Collapsing Bay & Gable

This period property in Hampstead, North West London had significant structural defects due to a failing Bressumer beam over the bay window area. The entire bay window area and the decorative gable wall above was leaning away from the main structure. Without professional structural repairs this would result in the ultimate failure and collapse of the structure.

NW3 bressummer  - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel
The Structural Problem

This front elevation of this home in London, NW3 was at risk of collapse. The first floor timber Bressumer beam over the bay window was failing, causing the downward movement of the central column of brickwork. This resulted in significant distortion to the window cills, lintels and first floor causing them to lean down to the centre of the building.

Cracking to the internal plaster, bulging of the ceiling, sloping of the floor and bowing of the main roof were also clearly visible.

NW3 sloping floor - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

The entire bay window and the decorative gable brickwork was at risk of collapse. Traditional building methods would have required substantial and costly rebuilding work. Without AWT this would have required a major building project to de-construct the front elevation down to the Bressumer beam, replace the beam and thereafter rebuild the front first floor brickwork complete with window cill, lintels, refitting the windows and replacing internal plastering and finishings.

AWT were called in to stabilise the structure and preserve the period features. AWT’s specialist tools and structural repair skills enabled them to restore structural integrity without the need for rebuilding work, saving time, money and disruption.

The Structural Repair Solution

AWT used specialist equipment to realign the masonry, replace the wooden Bressumer lintel with a steel beam and install restraints. A lateral gable beam was also installed, the bulging gable wall was realigned and the structural integrity was restored.

Hampstead bressummer replacement - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

Hampstead bressummer realignment - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

Traditional building methods often provide a superficial, temporary solution. AWT’s structural repairs get to the root cause of the structural failings.

The structural repair works included:

  • Installation of temporary supports
  • Removal of failing Bressumer beam
  • Installation of new steel Bressumer lintel
  • Installation of lateral gable beam
  • Realignment of masonry by 70mm using hydraulic equipment
  • Bed Joint Reinforcement
  • Lateral restraints
  • Re-pointing disturbed areas with colour matched mortar

The remedial works restored the leaning masonry to its vertical alignment and restrained it from leaning outwards. The new steel Bressumer beam, lateral gable beam and the Bed Joint Reinforcement within the masonry restored the strength of the structure.

AWT provided a permanent solution to the structural defects without the need for expensive rebuilding work or visible fixings.

Satisfied Customers

The first photo below shows the re-plastered ceiling ready to be repainted and the second shows it after redecoration was completed. The beautiful period features of the house can be enjoyed in their former glory.

bressummer repaired - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel


The home owners were delighted with how hassle free the process was and at the finished results.

Some of their comments were:

“You managed to diagnose pretty much what was wrong over the phone without having seen a photo i.e. Bressumer beam failure. We felt we were dealing with a professional company with a real idea of what we would need.”

“Your surveyor, Scott, was again reassuring. He gave the impression that whilst our house was of concern it was nothing compared to some properties you’ve repaired and it wouldn’t be beyond you.”

“Once we agreed to go ahead you were again very supportive and we felt comfortable and confident that we were in good hands.
The building team you that sent us were very reassuring and immediately had our confidence. The entire team were polite and professional and inspired confidence.”

“My elderly neighbour 2 doors away asked me when the works were starting and I was happy to tell her they were already finished….”

“We have a family friend that was very concerned with us walking blindly into a massive building program with no clue as to what we were doing and that it could all go horribly wrong.  I’ve been very pleased to let him know everything went better than expected and AWT completed the works quicker that we hoped. It’s all been a very positive experience.”

new bressummer beam - Failing Timber Bressumer Lintel

AWT provide cost effective structural repairs for a wide range of structural faults including failing wooden beams and lintels. We operate not only in NW London but across the whole of London and the South East of England.

Read our frequently asked questions about bay window structural repairs.

To book a time for one of our surveyors to visit your property or to discuss your requirements, call us today on 01227 721255, email us at or use our contact form to get in touch.

Call us if your building has any of these

Common Structural Defects, Issues or Problems

Our specialist structural repair contractors will be happy to help provide a comprehensive and permanent repair to your structural problems.

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