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Thread: Builders advice pretty please

  1. #1
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    Builders advice pretty please

    Iíve just had the chimney removed from the living room and a small portion from one of the bedrooms- Only part left is in the loft, builder couldnít use Gallows brackets as stack was in the centre of the loft. I was away for a few days whilst the work was carried out and came back to this-

    [IMG] [/IMG]

    Iíve googled it but nothing definitive, any experienced builders shed any light whether this is correct? My my untrained eye it looks like a complete bodge, any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Rob153; 12th January 2020 at 13:36.

  2. #2
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Building reg's approval is needed for that kind of work - does the local inspector have a view?
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK View Post
    Building reg's approval is needed for that kind of work - does the local inspector have a view?
    Apparently it wasnít needed- Iíve known the Builder for a number of years and Iím beginning to wonder......

  4. #4
    Master Paneraiseeker's Avatar
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    Sorry to sound dim but is that 6x2 meant to be holding up the existing stack?

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    No expert but shouldnít chimneys be removed from the top down ?
    looks like a lot of weight above your head not adequately supported.

  6. #6
    A five second google search throws up this link;

    https://resi.co.uk/advice/building-r...himney-removal

    Your photographs arenít clear enough to see much beyond some 4x2 framing around the chimney breast. Please tell me that your builder hasnít removed the brickwork below and has supported the remainder on the timber framing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarchitect View Post
    A five second google search throws up this link;

    https://resi.co.uk/advice/building-r...himney-removal

    Your photographs arenít clear enough to see much beyond some 4x2 framing around the chimney breast. Please tell me that your builder hasnít removed the brickwork below and has supported the remainder on the timber framing?

    Thats how Im reading it!
    Cheers..
    Jase

  8. #8
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Apparently it wasnít needed- Iíve known the Builder for a number of years and Iím beginning to wonder......
    https://resi.co.uk/advice/building-r...himney-removal
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarchitect View Post
    A five second google search throws up this link;

    https://resi.co.uk/advice/building-r...himney-removal

    Your photographs arenít clear enough to see much beyond some 4x2 framing around the chimney breast. Please tell me that your builder hasnít removed the brickwork below and has supported the remainder on the timber framing?
    Yes timber frame into the stack itself, then just screwed into the roof supporting joists( hasnít even used hangers) by the sound of it serves me right for trusting him!

  10. #10
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    Had this work done a few Months ago- hadnít had to go into the loft until now, naively I didnít go straight away to check his work, put trust in a mate etc...

  11. #11
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    OMG what a mess you have as i see it two main problems

    1 get the work done properly
    2 sort out the regs as if nothing else if you ever decide to sell without them you will have a major headache
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  12. #12
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    When the chimney on my house was removed it came down from the top to bottom,the pictures seems to show the structure is being supported by a 4x2 frame.If it is ,keep well away.

  13. #13
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    It looks like the weight of the chimney is being supported by the screws which go through the wooden beams into the actual chimney??? Recipe for disaster if that's the case. As said, remove chimney from top down and patch the roof, or adequately support the chimney from underneath if it has to be left in place. A ton or so of chimney on a few screws and friction???

  14. #14
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    Points all taken, thanks- I pride myself on being pretty savvy, trust has been my problem this time.

    Anyone know how it should of been done? Canít use Gallow brackets etc... as the stack is in the centre of the loft.

  15. #15
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    How is that even supported? Unless thereís something behind the frame going into the stack that we canít see?

  16. #16
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Points all taken, thanks- I pride myself on being pretty savvy, trust has been my problem this time.

    Anyone know how it should of been done? Canít use Gallow brackets etc... as the stack is in the centre of the loft.
    I would make sure Building Control are involved in the final solution - as Mart has already alluded to.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Iíve just had the chimney removed from the living room and a small portion from one of the bedrooms- Only part left is in the loft, builder couldnít use Gallows brackets as stack was in the centre of the loft. I was away for a few days whilst the work was carried out and came back to this-

    [IMG] [/IMG]

    Iíve googled it but nothing definitive, any experienced builders shed any light whether this is correct? My my untrained eye it looks like a complete bodge, any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Dont pay them. that a right balls up, in no way complies,is adequate or safe.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    How is that even supported? Unless thereís something behind the frame going into the stack that we canít see?
    Nothing supporting the frame- screwed through the frame into the stack.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCFastybloke View Post
    Dont pay them. that a right balls up, in no way complies,is adequate or safe.
    Already been paid- only did it upfront as he is/was supposedly a good friend.

