New and Old Brick Openings
Old houses often need to have their windows upgraded, and brick openings are generally in need of updates to allow for new, modern, high-efficiency windows to be installed. Many older houses in Toronto, Hamilton and the GTA have brick arches above their windows which was the original way bricklayers would structure a wall to allow for support above the area where the bricks are absent. Nowadays, we use steel lintels to support the weight. They are much easier to install than brick arches and result in less trim work for the window installers to complete around the window after it has been installed. The arch is often considered more aesthetic as it has a traditional masonry look, but the clean and sharp lines of steel lintel-supported brick openings have a modern masonry appeal.
When altering a masonry opening on a house and changing the existing arch to a flat, steel lintel, the difficulty is in supporting the bricks above while you install the new support. We often use jack-posts and wedges which give us enough room to work. Once we have laid enough bricks on the lintel and the new mortar has hardened to offer support, we remove the posts and put on the finishing touches.
While some people want the brick arch to be recreated, which is something we can most definitely do, it takes quite a bit more time and, of course, more cost. We have to figure out a way to keep the original look but expand the arch further or contract it smaller so that the new window can fit seamlessly.
At Wilkens, we have done both new brick-arched lintels and steel lintel installations hundreds of times and can be relied on to deliver the work you need to update your home and provide you with a sound and stable opening for your new windows.
We are fully insured, our estimates are free and we can work closely with you or a hired general contractor to make sure that our quote will fit in with any blueprints or plans that may exist.
Contact us now for a consultation!