Roz

Making new window openings - can it be DIY?

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So part of one of the quotes we have had in for our barn is creating 3 new window openings, slightly narrowing another one and repairing 2 door lintels.

 

Is this work we could look at tackling ourselves or would you stay well clear?

The labour element is almost £4k. 

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Does the work involve cutting through brick walls..?? If so, they will need pins and acro's along with lintels installing, brickwork removing and replacing and making good all the facings.

 

Depending on size, £4k doesn't sound too bad..

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1 minute ago, PeterW said:

Does the work involve cutting through brick walls..?? If so, they will need pins and acro's along with lintels installing, brickwork removing and replacing and making good all the facings.

 

Depending on size, £4k doesn't sound too bad..

 

Knocking through 500mm granite stone walls, but yes would need lintels and quoins etc. I think the price isn't bad, just wondering if we would be mad to consider trying to save money here. Trying to look at all opportunities to do so! 😬

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Just drilling a hole in a 500mm granite wall will take a hour with the proper kit.... and they are doing the lot ..???! I’d pass them the keys and tell them to crack on ..!! 

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Sounds like serious hard work to me and not a bad price, let them crack on and find something easier to do yourself 😳.

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Not an easy job, not one I would DIY.  I was in a house once where they were doing this.  They took out great big blocks of stone but often what is in the middle is rubble / dust.  I recall it all got very hairy at one point where the wall above the opening started collapsing and they had to very quickly get some more temporary props under.  Getting the lintels in was also interesting. And there was a huge stack of them to fill the nearly metre thick wall opening.  Then they had to rebuild all the collapsed wall above the opening. 

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I did a few in my old stone farmhouse back in the days when I was cash strapped.  As everyone has said its not an easy job, and even though a ½m wall might look solid on the outside, you will be amazed at the crap that can fall out from the middle.  The self-support angle runs at about 45° so if you try to remove the bit of wall to fit a 1.4m lintel then you could be faced with about 1.4  × 0.8 × 0.5 m³ of stone falling on you and a lot more if there is another opening above.  OK, if the windows are small -- say 0.6m or less then it might just be case of making the hole with a single through centre acro support, banging in the lintels and making good, but not for a double window or door.


At least with a ½m wall you may have a be able to use a double lintel which makes each hole more manageable, but you've still got to punch through for cross supports about the lintel line, open the lintel seat holes and prepare them, put in the back lintel and support, put in the front lintel and support both (I used 4 reinforced concrete lintels in one double doorway in an internal 0.6m wall), drop the centre and make up the quoins properly -- not just fill be holes with fixing coat as one builder that did a new window for me did -- and which I had to hack out and stone up properly a few years later to fix the damp problems.  And this is times 3-6. 

 

Can this be done by a home DIYer with experience of stone work -- difficult but doable; by one who hasn't tacked this sort of job before and without advice from someone who has -- not recommended in my view.   To be honest I am suspicious that the labour element is only £4K if you have a decent craftsman and his labourer and need to do granite stonework.  Something is wrong here, IMO.  I would ask to see examples of similar jobs that they've done, just to make sure that they know what they are tackling. 

 

Your job will also be complicated by the need to have the external finish sympathetic to the external structure and you will need to conform to BRegs and have Bcontrol approval, sign-off and inspection and possibly planning approval / certificate of lawful development as this is effecting the external facade of what I assume is an old building.

Edited by TerryE

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Price seems fair depending on where you are in the country. 

We had a stone guy do similar for us (create two new windows, change two doors into windows and raise two door lintels) the price was in that region and the work was good. 

 

After we saw him make the first window opening we decided to do the second ourselves as it didn't look that hard. It was easy enough BUT the window opening was starting at the roof plate so there was nothing above it to fall down iyswim. If there had been it would have been more technical and skilled. 

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On 14/12/2018 at 14:31, Roz said:

So part of one of the quotes we have had in for our barn is creating 3 new window openings, slightly narrowing another one and repairing 2 door lintels.

 

Is this work we could look at tackling ourselves or would you stay well clear?

The labour element is almost £4k. 

 

Yes. But needs care and appropriate lintels.

 

Creating two was the first DIY construction job I ever did.

 

F

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On 09/01/2019 at 10:32, Snowbeetle said:

Price seems fair depending on where you are in the country. 

We had a stone guy do similar for us (create two new windows, change two doors into windows and raise two door lintels) the price was in that region and the work was good. 

 

After we saw him make the first window opening we decided to do the second ourselves as it didn't look that hard. It was easy enough BUT the window opening was starting at the roof plate so there was nothing above it to fall down iyswim. If there had been it would have been more technical and skilled. 

One of our windows is like this, so perhaps we could tackle that one to save some costs! 

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