Advice needed on roof structure

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Malpighiales, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Malpighiales

    Malpighiales New Member

    We're in the process of buying a mid-terrace Victorian/Edwardian (estimated at 1900) house and have just received our Home Buyer's Survey. Unsurprisingly, given the age of the property, it gives the impression the place is about to fall down! Most of the issues are things you'd expect of a property of this age and are not really causes for concern, but there's a big thing that we think needs urgent attention and aren't sure of the costs and work involved.

    We need help.

    The problem
    A previous owner took out the chimney breast from the first floor but left it in on the ground floor and left in the stack. They supported the stack with gallows brackets. This hasn't adequately supported the stack and the damage to the roof structure is now pretty major. Here are some quotes from our survey:

    Some chimney breast masonry has been removed and the remaining masonry is supported on gallows brackets in the roof space. This is considered bad practice and an alternative means of support should be installed which complies with current Building Regulations ... The main roof covering has been replaced with heavier tiles. The roof structure has not been adequately strengthened and improvements are now needed ... The roof structure is defective. Supporting timbers are poorly supported on the walls and have bowed in places. Repair and upgrading is now needed. The right hand party wall contains holes and gaps. The gaps should be sealed to the underside of the roof covering. Some of the boards laid down for storage and access purposes are poorly supported ... Leakage is occurring past the chimney flashing and roof abutments. Repair is needed and nearby timbers checked for decay ... Flashings to the roof are pulling away from the wall and poorly detailed in places ... The mortar pointing to the stacks is weathered. Some repointing is required to reduce further deterioration and structural problems arising. Repairs are needed to the flashings around the middle stack as they are leaking ... Repairs are needed to the bricks and render to the stacks as they are cracked and spalled.

    So, in summary, the roof structure needs urgent repair and the stack needs to either be supported with something like a steel beam or it needs to be taken out (depending on whether the neighbour would be happy with us doing that as it's a mid-terrace house). We could see the roof was bowing when we viewed the property, but we didn't expect to uncover so many causes.

    The ask
    Does anyone have any experience of doing this sort of work? Would we need a structural engineer to inspect the roof structure for quotes? Do you have any idea what it would cost to repair the roof structure?

    Long-term, we'd like to convert the loft anyway. Would it make more sense to just wrap all of that into one big job rather than repair the roof structure and then convert the loft later?
  2. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    Gallows brackets properly used are fine. I suggest you get a trusted builder round for an opinion.

    (Personally recommended that is not from one of the Micky Mouse sites)
    Malpighiales likes this.

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