Cracks under windows

Two houses I have looked at (to buy) have had cracks under 2 or more windows, and also above the windows.
What does this indicate and is it possible to fix? and how much could it cost to fix?
One house I have pictured here, I have drawn the cracks on the picture.
http://img367.imageshack.us/img367/5472/wall01awn5.jpg
Hopefully the image wil work - imageshack has not been very reliable of late.
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freepo wrote:

IMHO the diagonal cracks above the windows are strongly indicative of there being inadequate or failed lintels above the windows, ie the area within the red 'triangles' has dropped slightly. They look like new uPVC windows, am I right? It's quite possible that the house was built with no lintels over the original windows, which could have had meaty enough timber frames to support the brickwork... then along comes a cheapskate window replacement company and bangs in flimsy plastic windows, and guess what happens....
David
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..or it's just that a couple of gorillas installed the windows, damaging the lightweight brickwork arround the window. It's impossible to find a window surround in my house where the plaster at least hasn't cracked. I can't see the pics by the way as they're blocked.
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Try http://tinypic.com/and a close up pic of the cracks?
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SJP wrote:

That's just the home page - you might need to give a bit more of a steer than that! The imageshack pic works fine here though.
David
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I was just pointing out an alternative to imageshack if the original poster is finding it unreliable
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Ok, here is a tinypic for the same picture as the one in imageshack
http://i19.tinypic.com/2im3psn.jpg
The house has recently been "done up" to sell, so yes they are new windows. They have "brick arch" lintels on the outside (probably large timber lintel on the inside) it looks like the brick arch is starting to give way.
So it would probably require new lintels to the outside replacing the brick arches. Not a big job eh?
The other house, I don't have an actual pic of the house so I'll use this pic of a house, In this house the windows are all old and the house has been rendered, and the area in green is where the render has been recently renewed, the red marks are where the cracks are. The crack (on the left) now runs along the line of new rendering.
So again this is indicative of failing lintels?
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or replace the windows, they look like the cheapest of the cheap anyway.

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Brick arches often slip a bit, and providing they're stable now, may need nothing doing at all other than repointing any cracks and keeping an eye out for any more movement. There's a substantial amount of wall to the sides of all the arches, so it's unlikely the arches are going to spread significantly. (It would be much more of a potential problem if the arches were near corners.)
However, you should draw this to your surveyor's attention for his comments.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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Thanks all, the second one actually was more like this http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic)oizhs
With the cracks leading to the centre of the tops of the windows.
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I don't think I added the second link here it is for the second photo, which is not of the actual house.
http://i14.tinypic.com/2h6etg7.jpg
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freepo wrote:

Dunno, maybe: but I hasten to add I'm not an expert! but the red triangular area in the other photo was very distinctive.
David
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SJP wrote:

Oh sorry I thought you were the OP posting a new photo of his cracks! David
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