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Basic Lintel question


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Inspected a condo today, new construction. In examing the garage, I noticed that the lintel does not go past the opening of the door. I'm not sure what is holding up the two stories of brick above this opening. Any thoughts? I'm hoping that I missed some other support, but can't imagine where or what it would be.

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Originally posted by MelB

Inspected a condo today, new construction. In examing the garage, I noticed that the lintel does not go past the opening of the door. I'm not sure what is holding up the two stories of brick above this opening. Any thoughts? I'm hoping that I missed some other support, but can't imagine where or what it would be.

Lags or Bolts.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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That looks like split face concrete block.If so the first course or two of block above the opening are steel reinforced and poured solid with concrete.That is what is holding up the rest of the block.I can't tell what that is below the bottom course of block(steel or wood)but it was probably put there to give a finished look to the bottom of those 4" block.

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This is most likely an I-beam with a hung plate which would not bear into the masonry. The I-beam, however, does. I installed masonry on hundreds of these hung plate beams during my masonry career. The best way to tell if it is a hung plate beam is to inspect the bottom side of it. If it is seamless (not two angle irons back to back), then it is a beam with a plate hung from it. The plate is usually 1 to 3 brick courses or 1 block course below the beam. This looks to be a garage opening in a basement, which means it is most likely an 8" solid masonry wall that surrounds the beam. This is a very common senario in commercial masonry construction such as schools, warehouses, office buildings, etc. It's a little less common in residential construction.

The main reason for selecting a beam instead of a lintel (angle iron) is the span. With larger openings, even an angle iron with a tall back leg will sag and rotate outward under the weight of the green masonry. I've even seen an undersized angle iron twist so much that it dumped all the green work before it could set.

The reason for the hung plate is that the bottom flange of an I-beam is not typically wide enough to accomodate 8" of solid masonry.

Of course, both sides of the masonry on the hung plate must be installed together or the beam will flip over as well. I've seen that happen too. [:-dunce]

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Hi Mike,

Good to see you.

I knew that there was a beam in there with provision for the masonry. Had a feeling it wasn't simply a notched and plated "I" beam "bricked in" because I didn't notice a variation in the joints.

I shall add "hang plate" to my vocabulary and save "brick shelf" for the floor beams.

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Chow Steven,

Ironically, before I became a mason, I detailed steel (draftsman) for a steel fabrication company. I was taking a little break from college where I was studying engineering and architecture. After working for that firm for a bit less than a year I came to the conclusion that I ABSOLUTELY LOATHED BEING INDOORS 8 HOURS A DAY. I was going stir crazy. And the less than glamorous reality of the drawing board was setting in. "When will you be done with those drawings and here's some more!"

On top of it all, CAD was catching on and I was a devoted lead guy.

Sooooo....

I accepted an offer I couldn't refuse. an opportunity to become a mason making twice what I should have as an apprentice.

After working my way up the ladder to foreman and masonry company owner/operator (chief cook and bottle washer) I noticed that most guys in the trade could not afford to quit (financially) and could not afford to continue (physically). So, I got out, which began the long journey to here.

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