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Opening up a chimney breast

(21 Posts)
lalalonglegs Thu 03-Feb-11 20:04:06

Has anyone opened up a chimney breast (in typical Victorian house) to create opening wide and high enough for a range cooker? Was it an expensive job and, if it was a shared chimney breast, did the work require party wall consent or would that just be for removal of chimney breast?

raisinbran Thu 03-Feb-11 21:19:56

ooh I have the same question but dont want to put a range in but maybe make a feature perhaps a shelf. Seems a shame to not do something with it as it takes up space but someone said its about 3k to have it removed per level and there are 2 other floors above a bit. So I expect I need to work around it.

lalalonglegs Fri 04-Feb-11 10:27:53

Come on, someone must have done this.

cybbo Fri 04-Feb-11 10:29:24

you need noddy holder

she's always swinging a sledge hammer around, knocking stuff out

GentleOtter Fri 04-Feb-11 10:33:34

Yes, we opened up a previously tiled fireplace and found the original huge opening underneath.
We took a sledgehammer to the tiled part then removed the tiles which went round the lintels.

You could roast an entire ox in the space.

lalalonglegs Fri 04-Feb-11 10:59:28

noooooody, where are yoooooou?

ellangirl Fri 04-Feb-11 11:20:31

I need to do this in a 30s house to put a range cooker in. It's about waist high with a woodburning stove in the space as it is. I'm hoping it won't be too much- if it's 3k that's my whole kitchen budget gone! shock

lalalonglegs Fri 04-Feb-11 11:42:13

Well, I know removing a chimney breast is expensive because, often the joists for the floor above are built into it and, of course, you have the rest of the chimeny breast to support but keeping the side walls in and removing the front to head height shouldn't compromise the structure too much should it...? noooody?

jeanjeannie Fri 04-Feb-11 12:28:40

I need to ask DP - we've done it in our 1930s house. We've also removed upstairs too...I think it's less troublesome if you only want to do downs stairs (but don't quote me on that!) It's not a shared chimney though - although in the last 10 yrs he's probably thwacked one down in his time! I know we've got a big mental lintel in - but then we also bashed out a wall too.

I'll ask him if you like when he's home. Is yours shared chimney too?

cybbo Fri 04-Feb-11 12:55:11

noddy's got her goggles and ear protectors on. She has to wear them while she's driving the wrecking ball. She cant hear you

ellangirl Fri 04-Feb-11 13:09:44

Thanks jean that would be good. It is a shared chimney. I don't need to remove the whole chimney breast, just create a square hole to a height that i can put a cooker in. It would need a lintel obviously (there is one now)....

hebejebe Fri 04-Feb-11 13:54:23

We have just done this as part of a bigger project (knocking wall down between kitchen and dining room) so can't tell you how much that part cost.

We had to remove the existing lintel as it was too low. I needed the hole to be about 1.8m in height and the existing lintel was much lower. We didn't need to do anything else though - managed to get an extractor to fit into space and had to put a liner in chimney for the extraction. Again, not sure how much that cost.

Then there was lots of plastering required on the chimney breast and in the hole.

It does look good though and has given us an extra 30 or 40 cm of room space.

We didn't need any consent from neighbours.

lalalonglegs Fri 04-Feb-11 14:01:14

hebe - was it a shared chimney breast and how much wider did you make the opening?

hebejebe Fri 04-Feb-11 14:08:42

It is shared only in that our neighbour's chimney breast is back to back with ours but they are separate iyswim.

Ours was completely bricked up before we opened it up - the range cooker sat in front of it. However the builders opened it up to its original width which, happily for us, was plenty big enough for my cooker which is 90cm wide and there is now about 10cm either side of it. It was only the height we changed. The builder also had to make space for the extractor as the original chimney channel ran at an angle and the builder had to remove some bricks which he initially thought might be load-bearing. Nothing has fallen down yet!!

lalalonglegs Fri 04-Feb-11 15:44:14

Thank you - that sounds similar to the chimney breast I am looking at.

jeanjeannie Sat 05-Feb-11 09:16:41

Sorry - he doesn't know about the party wall agreement. It is a structrual alteration so you should seek out building control. If you're leaving the cheeks of the fireplace in then it's not too much of a problem - but they'll still probably need to certify the work.

The main this is it's a huge mess - the actual flue inside is actually only held in with lots of rubble - so it all comes tubbling down. His advice is don't go wrecking in white wink

isitmidnightalready Sat 05-Feb-11 23:39:15

OH - be very wary of knocking around with chimney breasts and removing very much of them. They are often a mjor structural part of the house and help with its integrity.

The very first job I worked on many years ago was the case of a converted old house with about 3 or 4 floors, all owned / occupied by different people. There were builders in the basement flat, doing something. The old lady in the top flat noticed that her doors and cupboard doors would not close properly one day. At 2am she heard creaking and fled to her sister's house. Wise old lady. Not hours later, the whole place fell down. Turns out the builders had knocked out the chimney structure in the basement without a thought of supporting what was above it.

Gives me goose bumps, even now.

Moral of the story - go with your instincts - it's all you've got when it comes to it.

Second moral of the story - don't mess around with chimney breasts unless you definately know what you are doing.

Third moral of the story - if your cupboard doors or doors or windows won't close when they always did before - then think very hard about it. In this case, it was that the masonry around the door frames had shifted, causing the doorways to be out of square.

I must add that I was not part of the project but asked to assist after the event.

ellangirl Sun 06-Feb-11 09:16:08

Right, so who should I get in to tell me what's what? I need to get something organised! Building control at council? Structural engineer? Builder says he can't make a decision- something about it needing to be signed off...

jeanjeannie Sun 06-Feb-11 09:40:54

OK - firstly - your builder isn't very helpful - he could do this all for you! Anyway - as he's not going to do it - you call building control, be as precise as you can and tell them exactly what it is you want to do...they will then point you in the right direction and the next steps to take. Not sure if you need a struc engineer...they'd be able to tell you. We did but then we took it out completely.

The work will then be signed off (once done or in stages) by whoever building control send out. Still no wiser on shared chimney though - sorry.

ellangirl Sun 06-Feb-11 10:13:31

I know he's not very helpful- I think a lot gets lost in translation!
Thanks jean, will get onto building control tomorrow.

chrislong1972 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:06:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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