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Question DetailsAsked on 11/3/2017

Does an opening approx 4 meters cut in a poured (reinforced) concrete wall need a lintel or can it be unsupported?

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1 Answer


OK - you are asking if you can cut a 13 foot wide piece out of a foundation and not have to replace the structural support it provides ? Really ?

Certainly if the foundation is carrying any building load you need to provide alternative load paths for the load to go to the foundation - generally with a header beam across the gap. In some instances, especially with garages (designed as that) the foundation wall can be cut or left out, leaving in only the reinforced footer as a sill - but it has to be designed as such, and that portion of foundation wall cannot be providing overturning or lateral (shoulder) support to the adjacent foundation sections.

If you are doing this sort of a cut (presumably for a doorway or connection to an addition) you are presumably doing a fairly substantial remodel or addition, so the Architect doing the plans (which are almosat certainly needed to be able to get a building permit for this) for the remodel would also assess the loads and prepare (by in-house engineer or subcontracted to a Sturctural Engineer) the design for the remedial structural support. If this is a DIY job in an area where plans are not needed for a permit (or no building code enforcement in your area) then a consulting Structural Engineer (your Search the List cstegory ot find well-rated and reviewed ones) is what you need, to analyze the loads and prepare a design and plans or at least design sketch of the required supports.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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