Chimney breast support in loft.

  rickf 14:35 PM 14 Mar 13

Hi All, Bought house in 2010. Chimney breasts on ground and first floor had been removed leaving the breast in the loft unsupported. A company has given me a quote to supply and fit 3 gallows brackets and support lintels. The proposal includes application to council building control and issue of certificate after inspection by the council surveyor which the company also arranges.. Fee for the inspection and certificate are included in the total cost of £1236 inclusive of VAT. Is this a reasonable quote? The company is reputable from my research on the web.

  Woolwell 14:56 PM 14 Mar 13

It's impossible to tell without knowing the house and the specs. Who did you get to draw up the specs? I would get at least another quote.

The lower chimney breast should never have been removed without adequate means of support for the breast in the loft. Did you get a survey done when you bought the house?

  rickf 15:26 PM 14 Mar 13

Yes, survey was done and I negotiated with the seller who then lowered the price to cover the cost of the work.I then forgot about it for 2 yrs ahving settled in until I went up to the loft recently. I remember when talking with the surveyor he said ( he probably should'nt have said it but did) that it had been unsupported for 10 yrs, seemed stable, so why do it. Just pocket the money he said. Anyway for my own peace of mind I am getting it done. It's a semi detached house and the next door neighbour has agreed in a suigned contract for the work to be carried out.

  rickf 15:28 PM 14 Mar 13

I have also spoken to the council and they have agreed to the used of gallows brackets from description of the breast.

  Woolwell 15:30 PM 14 Mar 13

Shared chimney? If so the other half may be providing support. By the sounds of it the previous owner did work to a party wall without permission.

  Woolwell 17:31 PM 14 Mar 13

There are others on this forum who are better qualified than I am to advise but I would have got a structural engineer to have reported on what needed to be done and to what spec and then got at least 2 firms to quote to do that work.

  Forum Editor 18:45 PM 14 Mar 13

Don't just leave things as they are. No matter how stable the masonry might seem now, there's a considerable weight of bricks involved, and if your neighbour decided to remove the flue on his side....

High winds are the enemy of all chimney stacks, and particularly gusty high winds - they can set a destabilised stack rocking, and disaster can (and often does) follow. You certainly do not want a ton of masonry falling through the bedroom ceiling one stormy night.

The price you've been quoted is about right - push the builder to include placing ventilator cowls on the unused chimney stacks, otherwise you run the risk of badly stained bedroom ceilings over time, apart from the unpleasantness of the occasional pigeon in the loft.

  rickf 09:18 AM 15 Mar 13

Thanks FE. Will have support by next week.

  spuds 11:08 AM 15 Mar 13

I have had a roof and stack job done about six years ago, got two quotes from one local and one a little further a field roofing/building firms. Local quotes £1232.59 and further afield quoted £2175.00. Both came recommended via a charity contact.

I was concerned about the stack collapsing, due to a crack appearing on the rendering. As it was, the remedy was to cut down to the brickwork, no cracks were present, so the stack was re-rendered and sealed. Other work like re-felting on the first two lines of tiles, plus new timber soffits and guttering was also done. All that took one man 5 days at the lowest quote.


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