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  • FIRST POST
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 7th Jul 17, 11:18 AM
    • 95Posts
    • 8Thanks
    Jaynorth
    Underpinning a Chimney Breast
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:18 AM
    Underpinning a Chimney Breast 7th Jul 17 at 11:18 AM
    Hi,

    I have a chimney breast that has been raked back in my kitchen but it is still fully intact in the room above. When I bought the house the surveyor highlighted the fact that the raked back chimney breast in the kitchen was not adequate support for the chimney breast and stack above.

    My question is, would it be satisfactory for me to get the chimney breast above underpinned?

    I have already got a quote from a builder for £350 to remove the remainder of the raked back chimney breast and put a steel beam in that part of the ceiling in order to support the chimney breast above.

    Thanks

    Jay
Page 1
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
    • 22,591 Posts
    • 87,438 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:38 AM

    My question is, would it be satisfactory for me to get the chimney breast above underpinned?
    Originally posted by Jaynorth
    Sadly, I can't see your kitchen from here, but even if I could, I'm not a qualified structural engineer. Those who are, tend not to do consultations by internet. In other words, no one on MSE can give you a full answer.

    Every situation's different, so while a builder can put an RSJ or gallows brackets in, he isn't qualified to specify which ones are adequate or appropriate. He might over-specify, but the question then is, will that come back to bite you if you later decide to sell the property and have no paperwork?

    It's a risk many take and then offer indemnity insurance.

    Were you going to inform building control???
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 7th Jul 17, 11:52 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Jaynorth
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:52 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:52 AM
    Thanks for your reply. Personally I think the current support is adequate and the surveyor was just covering him/herself by saying the support for the chimney breast above was not adequate.

    But it is more than likely that I will be selling which is why I am trying to at least address the issue so that when it is flagged up by a buyers survey I can say that the support has been reinforced.

    So yes I did intend to inform building control but having spoken to them about the issue in the past I believe that they only sign off on this kind of issue if the whole chimney stack is removed and they no longer accept gallows brackets as adequate support. I could be wrong and anyone can please feel free to correct me on this.

    Bearing this in mind, do you think I need to contact a structural engineer to specify what amount of support is adequate?

    Thanks

    Jay
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Jul 17, 12:01 PM
    • 23,396 Posts
    • 65,445 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:01 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:01 PM
    Building control will sign off where part is removed. You are correct that gallows brackets are not acceptable in most places now.

    The BCO may specify themselves what they want to see. It could be a steel, it could doubled/tripled up joists. Pay the fee and have a chat. If they want a structural engineer's calcs, then get them. If they don't, you've saved a few bob.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Jul 17, 12:05 PM
    • 22,591 Posts
    • 87,438 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:05 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:05 PM

    Bearing this in mind, do you think I need to contact a structural engineer to specify what amount of support is adequate?
    Originally posted by Jaynorth
    What Doozer said; she knows more than me!

    .....And pray your BCO is as nice as mine.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 7th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Jaynorth
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    Building control will sign off where part is removed. You are correct that gallows brackets are not acceptable in most places now.

    The BCO may specify themselves what they want to see. It could be a steel, it could doubled/tripled up joists. Pay the fee and have a chat. If they want a structural engineer's calcs, then get them. If they don't, you've saved a few bob.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl

    Just to clarify, do I contact my building control and ask them to come and have a look so that they can specify which support they feel will be acceptable? Because when I spoke to them before they just said that the whole chimney stack needs to be removed in order for them to sign off - maybe my BCO are not as nice as Dave's
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    • 23,396 Posts
    • 65,445 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    Hmm. Some of them are nice, some not somuch but I think someone has misunderstood. Either me or building control.

    Underpinning is not the correct terminology for whst you want to do and 'raking' is what you'd do when you need to repoint a wall. I wonder if I've misunderstood exactly what has been done.

    Can you describe what you mean by raked back?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    • 23,396 Posts
    • 65,445 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:21 PM
    Or post a picture!
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 7th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Jaynorth
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:34 PM
    Here is a link to the image: http://imgur.com/a/e4gxK

    I think the technical term is "corbelled" back
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Jul 17, 12:41 PM
    • 23,396 Posts
    • 65,445 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Nice.

    That needs building control sign off. You may as well take it up properly, it's ugly too.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 7th Jul 17, 12:46 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Jaynorth
    Nice.

    That needs building control sign off. You may as well take it up properly, it's ugly too.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Ok thanks!
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 7th Jul 17, 5:06 PM
    • 1,866 Posts
    • 937 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    Rake is one of those words with multiple uses. Raking out mortar from a wall for repointing is correct as is raking the weeds out of the veggie beds. The RAKE that the OP refers to is the angle. I am not sure I would be happy that the situation as pictured would support the weight of the upper part of the chimney but then I am not a builder. I was an engineer but I'm cured now! Any corbelling I have seen would go further down the vertical wall.
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 10th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Jaynorth
    Rake is one of those words with multiple uses. Raking out mortar from a wall for repointing is correct as is raking the weeds out of the veggie beds. The RAKE that the OP refers to is the angle. I am not sure I would be happy that the situation as pictured would support the weight of the upper part of the chimney but then I am not a builder. I was an engineer but I'm cured now! Any corbelling I have seen would go further down the vertical wall.
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk
    So as an engineer what would you suggest? Forget the cure for now

    I have spoken to building control and they said that they do not really act in an advisory capacity but will happily collect a fee from me to make a site visit, but again I am not sure what they will assess because I did not commission the work.

    At this point I am leaning towards getting in a structural engineer to provide the assessment and recommendation to rectify the issue.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 11th Jul 17, 6:37 AM
    • 3,305 Posts
    • 2,084 Thanks
    Furts
    So as an engineer what would you suggest? Forget the cure for now

    I have spoken to building control and they said that they do not really act in an advisory capacity but will happily collect a fee from me to make a site visit, but again I am not sure what they will assess because I did not commission the work.

    At this point I am leaning towards getting in a structural engineer to provide the assessment and recommendation to rectify the issue.
    Originally posted by Jaynorth
    If you are getting a Structural Engineer out, then they need to see what is has been built. So you would be wise to remove the boxing around the base of the stack. You will still need an application for regulations if structural work is then required.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 11th Jul 17, 9:43 AM
    • 1,866 Posts
    • 937 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    So as an engineer what would you suggest?

    At this point I am leaning towards getting in a structural engineer to provide the assessment and recommendation to rectify the issue.
    Originally posted by Jaynorth
    I would suggest exactly that and also take into account Furts' suggestion.
    • Jaynorth
    • By Jaynorth 11th Jul 17, 2:10 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Jaynorth
    Yes I agree, a builder that looked at it a few years ago did use a small hammer to knock away some of the outer boxing to see if there was any steel inside so it is possible to see within the outer casing.

    I would prefer to approach the council with an application for the work rather than pay them to come out and assess and advise which they say they don't really do.

    Thanks for your advice!
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