If you’re thinking of renovatinge an older home, you may want to get rid of the projecting chimney breast(s) to create some extra floor space.
However, removing a chimney breast is not as simple as taking out bricks. You need to consider various factors before removing a chimney breast such as the structural support for the remaining chimney flue, the removal cost, and building regulations.
If the chimney breast is adjacent to a neighbour’s extension Party Wall, then you will need to adhere to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
How to Remove a Chimney Breast?
You can easily remove an external chimney stack without causing any disruption to the interior.
However, removing an internal chimney is a bit complicated and will create a lot of dust and debris. It is advised to clean the required room for chimney removal. And seal it off from the rest of the building. It is important to also consult the neighbours in the event the flues are shared.
Make sure to isolate and alter any plumbing, gas, or electrical services for any heating devices that need to be removed.
Before starting the removal process for the structure below, make sure to support the upper parts of the chimney using strong boys on steel Acrow. Must retain this support until the new, permanent support is in place.
Take the ground floor stack to the ground level. Must ensure to take damp prevention measures that suit the concrete or timber floor structure. Lastly, fill any voids in the wall and ceilings.
Do I Need to Follow Any Rules or Regulations?
To remove a chimney breast, there are certain building rules and regulations you must adhere to:
If the building is listed or located in a neighbour loft conversion Party Wall, you will require planning permission to make internal alterations. However, the removal of an external chimney is usually considered as Permitted Development (PD), which automatically has planning permission. But PD right doesn’t apply to flats.
The work is ‘notifiable’ and complies with Building Regulations. You should inform the local authority and make an application to the building control department of the local authority.
You can alternatively use an approved inspector to do the job on your behalf. Building Regulation compliance is to ensure the structural strength, sound insulation, damp prevention, fire safety, and maintenance of any neighbour’s chimney.
If the property is leasehold, permission for removal will require a landlord license. However, the consent of other owners will be required for a shared freehold.
A competent Gas Safe Engineer must undertake the safety alterations of any gas appliances using Party Walls flue.
Party Wall etc Act
If any part of the chimney breast from a Party Wall is close to the boundary of a neighbouring property, the Party Wall etc. Act requires you to obtain the written consent of the owner/s of the neighbouring property before starting the work. It is worth taking advice from an expert Party Wall Surveyor.
Do you need help serving a Party Wall Notice? Need advice from a Party Wall Surveyor to remove your chimney breasts? Seven One Associates have Party Wall Surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall issues.