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Removing chimney breast

(11 Posts)
DontEvenPoint Tue 02-Dec-14 10:53:15

In process of buying a house in which we will need to remove an upstairs chimney breast. It is a victorian semi but the chimney is on the attached wall so will need a party wall agreement. Most of the original features have been removed sadly so only gas fires now. We want to keep the front chimney with the aim of maybe opening it up for a real fire at some point, but the back chimney upstairs definitely needs to go so that we can create a corridor along that wall leading to bathroom as the bathroom can only be accessed through the rear bedroom at the moment. I have googled extensively but still have questions!
1) do I need to get a surveyor? Do they just advise or draw up plans too? I think I will need a steel not just gallows bracket.
2) do I submit plans to building control?
3) can any competent builder do it provided they follow the plans, and if not can anyone recommend a company (I am outer london/Surrey)
4) when I do the Party wall agreement will that definitely mean I have to fork out for a surveyor or might they just agree? When my neighbour did their loft I just signed the agreement!?
5) how much is it going to cost?
6) is the house going to fall down in 5 years time?
And of course
7) how will Santa get in?
Any help grateful received!

DontEvenPoint Tue 02-Dec-14 18:23:02

Bump! Pretty please?

legitsuperhero Tue 02-Dec-14 19:16:55

Can't offer practical advice I am afraid but watching with interest as I need this job doing too for the same reason. When I can afford it, we've been living with that bathroom set up for a couple of years now and it's not ideal. Also South London/Surrey- popular layout round here grin

legitsuperhero Tue 02-Dec-14 19:21:01

Actually what I have been told is that it will need a steel plate in loft and the main cost will be labour, I was anticipating approx 1.5 grand all in but that might be me being a bit hopeful...

marilynmonroe Tue 02-Dec-14 19:43:30

We are having our chimney breast removed from the kitchen. We need steels put in but don't need pp. you will need to get a structural engineer to draw up some plans and get a party wall agreement done 2 months before work starts.

PenguindreamsofDraco Wed 03-Dec-14 09:18:06

We had the chimney breast removed from 2 top rooms last month. It turned out to be a big job - the steel lintel alone cost over �1,000 and the full job removing 2 breasts and making good came to �6k. We had a full structural engineer's report - the builders wouldn't have gone ahead without one.

Fortunately Santa has a front door key, so we don't need to worry about that too much.

DontEvenPoint Wed 03-Dec-14 13:02:25

Thanks for the replies - marilyn and penguin did you need to get party wall agreements for your work? And if so, did you end up having to pay for their surveyor or did they just agree? penguin 6k seems a lot! But if that's what it costs fair enough, I just don't want to add another grand for the neighbours survey...

thesaurusgirl Wed 03-Dec-14 13:20:02

Party wall agreement is about a grand per neighbour if they want their own surveyor, less if they just agree to use yours. This is where people like me, who live in flats in converted terraces, are really unlucky. My loft conversion has needed three party wall agreements, though thankfully no one has dissented.

If the house is listed or in a conservation area, you'll need planning permission even if you're just removing a chimney breast as it's structural work. Couple of hundred quid although the stuctural engineer's calculations and drawings will be several hundred quid on top. Can't tell you how much for sure, as my architect included these calculations as part of my loft conversion application.

You'll also need to pay a fee to building control - which could be another grand or so.

Removing a chimney, putting in a steel, re-plastering and re-painting is a big job if the house is old. I've been told to allow £2k for labour and materials (excluding the steel).

So it's really not worth doing unless you're doing major work on the rest of the house, or if your house's layout just doesn't work without removal.

If you can afford it, it is well worth doing. My sister took out all the chimneys except the two in her bedroom and sitting room and the difference is quite amazing, even though the actual floor space gained is not much at all.

legitsuperhero Wed 03-Dec-14 21:04:16

shock Looks like I was underestimating price then!

Bartlebee Wed 03-Dec-14 21:26:59

6k is a lot, imo.

In addition to what's already been said, yes you need a calculation & bear in mind, most local authorities won't accept gallows brackets.

Party wall bit will be free if your neighbours don't object.

DontEvenPoint Wed 14-Jan-15 14:06:42

Just bumping my thread to see if there are any more experiences to be shared! Also do you think this sort of thing is doable by a builder (following plans from structural engineer) or should I get a big specialist in (there is one beginning with H and rhymes with Stilton). I've had a quote from them at about 2.5k to take out just one upstairs breast, but that quote is for using gallows brackets, which I've checked and is acceptable to my Council building control, but I think I'd be happier with a beam... I can't help feeling that if many local authorities have ruled against gallows brackets, there's probably a good reason for that.

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