Bi-fold door lintel

Got a question on lintels? Follow this advice

Andrew ALL, Concrete Lintels, Specification, Steel Lintels Leave a Comment

We get asked all sorts of questions about our lintels, often about what lintels are used in certain circumstances and what loads our lintels can take and how we calculate the loads of the lintels. A lot of the time we can answer your questions but we also need further information to help as well.

Here are four basic questions or areas where we receive a lot of queries, and some advice as to how to get a quicker and more accurate response.

What lintel do I need for Bi-fold doors?

Bi-fold door lintel selection

Bi-fold doors can cause a headache with lintel selection, as the standard allowed deflection can mean the door won’t operate correctly.

If you’re not sure what bi-fold doors are they are two or three or often more doors or window panes that span to the floor and are often used to exit into a patio or garden area. The bi-fold element means they concertina up so you can have a wide opening out to the back that really opens up your house. Because of the wide span, this often causes issues for homeowners and builders when it comes to appropriate lintels to install above the bi-fold door.

The British standards for lintels allow for a small percentage of deflection, meaning that the lintel can bend ever-so-slightly. Over a standard window or door, this deflection has no impact on the usage and is not even visible.

Bi-fold doors are a different story. Because of how a bi-fold door opens and shuts, even the slightest deflection in the lintel above can render the door unusable, because it simply won’t slide open or shut. To this end, we recommend a heavy-duty or even a rolled steel lintel above a bi-fold door to ensure that there is absolutely no deflection. This often depends on the span of the opening and the load, so we would need further details on a project-by-project basis.

Can I have a price for X?

Lintel selection

Selecting and specifying the correct lintel depends upon a number of factors. We can provide assistance if you can advise of the details below.

Yes, is the short answer. We are always happy to provide a quote however it is worth bearing in mind that because we put a lot of business through builders merchants, as an installer of our lintels you will invariably get a better price from one of our merchants or distributors. If you want to find out where your nearest stockist is, just speak to the sales team on 01455 272457.

The opening is X, the brickwork is Y; what lintel do I need?

These are certainly two key factors that we need to know in order to advise on the type of lintel, but we often need to know more – see below for more on what we require. You can also have a look at our lintel selection guide for builders, and our lintel selection step-by-step guides.

What lintel do I need above my kitchen?

This is similar to the above – there are certain criteria we need to know before we can even advise on a suitable lintel.

Please take note
It is also worth pointing out that whilst we can advise the type of lintel based on the information you provide, we are not building regulations, or building control and are not responsible for the structural integrity of the building you are working on.

What information do we need to know?

In order to advise on lintel selection and usage there are basic bits of information that we would need in order to provide a suitable answer:

  • The size of the opening
  • The wall construction
  • The height and type of masonry above the opening
  • If there is 600mm of masonry either side of the opening
  • If there are any floor joists bearing onto the lintel and the span of the joists
  • If there are any roof trusses bearing onto the lintel and the span of the trusses

This information along with site drawings will help significantly.

Hopefully, this goes some way to help you understand what we need in order to provide a sufficient answer. If you still have questions or are unsure of what we have advised, then please contact our technical team, or seek the advice of a structural engineer or equally qualified professional. Alternatively, you can visit our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page for more information. We also have two separate articles on frequently asked questions:

Frequently asked questions part one

Frequently asked questions part two

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