  20. #20
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    Again thanks for the replies- Iíll def get Building Control involves and see what they have to say.

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    I'd think you'd be looking at a steel beam, no? I think that is often what is required if gallows brackets cannot be used. Perhaps I'm being dramatic, but I'm not sure I'd even want to be in the house until that work had been assessed by building regs.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Already been paid- only did it upfront as he is/was supposedly a good friend.
    O dear, for the removal of chimney stack means must be demonstrated on how to support any remaining structure and calculated to the satisfaction of the local authority Building control and submitted for there approval and inspection will be carried out to ensure that the works are of the correct execution and to the proposed specification.

    This is to protect customers from unscrupulous contractors or unqualified part timers earning a few quid cash on the side.

    He is either
    Unqualified
    A thickoid
    Or not your mate
    Last edited by MCFastybloke; 12th January 2020 at 18:04.

  23. #23
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Don't forget unless you're in a detached house you will probably need (have needed) a party wall agreement.

    Shame that it seems like you've been done over but better to find out on a chimney breast than a double height rear extension etc. At least you know now and it's only this although not ideal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCFastybloke View Post
    O dear, for the removal of chimney stack means must be demonstrated on how to support any remaining structure and calculated to the satisfaction of the local authority Building control and submitted for there approval and inspection will be carried out to ensure that the works are of the correct execution and to the proposed specification.

    This is to protect customers from unscrupulous contractors or unqualified part timers earning a few quid cash on the side.

    He is either
    Unqualified
    A thickoid
    Or not your mate
    Prob all three at the moment!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Anyone know how it should of been done? Can’t use Gallow brackets etc... as the stack is in the centre of the loft.
    Take the bit above roof down complete (and the remaining bit in the loft), insert some felt and battens then tile over it. Sorted !!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Don't forget unless you're in a detached house you will probably need (have needed) a party wall agreement.

    Shame that it seems like you've been done over but better to find out on a chimney breast than a double height rear extension etc. At least you know now and it's only this although not ideal.
    Thing is I have seen first hand, new builds, big extensions that heís carried out and all been first rate builds. Iím know thinking has he just subbed out the job and got someone else in to do it. As he was a friend he had the keys and got the job done, I was always at work etc... so didnít even get to see the builders.

    Heís coming over next week to go through it so weíll see.

  27. #27
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    I have had chimneys removed in past where the stack says on the roof outside and part of the stack in the loft. But it does need a solid support which yours perhaps doesn't have.

    Having said that there must be some support or it would have fell on your head by now!

    Building control the way to go. You can get the approval retrospectively and I believe it is called a regularisation certificate. May cost about £300.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss13 View Post
    I have had chimneys removed in past where the stack says on the roof outside and part of the stack in the loft. But it does need a solid support which yours perhaps doesn't have.

    Having said that there must be some support or it would have fell on your head by now!

    Building control the way to go. You can get the approval retrospectively and I believe it is called a regularisation certificate. May cost about £300.

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the heads up.

    The only support I can see is the supports screwed into the roof joists either end by screws and screws going into the stack direct.

  29. #29
    Master Paneraiseeker's Avatar
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    Why wasn't the whole stack removed?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Thanks for the heads up.

    The only support I can see is the supports screwed into the roof joists either end by screws and screws going into the stack direct.
    There is a fair bit of weight, held up by not much.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  31. #31
    Thatís a cowboy job and a half!! Iíd be getting your Ďmateí back ASAP to get that all taken down!

    He may think itís fine, but imagine you have a small fire in your house, that chimney is coming crashing down on top of the firefighters heads! Such a lazy ass job!!!

  32. #32
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    Again thanks for all the comments- I guessed half as much when I looked at it, more annoying/upsetting itís a mate that supposedly done the work for me, we live and learn.......

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Again thanks for all the comments- I guessed half as much when I looked at it, more annoying/upsetting itís a mate that supposedly done the work for me, we live and learn.......
    There's as much a chance that he thinks he's done you a good job - and this is a case of honest but incompetent rather than him trying to do you over.

    But with 2 tons of brick held by 10 hammer plugs I'd be nowhere underneath that.

