with having an archway is getting a frame made. Also the doors will need fettling on the hinge side to stop them binding. If you have enough head room you can fit a glass pane above the doorway somehow.
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Michael Mcneil wrote:

Probably not - I'm more of an electrician than a builder! :-)

> but you must either have an arch or a lintle to take the > weight of the wall above.
I would like to extend the width of the existing archway to accomodate the French doors and then fill in the top.

Surveyor told me that it was timber frame, and I've had a (limited) poke behind the tiles and I can't find any sign of any masonry! :-/

Being used to more modern houses, it just seems a little weird! :-)

I see... So would a lintel across the top of the double glazed unit, and then filled on top to make everything level with the existing masonry be acceptable?

I'd like to get rid of the archway (Or might be better termed 'gap'!) completely and install a pre-fabricated uPVC double glazed unit! Should stop all my heat disappearing and make the house more secure!
Many thanks for your help! :-)
Ben
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