What is Lintel?

Definition of Lintel in Construction
Structural component across an opening. This opening can be a door, window, or other open area within a structure.

Commonly referred to as a header or a lintel. The lintel can be precast concrete, steel, wood, masonry, etc. In many cases the lintel across the top of an opening is an architectural feature and is exposed to the occupant of the structure. In some masonry openings, the lintels can be made up of several pieces of miscellaneous metal such as channels and angles. The structural engineer is responsible for the proper engineering of the lintels on the project, and will in many cases present a lintel schedule on the documents to ensure understanding of the structural requirements. A generic lintel schedule is sometimes presented, to identify the type and makeup of a lintel for various size openings. For example the use of a double 2X 8 for an opening from 0 to 4 feet. A double 2X10 for an opening from 4 to 8 feet, etc. The understanding of the lintel requirements on an project are important due to their need during construction. The mason will be stopped if the proper lintels have not been delivered, the framing sub can be stopped if the proper miscellaneous metal lintels that are located within the framing are not on the project. In addition, the makeup of the lintels is important. If the lintels are built up of several different profiles of steel, for example, channels and angles, and need to be galvanized, then the time required to galvanized the lintel must be considered after the lintel has been constructed.