Chimney - entire removal - any BCOs?

(10 Posts)
Jules125 Tue 02-Aug-16 16:46:52

Hi, wondered if anyone understood chimney removal buildings regs? We removed an ENTIRE chimney top to bottom (including the stacks, breast) - all that is left is a very tiny bit at the bottom (actually in the garage). This created no structural issues that we could discern, and builder didn't think any consent needed (so we did not get this). I've since started to worry about this although I still cannot see a structural issue and its a few years ago with no obvious problems since. Obviously if I'd removed the breast and left the stack on top there would be an issue, but we have not done that. Should we have got buildings control involved and if so how best to fix the issue now? Will I be prosecuted for this [read scary things on the internet...] I do have an anxiety disorder (mild) so not sure if I am just worrying or if there is a real problem. Thanks for any advice.

YelloDraw Tue 02-Aug-16 16:58:14

Well you can't always see structural issues!

Chimneys are usually considered to be part of the structure of the house, and you should have got building regs sign off.

However you aren't going to get in trouble and if you have issues when you come to sell you can buy indemnity insurance for a few hundred £.

fuctifino Tue 02-Aug-16 17:05:29

Our neighbour banged out their chimney with sledge hammers. This, in turn caused large cracks in our rooms adjoining theirs.

We called building regs and they had to use their services, which they had to pay for, before being allowed to proceed.

We had repairs done on our property, using our house insurance. The insurance company then pursued he neighbours through the small claims court to recoup their loss.

So yes, it can cause structural problems. Had our house been a new build, the surveyor reckoned the whole bay would have detached itself from the house shock

Jules125 Tue 02-Aug-16 17:06:24

That's true, I admit I cannot be certain there is no structural issue I guess. It is not an external wall (its a detached house) and some one had already removed part of the stack, thus damaging the look from below and the stack was leaking so removing it make sense. Having removed it from the top we decided to remove it from the upstairs bedroom, because it was taking a lot of space in that room. Downstairs it became really narrow so we left it (in the garage).

I think I am worried that not getting approval might invalidate buildings insurance somehow. If something unrelated happened, e.g. a fire or flood, would I still be covered? [of course, if the work was not good I accept we would not be covered but the work was done by family builders that I trust even if they are a bit loose with signing off with the council].

Jules125 Tue 02-Aug-16 17:10:15

Sorry about your neighbour functifino. That is pretty bad. We definitely have not adversely affected anyone else (its a detached house anyway) and can see no cracks in adjoining rooms.

Jules125 Tue 02-Aug-16 17:12:49

www.lewes.gov.uk/planning/17206.asp

This link states that chimney removal is exempt if the entire chimney is removed. We have a tiny bit left at the bottom (The brest was very very narrow at the bottom then flared out a lot above). I guess we could always remove that part too!

ChishandFips33 Tue 02-Aug-16 20:27:01

We consulted the LA and were told didn't need consent as it was all being removed and not a structural part of the house/on a party wall

House has been sold and the lack of a chimney wasn't raised

SocksRock Tue 02-Aug-16 20:46:59

Depends on the house. Some chimneys are structural, stabilising either internal or external walls, and sometimes if you are in a terrace and the chimneys are back to back you can't remove one without destabilising the other half. I'm a structural engineer, I've seen a lot of chimneys!

Jules125 Tue 02-Aug-16 21:28:59

Thanks for more replies, very helpful.

Its not a terrace but there is a chimney brest backing onto it in an adjoining room (internal wall). I don't think it the removed part was an essential structure because we have effectively removed the part that was corballed in and out so presumably the part corballed in and out would never have been supporting anything?

But you are right, I am worrying about it so the best thing is probably to call out a structural engineer who will hopefully just charge me not too many £££ so long as I am right. I'm a cautious person by nature so never intended taking any structural risks, this just happened because I had 2 children <2 at the time and accepted family builders advice without questioning it (kicking myself now...).

Thanks again to all responders

bojorojo Tue 02-Aug-16 22:43:30

Builders rarely understand the structural engineering issues involved in houses. Some structural engineers would be out of a job if they did!!!

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