Of course, another “catch-up” post about some of the things that have been done around here. Certainly it is great fun to show all the exciting things about restoring and renovating an old home – like the improved attic, or the new kitchen. However, there are so many things that go on in the background that deserve mention. So, not just a new basement door (because the mice, bats and cold air were sneaking in on the bottom of the old one), but also replacement of one of the beams over the door and the stone lintel itself. I thought it was important as this was probably one point of the house that held the most weight to be structurally sound, so the cracked stone had to go.
When I started to remove the inner centre lintel I had visions of the whole wall caving in on my head. Now that I have taken it apart and after watching the masons knock out the outside lintel and replace I realize that this would not happen. If you notice, the only continuous part of the wall over the windows and doors is the outside 300 mm. The inner 600 mm of stone is only about 400mm high and stops at the next floor level. I could actually drop all of the inner lintels above the doors and windows and nothing would happen. The reason, I believe, is that these parts of the stone wall are only horizontally structural rather than vertically structural. Clear as mud. Think of it this way. The upper floor extends into the window into a sort of “window well”. From below the only thing above the window is the floor thickness of stone from the top of the lower lintel to the bottom of the upper floor boards. Anyway, the discovery and realization will make future lintel repairs easier (as a number of them are sagging due to worm rot and fatigue).