Now, without being pernickety, I think this timber lintel, buried deep in the front elevation of the Georgian Rose Cottage and revealed when the first floor plaster was removed, was just about on it’s last legs…. hard to imagine that this was actually supporting a brick wall. Or rather was supporting it, but was likely to collapse at any moment. Timber doesn’t just rot on its own, just because it feels like it, there has to be moisture present. Years, probably decades, of rainwater pouring down poor Rose Cottage’s front wall from faulty gutters, saturating the brickwork, coupled with no central heating and zero property maintenance has resulted in an timber sitting in the wall being completely wet through. And oak beams like the one above have aversion to sitting in wet walls. They silently sulk, then fall apart.
So out it had to come:
With the brickwork above supported on the outside and through into the inner leaf:
Understandably, clients don’t like seeing holes in the front of their homes, especially holes which were not expected to be there, but you cannot leave timber as rotten as that in situ, or eventually it will crumble away to nothing, and then the brickwork above simply collapses. So Han could have been having a lovely soak in the bath with Grazia and the wall may well have just disappeared. It is nice to have a view to the garden from the bathroom, but windows are better than a great gaping wound in the brickwork.
We are on with it though, the rotten beam is gone, and the guys are busy bricking up the hole with reclaimed bricks so it will be safe, secure and good as new. It’s very odd, all these funny timber lintels everywhere, makes me think the cottage was once a barn or store and has been converted to a house at some stage in the past, will have to get Hannah to investigate the deeds. Next job, getting those gutters fixed!