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Property/DIY

badly supported chimney breast - how much?

13 replies

gemmiegoatlegs · 11/04/2008 18:32

we are selling and are due to exchange in the next week, however our buyer's valuation has flagged up a possible issue with the chimney breast which has been removed up and downstairs but not in the loft.
Buyer has been round with a builder today to check it out and (his friend) the builder has found that the chimney breast in the loft is not properly supported. I can believe this. However, 10 minutes after they left i had a call from the estate agents saying that the builder had estimated the cost at £2500 and wanted me to knock that much off the asking price.

I was absolutely livid that they expected me to roll over and die after the buyer's mate's estimate of the cost. Obviously I am not stupid and have arranged for two builders to come over the weekend and give me a price.

I was just wondering if anybody had had work done involving resupporting a remaining chimney breast or removing altogether. I am in the north east where things tend to be cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

And what happens if my builder comes in a lot cheaper? Do they have to accept my builder's quote?

TIA

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gemmiegoatlegs · 11/04/2008 20:46

bumping for the evening crowd. help please?

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Tinker · 11/04/2008 20:47

We had this with our house. Builder said to put it right (if it hadn't been done initially) would be approx 3k. So, don't think 2500 is too unrealistic really.

gemmiegoatlegs · 11/04/2008 21:01

i'm just highly suspicious that the estimate came from his mate. also he is a mortgage broker and has bought several properties from my agent to rent out. I feel that the agent (who actually works for me) shouldn't be so eager to bend to his wishes. I just have a nagging suspicion they are all "in it together" The buyer used phrases like "we are ready to complete except for this issue" . it just sounds like a threat to me.

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NorthernLurker · 11/04/2008 23:05

It sounds like a threat because it is a threat. Tbh - I think that sounds like what I would expect to pay for what I imagine could be a fairly major and time-consuming job. I would see what your estimates come in at and then see if you can meet them half way. Btw when was the work done - if you had it done can't you ring your builders and threaten them with legal action unless they fix it asap?

Flibbertyjibbet · 11/04/2008 23:18

DP got his house cheap because of this very issue. It isn't a 'threat', its a structural part of the house that needs to be put right. The previous owners had taken out the chimney breasts up to the bedroom ceilings and not up through the loft. The remaining brickwork was just resting on a joist in the loft, the chimney was obviously leaning when you looked from outside and it had caused roof damage in the immediate area of the chimney.
The house had to go cheaper as every mortgage on it had fallen through at the survey stage. Dp is a builder and got the house on a business loan so he was classed as a cash buyer.
When you get your own estimates I would consider paying for the actual work yourself if you want to get best price for your house sale. Because even if this sale falls through because of this issue if refuse to drop the price it will show up on every potential sale and every buyer will ask for a price reduction.

Flibbertyjibbet · 11/04/2008 23:24

When I say 'dp's house' I just want to mention that it was the house he bought for himself before we met.
We are not property tycoons nor is he a builder looking to just rip people off to get a property to develop

NorthernLurker · 11/04/2008 23:31

Oh - I was thinking you were like Tim Burton and helena bonham-carter - had a house each but were next door to one another

Actually - i suppose you could be helena bonham carter......

Flibbertyjibbet · 11/04/2008 23:45

No I have far better dress sense than and am much posher than her!!

gemmiegoatlegs · 12/04/2008 08:21

thanks for all your replies. I know if the job needs doing, it needs doing, but i don't want to be the one to have to do it...I have enough going on with two under 5s, exams coming up and a hospital stay on the horizon. The last thing I need is the builders in. I am just hoping that my builders will come in with a somewhat lower figure, we drop the price and we can get on with it.

There goes my holiday money (sigh)

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lalalonglegs · 12/04/2008 11:54

Honestly, it is a big job and, if the chimney breast is shared with the neighbours, will require party wall consent. #2500 sounds cheap at the price...

JillJ72 · 13/04/2008 08:04

We were quoted higher for either supporting the chimney breast with a series of RSJs or building the chimney breasts back up - we moved into a Victorian property that had had chimney breasts removed downstairs, but not on 1st/loft floors).

We had a builder mate in to do the work for us, for the price you have stated. And that was cheap.

JillJ72 · 13/04/2008 08:08

BTW: I forgot to say, we elected to reinstate the chimney breasts downstairs. In your circumstance I would view this as a problem that has to be resolved, and either by yourself (which you've intimated isn't an option) or by your buyer. It shouldn't stop your sale, but it is an issue that needs to be addressed; it will come up on surveys/valuations and as such won't go away unless tackled.

gemmiegoatlegs · 13/04/2008 12:00

I have had two builders round today, who reckon the chimney breast in the loft is tied in safely to the remaining chimney breast column and also to next doors house. They are dubious that the work needs doing at all, but are both prepared to build up supports with concrete lintels for a fraction of the original cost. I am pleased with that and if I have to get the work done myself then I will do so. I'm only concerned now that it is going to become a battle between what they say and what we say. The buyer's builder is obviously not impartial, so I am going to suggest they get someone representing their bank to come and inspect it themselves if they are not satisfied with our conclusions.

I am just relieved my builders don't see it as a serious problem. Thanks again for all your replies.

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