Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • chunkytfg
    • By chunkytfg 13th Dec 18, 11:48 AM
    • 452Posts
    • 489Thanks
    chunkytfg
    What would you do? - Dangerous chimney removal.
    • #1
    • 13th Dec 18, 11:48 AM
    What would you do? - Dangerous chimney removal. 13th Dec 18 at 11:48 AM
    Okay so the house we are buying appears to have had the Chimney removed from the main living space but is still in the loft. It is a Split design so had 2 flues that rejoined in the loft space just below the ridge of the roof.

    As far as we can see it is not supported correctly but is in fact being supported by wedges of random bits of wood on the rafters. This obviously is not correct and as much as it looks to have been like that for many years(20+) it isn't exactly the safest way of doing it!!

    So the question is do we remove it or do we support it?

    My understanding is that to remove it we need to go down the party wall route getting a party wall surveyor to draw up an agreement etc and then assuming the other party agrees we can remove it.

    The other option is to get the Chimney supported. Having a read through my local councils planning regs they don't approve Gallows brackets so it would need to be supported with proper steels which would need to be planned with a Structural engineer.

    The FIL is a builder and has said he is happy to do the work for us with just us paying for the materials so the labour aspect of it isn't something to consider.

    What would you do and what do you think the difference in the costs would be? We are North of london in Herts so will have to pay london prices
    Those who risk nothing, Do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing
    MFW #63 0/500
Page 1
    • keithdc
    • By keithdc 13th Dec 18, 11:56 AM
    • 336 Posts
    • 615 Thanks
    keithdc
    • #2
    • 13th Dec 18, 11:56 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Dec 18, 11:56 AM
    Okay so the house we are buying appears to have had the Chimney removed from the main living space but is still in the loft. It is a Split design so had 2 flues that rejoined in the loft space just below the ridge of the roof.

    As far as we can see it is not supported correctly but is in fact being supported by wedges of random bits of wood on the rafters. This obviously is not correct and as much as it looks to have been like that for many years(20+) it isn't exactly the safest way of doing it!!

    So the question is do we remove it or do we support it?

    My understanding is that to remove it we need to go down the party wall route getting a party wall surveyor to draw up an agreement etc and then assuming the other party agrees we can remove it.

    The other option is to get the Chimney supported. Having a read through my local councils planning regs they don't approve Gallows brackets so it would need to be supported with proper steels which would need to be planned with a Structural engineer.

    The FIL is a builder and has said he is happy to do the work for us with just us paying for the materials so the labour aspect of it isn't something to consider.

    What would you do and what do you think the difference in the costs would be? We are North of london in Herts so will have to pay london prices
    Originally posted by chunkytfg
    Does next door still use the chimney for anything?

    Have they had any parts of chimney removed?

    If that has been bodged, are you prepared for any other surprises?
    • chunkytfg
    • By chunkytfg 13th Dec 18, 12:20 PM
    • 452 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    chunkytfg
    • #3
    • 13th Dec 18, 12:20 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Dec 18, 12:20 PM
    Does next door still use the chimney for anything?

    Have they had any parts of chimney removed?

    If that has been bodged, are you prepared for any other surprises?
    Originally posted by keithdc
    House is the end of a line of terraces that are not done as symmetrical pairs so the wall doesn't have a chimney on the back of it.

    Yeah we are prepared for the rest of the issues. The state of the place tells us the bodges are going to be very limited because of the complete lack of anything being done to it in the past 20 odd years.

    Compared to the house we looked at that had been converted to 2 flats, then back to 1 house and the garage being converted into a annexe this place is almost easy! the 1 into 2 and back again house just had the look of a lifetime of corner cutting everywhere
    Those who risk nothing, Do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing
    MFW #63 0/500
    • alanobrien
    • By alanobrien 13th Dec 18, 5:47 PM
    • 3,225 Posts
    • 1,809 Thanks
    alanobrien
    • #4
    • 13th Dec 18, 5:47 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Dec 18, 5:47 PM
    Doesnt sound like it can't be solved with brackets and a steel see;
    https://www.blsurveyors.com/a-guide-to-gallows-brackets/
    • chunkytfg
    • By chunkytfg 13th Dec 18, 7:48 PM
    • 452 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    chunkytfg
    • #5
    • 13th Dec 18, 7:48 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Dec 18, 7:48 PM
    Doesnt sound like it can't be solved with brackets and a steel see;
    https://www.blsurveyors.com/a-guide-to-gallows-brackets/
    Originally posted by alanobrien
    It could be yes but the local planning rules that I've found explicitly say they wont accept gallows brackets for chimney support

    1. A Building Notice is most suitable when small works are to be done and detailed plans are unnecessary. As no formal approval is given, good liaison between the builder and the building control officer is essential to make sure that work is correct. This method is not allowed for work on commercial buildings or where a new building is to be constructed fronting onto a private street. The local authority can, if it thinks necessary, request details and calculations for the work. You should include a location plan showing where the building is relative to neighbouring streets.

