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Lintel Plate Installatio

Lintel Plate Installation


Richard A. Acree

Lintel Plates are the metal strips of angle iron that should be installed across the top of exterior doors and windows. Lintel plates should extend into the exterior surface above the door and/or window they protect. The purpose of a lintel plate is to provide structural support for the exterior surface, such as brick veneer, above an opening in the shell such as a door and/or window. Without this support, the weight of the exterior surface would overpower the frame of the window or door and cause the surface to collapse.

Look closely at the lintel plate in the picture below as it crosses above this door and window installation at a rear porch. What's wrong? HINT: Lintel plates should be a continuous metal strip above the window and/or door installation.

ANSWER: The separation in the lintel plate where the door and windows adjoin is not right. Below is a closeup of the lintel plate near the point where the door on the left meets the windows on the right. Look how the lintel plate has dropped down above the windows. Why did this happen?

Lintel plates should extend uninterrupted across the opening in the shell, be it door and/or window. In fact, the lintel plate should extend beyond the sides of the door or window and into the shell several inches so that the vertical weight load is distributed to the shell beyond the sides of the door or window. In this case, the lintel plates did extend past the ends of the door and windows. But, this split in the middle is what caused the problem here. By not using a continuous plate the loads at the split allowed the vertical loads to overcome the frame of the window and start the collapse of the brick veneer. Look at the picture below to see that the brick veneer is not only dropping down but also falling out away from the wall.

In the picture on the right the only thing holding the brick veneer above the windows is the wood fascia in front of the brick. This situation needs repair and will likely require complete re-installation.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this article are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked .

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