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Cutting a window into a double brick wall

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Question

I want to install a fixed timber window into a double brick wall. I would like some advice before I get started.

Answer

Have a look at the two cross sections (below) and advise me as to the type of "double brick wall" construction to which you make reference in your query. The cross section of the timber window assembly will also assist you with your current project.

Cross-sections of two types of double brick wall

Question

Thanks for the info but I need to cut a hole in a existing wall to fit a Fixed Light window. I need some advise before I start to break bricks.

Answer

So it is a fixed light window and there are no operable sashes and there is no window there at present - only brickwork. You will need to take into account that you will need to support the overhead brickwork when you remove bricks. If the opening is more than one metre in width you will need a lintel with 150mm minimum bearing length at each end; one metre or less and the bearing length of the lintel at each end needs to be 100mm minimum.

There is a number of ways of making the opening but what I would do is install the galvanised steel lintel first then angle grind into the brickwork the exact opening you require for your window. Chisel away very carefully each brick at a time starting from the top. This way, even if you're striking at the brickwork, you're not dislodging brickwork that is to stay in place. Try cutting in line with a brick perpend so that you'll have one course of brickwork with an exposed side that can be left exposed and the nearing course will have a cut brick that may have to be replaced with a finished edge. This of course does not matter if you're intending to render the whole facade.

I've also seen very determined DIYers successfully remove brickwork by drilling through the mortar beds but you will still need to support the overhead brickwork by installing the lintel beforehand.

Also, the type and size of lintel is dependent on the clear horizontal opening of the window you want to install.

Question

Thanks very much. But one more question: it is a solid double brick wall. When I have fitted the window in the wall how do I fix it to the wall as it has a cavity?

Answer

You will need to purchase brackets from a window supplier that fit into the frame.  Let the supplier know that you need to install the window into a double brick wall so you can get the right brackets.  Once you place the brackets into the frame, make sure the bracket comes back to the internal wall.

Install the window in the opening and then drill a 6mm hole through the bracket into the wall.  Place a green plug in the brickwork and screw the bracket to the wall with a 75mm screw. You will need two brackets at either side of the window frame.

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