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Again thanks for all the comments- I guessed half as much when I looked at it, more annoying/upsetting itís a mate that supposedly done the work for me, we live and learn.......
    Have you talked to him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paneraiseeker View Post
    Why wasn't the whole stack removed?
    Probably because of planning / local conservation regs etc the chimney stack must still be visible from the outside.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehase284 View Post
    There's as much a chance that he thinks he's done you a good job - and this is a case of honest but incompetent rather than him trying to do you over.

    But with 2 tons of brick held by 10 hammer plugs I'd be nowhere underneath that.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Yes hence a sleepless night worrying about it! :-(

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwest76 View Post
    Have you talked to him?
    Yes, interesting conversation- He had his 2nd in command do all the work, going to come round and inspect what hes done.

  38. #38
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    That is a total bodge.

    As has already been said, the cheapest solution is likely to be to take the remainder of the chimney down and make good the roof, assuming that the part above roof level is not required to be retained (for planning/conservation area purposes).
    Otherwise you are likely to need steel beams to support the weight of the retained brickwork, so you are likely to also need a structural engineer to provide the calculations to obtain Building Control Approval.

  39. #39
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    There's a good deal of information over on PH:
    https://www.pistonheads.com/search?S...e&OrderBy=desc

    Scoll down this page to "Finally you should not consider any of these..."
    https://www.labc.co.uk/news/how-to-g...ay?language=cy

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    That is a total bodge.

    As has already been said, the cheapest solution is likely to be to take the remainder of the chimney down and make good the roof, assuming that the part above roof level is not required to be retained (for planning/conservation area purposes).
    Otherwise you are likely to need steel beams to support the weight of the retained brickwork, so you are likely to also need a structural engineer to provide the calculations to obtain Building Control Approval.
    Thanks- I've come to that conclusion after hours googling also. The more I look at the work the more annoyed i'm getting- Put your trust in someone and get f';ked over.

  41. #41
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    The chimney stack seems to continue down below the new wooden supports by at least a couple of feet, what is holding this up or is there some part of the Chimney still left in the rooms below? It looks like the new supports are designed to stabilise the chimney to stop it from toppling over, rather that to carry the full weight.


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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pointy View Post
    There's a good deal of information over on PH:
    https://www.pistonheads.com/search?S...e&OrderBy=desc

    Scoll down this page to "Finally you should not consider any of these..."
    https://www.labc.co.uk/news/how-to-g...ay?language=cy
    Thanks for the links.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuie-t View Post
    The chimney stack seems to continue down below the new wooden supports by at least a couple of feet, what is holding this up or is there some part of the Chimney still left in the rooms below? It looks like the new supports are designed to stabilise the chimney to stop it from toppling over, rather that to carry the full weight.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    It does- I had the breast removed from the living room and then a portion from one of the bedrooms. Not actually sure what the Breast is now sitting on.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    It does- I had the breast removed from the living room and then a portion from one of the bedrooms. Not actually sure what the Breast is now sitting on.
    If the chimney masonry is unsupported, then you have an issue which needs to be sorted.

    If the timber frame is not required for the structural support of the vertical load from the chimney, then it may not be as bad as those photos initially imply.

    I was under the impression from the photos that everything below the loft level had been removed, so the timber was supporting the remainder of the chimney masonry, so my apologies if I have misunderstood.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Thanks- I've come to that conclusion after hours googling also. The more I look at the work the more annoyed i'm getting- Put your trust in someone and get f';ked over.
    To be fair to your mate, it sounds like heís been f@*ed over as much as you have. He had a guy he clearly trust so the job and it doesnít look like a good one (caveat - I work with software so Iím no expert).

    That said, I had the chimney removed from my first house before I bought it and had a similar result - the chimney had to remain where it was but it was causing the wall to bow, hence 90% of it went and the top bit was supported on joists. The surveyor was happy with it and l, being young, naive and a bit thick, I accepted that all was well.

    When I sold the house a number of years later, no mention was made of the chimney at all.

    The good news is that your mate is coming around to have a look and I would hope that heíll put right anything which isnít right. As I said above, it sounds like the problem occurred outside of his control.




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  46. #46
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    Sorry to read about your issues.

    It's hard to be sure from the photo how much remains below the stack. If it's all been removed then to be fair that doesn't look great. Unfortunately stuff like this is not that uncommon :(

    How about an approx 6m steel resting on a small timber plate on top of a UPVC window! (No lintel above) Joists hung between this and another steel to support a loft floor plus a dormer cheek/roof load etc above. Much sucking of teeth was performed on that day!

