Learning about lintels

I tried to work out the sturdiness of the lintel that supported the roof. I got books from the library on 'Simple garden building Projects' and read about lintels. One particularly fascinating book, on home improvements, covered the whole subject of lintels in depth. Too much depth really.

It's important to remember that this was in pre-"Ground Force" days - or if it was on TV, I'd obviously been too busy reading about lintels to watch it. It wasn't a common sight to see major building work going on in gardens, and there were no women in gardens hitting things with hammers. I was bereft of role models, not very confident, and reading all about lintels while putting off actually doing anything.

Then one day I got a big hammer and hit the wall with it.

I reasoned that if I started where the existing hole was, and took out a brick at a time, and left the middle section of the wall in place until I'd made sure the whole thing wouldn't collapse, it wouldn't be too serious an endeavor.

Demolition and rebuilding

It took weeks to demolish the wall. I took out a column of brick on one side, and took out the door, and the bricks surrounding it, on the other side. Sometimes many bricks would come away at once, and leave me terrified that the whole thing would collapse on top of me. Where possible I worked from the outside, in case it did collapse, as I reasoned that at least then I could jump out of the way. If anyone came round, I knocked the dust from my hair and answered the door trying to look like a normal woman and not like someone who'd just been out in the garden in the November cold, all alone, demolishing her shed.

I left the middle section in place until I'd made sure the side columns were stable, and that the lintel was solid and cemented in place at either end.

The side columns I had to partly rebuild from the jagged edges of brickwork that were left - basically slotting bricks (cemented) into the gaps. This was a crash-course in bricklaying - or rather 'brick slotting'.

Rustic plastering, and wavy paving

Millennium Shed: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Shed wall demolition begins, November 1998

The wall is breached! Shed wall demolition begins, November 1998

erm . . . it's a pile of bricks

. . . erm, it's a pile of bricks. Don't you just love all these pictures of bricks?