Installation of windows in brick masonry walls need to be carried out properly in order to avoid faults and subsequent failure of walls or deflection of windows which may lead to their malfunction. Generally, window placement in openings which are created during building construction is easy since all necessary precautions such as transferring of loads have already been taken into consideration.

However, if window installation requires making opening, then great care shall be practiced. The wall shall be examined to find out whether it is able to support loads coming from the structure after the opening is made. A proper and strong lintel shall be provided such as L-shaped steel beam or reinforced concrete lintel to support loads from the above wall.  If reinforced concrete beam is employed as a lintel, then temporary supports shall be provided to till the lintel is cured adequately and gain necessary strength.

Lastly, when installation of window in brick masonry wall is considered, adherence to local code authority, like CPWD Specification, and manufacturer’s installation guidelines is necessary for a watertight and approved installation.

Procedure for Installing Windows in Brick Masonry Wall

The following procedure involves making opening in the brick masonry wall to the installation and water and air proofing of the installed window.

Making Opening in Brick Masonry Wall

  1. Before making opening it is necessary to examine that the wall exclusive of opening is adequate to take the load coming on the structure.
  2. Check for obstacles such as buried utilities, shrubbery, indoor wiring and duct work. The more stuff you have to move or work around, the more complex, time-consuming and expensive the project becomes.
  3. All the structural members supported on the walls which have direct bearing over the area in which opening is to be made, shall be properly supported with props to relieve the load from masonry wall till the lintel over the opening is strong enough to take the load.
  4. The portion to be dismantled may be clearly marked on both sides of the wall.
  5. Dismantling shall be carried out from top to bottom within the marked area.
  6. The sides of the opening shall be parallel and perpendicular to the plane of wall.
Mark the window outline
Fig. 1: Mark the window outline

Lintel Construction or Installation

  1. The lintel shall be invariably cast first in the opening made for the purpose.
  2. One side of the shuttering shall be kept open in the beginning till the concrete is laid. The shuttering shall then be fixed for half of the opening and concreting completed.
  3. Curing of lintel casted shall be done for a minimum period of 7 days.
  4. Sometimes, L-shaped steel beam may be enough to be used as a lintel.
Lintel is Installed Above the Opening
Fig. 2: Lintel is Installed Above the Opening

Window Installation Process

  1. Drill adequate number of holes in the opening at correct positions for embedding hold fasts of windows.
  2. Paint, then insert chowkhats in the position with their hold-fasts bolted tightly.
  3. After that, adjust chowkhats for proper line and plumb and secured in position by temporary bracing.
  4. The concrete to be used for embedding hold-fasts shall be cement concrete 1:3:6 mix.
  5. The minimum size of concrete block in which the hold-fasts are embedded shall be 30 x 10 x 15 cm for 35 cm long holdfasts.
  6. The concrete of the block shall completely fill the hole made in the masonry for the purpose.
  7. After the surface surrounding the hold-fasts has sufficiently dried it shall be cleaned of dust etc. and wetted.
  8. It shall then be plastered with cement mortar 1:4 (1 cement: 4 fine sand) flush and matching with the surrounding plaster work.
Installing Window in Brick Masonry Wall
Fig. 3: Installing Window in Brick Masonry Wall