more surprises - rotten joist and no lintel!

I took the plaster off from above the old front door which is now a living room window. There is not lintel holding up the inner half of the wall - wall is solid 9", 150 year old end terrace. Outside there appears to be a lintel above where the old door was - there is a painted stone(?) block and two smaller blocks either side of the door near the top, supporting this.
What should I do?
In the same downstairs front room I've discovered the end of one of the ceiling joists is rotten. It's the joist nearest the side/gable wall, and runs front to back. To replace it I could; 1. cut the lath and plaster ceiling along the adjacent joist and remove the strip of celing under the rooten joist and up to the adjacent joist 2. remove front bed floorboards etc. 3. replace the joist - will it fit easily? 4. fit a bit of wood along the bottom of the adjacent joist and use this and the new joist to attach plasterboard.
It's a bit of a flaff cos I'd loose the original plaster of Paris cornice and I'd have to repaper the whole ceiling etc. I'm sure inserting the new joist will be fun too!
Any other suggestions will be very much appreciated.
Thank you, Neil
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On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 17:37:16 +0000 (UTC), Niel A. Farrow wrote:

First find out why just the end is rotten. As it's the end in an outside world pentrating damp is most likely but could be very old and no longer a problem.
As only the end is affected by rot, cut the rotten end off plus 18" or so into sound timber and remove it. Then get a replacement bit of timber of suitable size and butt it to the old end and into onto the wall. Then fix it in place with planks 1/2 the thickness of the joist thick either side with coach bolts or bolted right through. Make sure holes for bolts are a snug fit on the bolts, it should be required to tap them through rather than just put them in. Use penny washers behind heads and nuts to spread the load onto the timber side plates. should be required. All this can be done from above by lifting floor boards. The unsupported end will be fine supported by the ceiling unless it is in very poor condition anyway.
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Niel
You can save the the original cornice but you will have to lift the boards above.
You have to do most of this salvage work from above: Vacuum all the dust & debris from above the cornice you want to save Reinforce the cornice with layers of plasterers scrim (I use jute) and plenty of poured-in plaster of paris (you can also insert through the cornice, from below, plated screws which will allow a mechanical fix - although I'd only do this if the cornice is large). Bring the scrim up the wall so the the cornice is supported. Leave to harden. From below cut the offending lath & plaster section away - the cornice will stay fixed and thus saved. Replace knackered joist, maybe hanging the new, treated, one on joist hangers if you can manage to hump it into existing holes. Make good with section on p/board.
Paul
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Niel
You can save the the original cornice but you will have to lift the boards above.
You have to do most of this salvage work from above: Vacuum all the dust & debris from above the cornice you want to save Reinforce the cornice with layers of plasterers scrim (I use jute) and plenty of poured-in plaster of paris (you can also insert through the cornice, from below, plated screws which will allow a mechanical fix - although I'd only do this if the cornice is large). Bring the scrim up the wall so the the cornice is supported. Leave to harden. From below cut the offending lath & plaster section away - the cornice will stay fixed and thus saved. Replace knackered joist, maybe hanging the new, treated, one on joist hangers if you can manage to hump it into existing holes. Make good with section on p/board.
Paul
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