    Examples of works that maybe suitable for the Building Notice procedure:

    removal of load bearing wall
    small domestic extension
    garage conversion
    chimney breast removal NB - WE DO NOT ACCEPT GALLOWS BRACKETS FOR CHIMNEY BREAST REMOVALS
    Taken from here

    https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/BuildingControl/Advice-and-guidance/

    Edit- I swear in the OP i'd mentioned that Gallows brackets are not an option due to local rules!! Sorry
    Last edited by chunkytfg; 13-12-2018 at 7:52 PM.
    Those who risk nothing, Do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing
    MFW #63 0/500
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 13th Dec 18, 8:29 PM
    • 9,635 Posts
    • 26,849 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #6
    • 13th Dec 18, 8:29 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Dec 18, 8:29 PM
    Edit- I swear in the OP i'd mentioned that Gallows brackets are not an option due to local rules!! Sorry
    Originally posted by chunkytfg
    You did.

    You need to get a structural engineer involved. If the neighbour had an intact chimney on the other side of the wall then this would probably have given the wall sufficient lateral stability for you to be able to get BC approval to remove the remainder of the chimney on your side.

    But without that on the other side, the wall now needs to be checked for lateral stability. The result of that could be that you need to reinstate a chimney-like structure from the ground floor level all the way up through the first floor. Or a structural engineer might be able to devise an alternative support system.

    But you won't know what is what until the wall has been assessed by a qualified person.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • chunkytfg
    • By chunkytfg 14th Dec 18, 7:28 AM
    • 452 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    chunkytfg
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 18, 7:28 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 18, 7:28 AM
    You did.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    I even re read it and couldn't find it so wasn't sure! lol


    You need to get a structural engineer involved. If the neighbour had an intact chimney on the other side of the wall then this would probably have given the wall sufficient lateral stability for you to be able to get BC approval to remove the remainder of the chimney on your side.

    But without that on the other side, the wall now needs to be checked for lateral stability. The result of that could be that you need to reinstate a chimney-like structure from the ground floor level all the way up through the first floor. Or a structural engineer might be able to devise an alternative support system.

    But you won't know what is what until the wall has been assessed by a qualified person.
    Makes sense and I appreciate the need to not just 'wing it' in the hope that whatever I choose to support it with is suitable.

    To be perfectly frank it was more a case of money. Which would be the cheaper option when the cost of the labour to do the work isn't a factor? SE survey and designs followed by the cost of the support structure or PW agreement and remove?
    Those who risk nothing, Do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing
    MFW #63 0/500
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 14th Dec 18, 7:36 AM
    • 3,716 Posts
    • 6,403 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 18, 7:36 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 18, 7:36 AM
    Cheapest option may be to buy a different house.

    If you don't find joy in the snow,
    remember you'll have less joy in your life


    ...but still have the same amount of snow!
    • chunkytfg
    • By chunkytfg 14th Dec 18, 7:51 AM
    • 452 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    chunkytfg
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 18, 7:51 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 18, 7:51 AM
    Cheapest option may be to buy a different house.
    Originally posted by martinthebandit



    Bit more research done and i'm officially confused!

    According to this

    https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/2_Controlable_Works_tcm15-50308.pdf

    Gallows brackets can be used!

    Removing Chimney Breasts
    If you intend to partially remove a chimney breast, the remaining structure will need to be supported. This can be carried out using steel beams / gallows brackets. The support must be designed by an appropriately qualified person such as a structural engineer and be based on a site survey. Please note that the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 may apply to this work.
    What am i missing?
    Those who risk nothing, Do nothing, achieve nothing, become nothing
    MFW #63 0/500
    • CarrieVS
    • By CarrieVS 12th Jan 19, 11:41 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    CarrieVS
    According to this

    https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/2_Controlable_Works_tcm15-50308.pdf

    Gallows brackets can be used!

    What am i missing?
    Originally posted by chunkytfg
    This is a month old so you've probably made your decision or decided not to buy the house, but possibly the answer lies in the fact that this document says it's written by the Hertfordshire Building Control Technical Forum. The page that says very clearly no gallows brackets is specific to St Albans, so I infer that your local building control folks have decided not to approve them, but elsewhere in the county they might be ok.
    • Homersimpson
    • By Homersimpson 13th Jan 19, 11:30 AM
    • 378 Posts
    • 263 Thanks
    Homersimpson
    Is it feasible just to reinstate the missing section of the chimney, you could then get it working/lined and stick a wood burner in.

    I have one in my living room and its lovely on a cold winters evening.
    I have a lot of problems with my neighbours, they hammer and bang on the walls sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning - some nights I can hardly hear myself drilling
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

274Posts Today

2,232Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • As normal I am signing off twitter for the weekend - to spend time with mini and Mrs MSE. Hope you have a wonderfu? https://t.co/FG3sRfkIgA

  • RT @LauraFrancis9: Top crew! We may film in the freeeeeeeezing cold every week, but this bunch make it fun. (And huge thanks as always to @?

  • Turns out this is all Google served. We've been in touch and it's shutting it down which should cut it on many webs? https://t.co/8OYeMjEu4n

  • Follow Martin