The Content Of The Article:

In some areas, the lintels are made of wood. Because they degrade with time, sometimes it is necessary to change them without the need to support them.

change of a lintel (window top)

Necessary material

  • Spirit level
  • Mallet
  • Brooch
  • Trowel
  • Auge
  • Grinder and diamond disc
  • Scaffolding
  • Gloves, glasses, shoes
  • Fast mortar
  • Bastard mortar (lime based)
  • Solid wood piece

Difficulty: Quite difficult
Cost: less than 30 € (with salvaged wood and excluding equipment rental)
Time: ½ day approximately

In a load-bearing wall, no opening can do without a lintel.
This element is today mostly reinforced concrete and masked by the cladding.
It also happens to be metal (HEA type profile or HEB), sometimes even wood.
Although cut in a hard hardwood (oak, chestnut...), the lintel ends up suffering from moisture, frost, sun...
He then flexes under the load, imposing his replacement without delay.

Do-it-yourself at height: use a scaffold

Its removal remains fairly simple when it is not necessary to support (case presented here).
Even if the opening is located in ground garden, these works are held in height.
Instead of ladders, it is better to provide two mason trestles and scaffolding boards.
Most of the trestles are adjustable from 1.20 to 2 m high, thus offering a working height of 2.50 m to 3.50 m approximately.
In addition, renting a scaffold for the weekend remains the best solution to secure the site.

Attack masonry

To remove the lintel implies to remove the stones of the top with a chisel and a mallet.
This is a pretty physical job that can justify renting a hammer chisel.
Other essential equipment: safety shoes, goggles and protective gloves.

remove the stones above the window

  • To unseal the stones that hold the old lintel, attack the joints with a pin and a hammer (or hammer chisel).
  • Remove and preserve the blocks then dust off.

rapid mortar mixing

  • Mix quick mortar according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • A mixer is useless: for this small quantity, a trowel is enough.

adding stones to fill the holes

  • Thoroughly wet the surfaces and consolidate the bottom with mortar.
  • Fill cavities too deep with stones.

use a spirit level

  • Larger section, the new lintel requires to expand a little the original housing.
  • Draw new landmarks.

with a grinder notching the jambs

  • Nick the top of the jambs with the grinder after drawing new marks.

finish notching with a chisel

  • Finish carefully with the chisel and the hammer by digging the stones and joints still present in the upper part.

check the position of the lintel

  • Position the lintel and check that it does not exceed the plane of the facade.
  • Check its horizontality.
  • Remove it, place bastard mortar on the back and wedge it with small stones.

deposit of mortar before putting the stones back

  • Place mortar in the interstices remaining on both sides of the lintel, then above and behind, before putting the stones back.

control of row alignment

  • Check the alignment of the rows and push the stones into the mortar if necessary.
  • Apply a pesticide product from the wood.


Video Instruction: Bricklaying with Steve and Alex REPLACING A BLOWN RUSTY LINTEL