    We can't see how much stack is above the roof. There seems to be a fair bit of masonry extending below the new 'supporting' timbers though (can't tell how far down it extends) and all just seemingly spiked through with a few screws. If there are no other supports at a lower level then all that's holding the masonry below the timber together is the mortar and render!?

    I would echo much of what's already been said.

    If gallows type support is not an option I would suggest the upper section of the stack need to sit on steel beams to properly support it (with the masonry below the beams obviously removed)

    If steel is needed then it's not a straightforward or cheap solution as depending on bearings etc the beams may need to have a fair span and may even need to be cranked to clear existing rafters if not in line with them) .
    Unless you have access for a crane to slide (1 piece) beams in via a small access hole in the roof then you would probably need spliced beams so more cost again. Even if spliced, each beam section is a significant weight and not easy to manoeuvre into place etc especially by hand in a cramped loft space.

    You would need a structural engineer to provide the calcs for both the beam sizes/loading and any splice details. There may be other options which a site inspection may reveal too.

    Unless there's a very good reason, the easier and cheaper option (still won't be cheap though if done properly) is to remove the rest of the stack and make good the roof.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    If the chimney masonry is unsupported, then you have an issue which needs to be sorted.

    If the timber frame is not required for the structural support of the vertical load from the chimney, then it may not be as bad as those photos initially imply.

    I was under the impression from the photos that everything below the loft level had been removed, so the timber was supporting the remainder of the chimney masonry, so my apologies if I have misunderstood.
    Just had a conversation with him and he reckons that only part of the chimney has been removed below loft level but won't commit to anything else- Questioned him about the frame around the breast, one minute its supporting the whole lot then changed his tune to its only helping stabilize it. He's now coming round tomorrow or Wednesday to go through it all. Got a funny feeling i'm getting buls';tted to...

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    Just had a conversation with him and he reckons that only part of the chimney has been removed below loft level but won't commit to anything else- Questioned him about the frame around the breast, one minute its supporting the whole lot then changed his tune to its only helping stabilize it. He's now coming round tomorrow or Wednesday to go through it all. Got a funny feeling i'm getting buls';tted to...
    I think you will have to get a second opinion from a structural engineer by the sounds of it, who will naturally err on the side of caution and say it needs sorting.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    Sorry to read about your issues.

    It's hard to be sure from the photo how much remains below the stack. If it's all been removed then to be fair that doesn't look great. Unfortunately stuff like this is not that uncommon :(

    How about an approx 6m steel resting on a small timber plate on top of a UPVC window! (No lintel above) Joists hung between this and another steel to support a loft floor plus a dormer cheek/roof load etc above. Much sucking of teeth was performed on that day!

    We can't see how much stack is above the roof. There seems to be a fair bit of masonry extending below the new 'supporting' timbers though (can't tell how far down it extends) and all just seemingly spiked through with a few screws. If there are no other supports at a lower level then all that's holding the masonry below the timber together is the mortar and render!?

    I would echo much of what's already been said.

    If gallows type support is not an option I would suggest the upper section of the stack need to sit on steel beams to properly support it (with the masonry below the beams obviously removed)

    If steel is needed then it's not a straightforward or cheap solution as depending on bearings etc the beams may need to have a fair span and may even need to be cranked to clear existing rafters if not in line with them) .
    Unless you have access for a crane to slide (1 piece) beams in via a small access hole in the roof then you would probably need spliced beams so more cost again. Even if spliced, each beam section is a significant weight and not easy to manoeuvre into place etc especially by hand in a cramped loft space.

    You would need a structural engineer to provide the calcs for both the beam sizes/loading and any splice details. There may be other options which a site inspection may reveal too.

    Unless there's a very good reason, the easier and cheaper option (still won't be cheap though if done properly) is to remove the rest of the stack and make good the roof.
    Thanks for the detailed reply-

    Some good points raised thanks- Realistically I think he has 'cocked up' and the best course of action is to have the rest of breast removed in the loft.

    I'll see what he comes up with tomorrow.

    Thanks again all.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonM View Post
    I think you will have to get a second opinion from a structural engineer by the sounds of it, who will naturally err on the side of caution and say it needs sorting.
    Yes i thought that- TBF that's what I would do, if there's any doubt gotta be sorted in the right way...

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