Unsupported chimney stack

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Mattkford, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Mattkford

    Mattkford New Member

    Hi, the previous owners of our house had the chimney breast removed upstairs and downstairs, leaving the chimney stack in the loft.

    This evening, after living here for 2 years, I have discovered the chimney stack is pretty much unsupported (it is a shared chimney with nextdoor). It basically has a few loose bricks on timber underneath it.

    I was after some advice... What are my options to make it safe?


    Attached Files:

  2. stevie22

    stevie22 Active Member

    Can't see much your pictures but the usual approach is gallows brackets under the sides with a small pcc lintel or bit of steel to support the front part. You will need to remove a few more courses up into the roof space to allow room to fit.

    Should the other side have dome the same then BC will usulally require a steel beam instead
  3. Mattkford

    Mattkford New Member

    Thanks Stevie, nextdoor still have their chimneybreast and fireplace.

    Forgive my ignorance, who do I contact about getting this started? Builder, Structural Engineer, building control?

    I'm guessing there is some sort of regs that should have been followed and weren't?

    Thanks again
  4. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    A picture of the side would be more informative as this would show if the bricks are built into the wall every other course.
  5. Mattkford

    Mattkford New Member


    Thank you. Is that useful ?
  6. Honestly

    Honestly Member

    You really need to get in a structural engineer who can advise you correctly.
    Houses a brought down to the ground by chimnies unsupported such as yours suddenly collapsing

    Builders are not qualified to advise correctly of what is acquired to make your chimney safe. Seek the corect advice don’t chance it
  7. stevie22

    stevie22 Active Member

    Talk to building control. You will only need an SE if they want a beam, otherwise gallows brackets are off the shelf
  8. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    if not in use why not remove it
  9. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    You need to notify the local building control as it will be classed as dangerous structure even though nothing has happened for many years.

    Once they come on site they will advise you what they recommend removal or simply supporting it.

    Once you know what Building control advise, contact the solicitor whom sold you the property as this should have been notified as part of the house sale and definitely as part of a house survey. You will also need to inform your house insurance company whom need to be informed of the risk but also support a claim against the parties involved in the sale of the house to you.
  10. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    the chimney looks like its tied in to the wall every other brick not built off is this the case
  11. Mattkford

    Mattkford New Member

    Thank you everyone for your advise.

    I emailed building control who advised me to get a good builder to look at it! I can't remove it as it is joined to next doors chimney on the party wall.

    Sospan - is that right about having a claim? The property was a deceased property so the executors will likely be unaware of what happened with the chimney. We only paid for a homeowners survey so no structural survey was completed. That was our choice, regretfully. So I can't see it being the previous owners fault (as they are deceased) nor the solicitors. I'm hoping I'm wrong? But I can't see it!
  12. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    As part of the conveyancing service the solicitor must check that any alterations to the property have been noted and carried out under the proper controls (planning / building control). They also must gather evidence of electrical safety certificates, boiler servicing, damp proof warranties, flat roof warranties etc. Where there are obvious things like an unauthorised extension the vendor quite often is asked to provide an indemnity against any future issues - planning turning up and saying the structure is unlawful and it must be pulled down.

    Structural items like removing a chimney breasts must be reported to Building Control because of issues like the party wall act and overall structural safety. Even with a simple survey it would have been noticeable that chimney breasts have been removed and this should have been noted. The conveyancing solicitor should have picked up on this and requested information from the vendors estate.

    If you have legal insurance I would ask them about taking it forward.
  13. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    Jord86 likes this.
  14. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

  15. blarblarblarblar

    blarblarblarblar Active Member

  16. Is it really necessary to put people down in this way. Honestly’s advice was sound regards a structural engineer and he’s correct in suggesting houses/ chimneys structurally fail and it’s been known that such failures do sadly kill people. He is merely sharing fact. Is that not a good thing?
    I find your posts chippie244 a little disturbing in the way you appear to target individuals especially those who seem knowledgable and genuinely want to help members of the public who pose questions on here.

    I’m hope any one looking out for Screwfix and the intended reason for it’s forum should take note of your insulting behaviour?

    From one Professional to perhaps another stump the insults please. Thanks
  17. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    Building control advised the OP to get a builder in.

    Honestly is quite happy to dish the insults so should also be prepared to take a bit of stick.
    stevie22 likes this.
  18. From what I have read of his and your posts his insults appear only ever in response to your odd and insulting behaviour towards him. Each time his shared knowledge is correct for those to see only to be laughed at by others in which he contradicts - mainly you.
    I’m not on here to argue or police but it’s a shame that such behaviour is on this forum and as another member said it’s more like a girls playground. For me that reason alone - I’m considering taking my professional advice elsewhere to a site where adults are at the helm.
    I won’t be answering to your response.
    Dam0n likes this.
  19. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Active Member

    I suspect that unless they specifically said that the chimney was supported that won't be a successful claim... Caveat Emptor.
    However, if a suitable survey was paid for that should have picked it up I would have thought!

    Deleted member 198242 likes this.
  20. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member


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