Your widows are a huge part of your building. No matter if it is your home or office, a faulty window can cost you more in energy bills, property values and weather damage.
Let’s face it, repairs and replacements can both be expensive. This article is meant to guide you through the costs of window lintel replacements and explain them.
As we guide you, you can take into consideration your own circumstances. You will have a better understanding of what costs you can’t avoid, and which ones are optional. To make the best choices, you first need information.
Window Lintel Replacement Cost – What is a Lintel anyway
Look at any window close to you. You will see the familiar rectangular shape of the window.
image via: keystonelintels
There is a space at the top that has a brace that runs horizontally. This is your lintel.
Occasionally these are decorative. They have elaborate designs. They can be made of wood, steel, or brick.
They can also be covered in plaster or left exposed. No matter how they are treated, they are still considered the lintel of the window.
Lintel’s have a particularly important job. They not only hold in the glass, but they also keep the weather out of the house.
If they are secure, then they will add to the lifespan of you window. If they are gapped, they can let moisture in and trap it.
That will cause the window area to fail and ultimately mean your glass will not be reinforced and will fall out.
Weather proofing starts with your lintel. With the importance of the lintel can cause some significant costs in maintenance and repair.
Let’s explore repair options and replacement costs before you make your decision.
How to tell if your window lintel needs attention
If you see cracks in your wall, inside or out, you probably need to take a closer look at your lintel.
Usually when they begin to fail, the fall inward. This displaces the bricks or siding around them.
It will look like the bricks are separating, the siding is failing, or the plaster is damaged. It can look like there is a foundation problem and not just a lintel problem.
You will want to take a look at the lintel and see if it is still holding its shape. If it is sagging or showing signs of weakening, then it is best to go ahead and replace it.
When you must replace your lintel no matter the cost
There are a few times when replacing your lintel is not only suggested but required.
These are the times when you simply must do as you should and not take any short cuts.
For instance, you need to replace your lintel if you are replacing your window.
This is the perfect time to replace it completely because the window is already out and the lintel is exposed.
This is where you will see lintel replacement costs at its lowest and will probably not affect your budget too much.
If you are buying or selling a property, and it needs an inspection, you may have to replace or your lintel.
Older properties may not have a proper lintel which means that they will need to have one installed.
In order to pass inspection and move forward with the contract, you may be required to add one.
If you don’t have to add one, they can make you cover the costs for the new owner to add one to bring it up to city code, if you are trying to sell your property.
It is structurally important and therefore is considered an investment into the property.
How the cost of window lintels is configured
There is a process that most contractors will look at. This isn’t exactly the same with ever contractor, but it is very similar with any company you go to.
As always, it is all just a rough estimate based on experience, material, and costs to the contractor.
1. The very first thing that they will look at is the condition of the wall around the lintel.
What the wall is made out of and how hard it will be to get to the lintel. The more work that will be required to get to the lintel, the more expensive it will be.
If you have a brick that is cracking or failing due to the lintel, you will need to factor in the cost of a mason into your repair with.
2. The condition of the window is also something that they look at when giving you an estimate.
If your window is not in good condition, older, or simply not installed right, you may have significantly higher costs to repair your lintel.
Also, your window is not up to city code, you may need to have a new window installed altogether.
There are cases when completely replacing the window will lower your overall costs to your lintel.
3. Your lintel conditions may affect the costs. If your lintel is falling apart, splintering, or difficult to remove, your contractor is going to want to charge more than if it is a clean, straight forward removal.
You will also need to look at the decorative lintels. If your lintel is decorative, you may have more costs than if you have a simply functional lintel.
4. Overall costs will be the main focus of the estimate. The cost of what labor and manpower, supplies, and permits are the bulk of the estimate.
The charge of permits will be determined by the city or county in which the permit must be pulled. The materials will depend on the material you chose to have your lintel made from.
As we come to the end of this article, it is our hope that you find it informative.
This is your chance to increase the value of your home with a project that shouldn’t take more than a day or two. It will change the way your home looks and feels as well.
Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you learn about your home and in this case about the window lintel replacement cost, the better choices you will make for you and your property.