When you build a new wood-constructed conservatory, or any type of conservatory, you’ll need to dig a trench for the footings. You’ll need to dig to a minimum depth of 600mm and at least 300mm below your property’s damp proof course. When you dig down, you might expose obstacles such as underground pipes.
If this happens, you’ll need lintels for your wood-constructed conservatory. These are usually concrete and protect the pipes or obstructions from being crushed. You may also want to use steel mesh for additional support.
Building Regulations state that if an opening is formed in a wall, the structure above the opening needs to be supported. This will be especially relevant if you’re building a wooden lean-to conservatory. It says that there are two ways that you can use lintels to provide support.
The first way involves using a steel lintel to support both the inner and outer leaf of a cavity wall. It can then serve as a cavity tray that directs moisture from the cavity through the outer skin of the wall as well.
The second way to use lintels is to use two steel or concrete lintels. They support each leaf of a cavity wall construction. You’ll need separate thermal insulation and a cavity tray as well.
Whatever type of lintel you use, it should have a suitable bearing onto the wall at each side. If you’re not sure, speak to the manufacturer of your wood-constructed conservatory, or ask a reputable company to install it for you.