Chimney breast removal cost and building regulations

Everything You Need to Know About Removing a Chimney

In the past, chimneys were an essential part of any home, but these days they are a relic. Electric fires and gas central heating have become the main ways to heat up a modern home and the majority of people who have a fireplace and chimney don’t use them as a heating source for the home. This has led to lots of people taking out the old-fashioned fireplace and replacing it with a more modern heat source like an electric or gas fire. Others opt to simply rely on their central heating and use the fireplace and chimney breast as a decorative feature instead.

No matter what you decide to do with the fireplace in your home, the chimney stack will still be present on the roof and the chimney breast will be visible. However, if you no longer use your chimney, you may still need to pay for repairs. If you never plan to use your chimney, you might want to think about having it removed.

Why Chimney Removal?

Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually used your chimney? If there is no longer any need for it in the home, it’s worth considering whether or not the chimney is actually worth leaving on your roof. If your fireplace has been blocked off or you’re using a fire that does not require a chimney, the chimney stack on the roof could actually be a liability and might cost you money in the future for repairs, for something that you don’t use.

Why Consider Chimney Stack Removal?

It’s a good idea to consider all the pros and cons of having your chimney stack removed if you are not sure about whether or not to take it down. If you are planning on living in your current home for as long as possible, consider the costs of regular chimney maintenance compared to having it removed. You will need to pay for chimney repairs immediately if it suffers any damage due to ice, rain or high winds, in order to eliminate the risk of debris falling down into your fireplace or onto the ground below.

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Unused chimneys have a lot of disadvantages, including that they are prone to leaks, which can increase the risk of damp developing in your home. Ventilation issues are also common in rooms with boarded up fireplaces, and unsightly stains on the chimney breast can be a result of moisture and soot inside.

Chimney Stack Removal Cost:

Having your chimney stack removed could cost you less than you think. In fact, if your chimney stack is damaged and in need of repairs, you might be surprised to hear that it will usually cost more to have it repaired compared to simply having it removed. A chimney stack removal will usually set you back around £900-£1200, depending on chimney stack size, age, and the tools that are required.

Chimney Stack Removal Building Regulations to Consider:

During the removal of a chimney stack, there are several building regulations that must be taken into account. These include:

  • Sound insulation
  • Fire safety
  • Damp prevention
  • Room ventilation
  • Structural strength
  • Maintenance of neighbours’ chimney

It is a wise idea to have a surveyor or structural engineer to check the strength of the wall in the case of larger buildings, to determine whether a pier or buttress wall should be provided in place of the chimney stack. Most single or two-level houses with external or party walls of one brick thickness should be strong enough structurally to remove the chimney stack.

Is Removal of Chimney Stack Permitted Development?

Fitting, changing, or replacing an external chimney is normally considered to be permitted development and does not require planning permission if certain conditions are met. If you are unsure, it is best to check with your local council before arranging for the removal of a chimney stack.

Chimney Stack Removal Guidance to Follow:

It’s a good idea to plan ahead and make sure that all necessary regulations and requirements are met before going ahead with a chimney stack removal. Building regulations are the minimum standards acceptable for legal home construction; they are designed to protect the health and safety of you and your neighbours. Removing a chimney stack involves several health and safety aspects, so first, ensure that your building plans adhere to all local regulations.

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Why Consider Chimney Breast Removal?

Along with the benefits of removing an unused chimney stack, there are also plenty of reasons to consider removing your chimney breast. If you do not use the fireplace in your home and it is taking up space, removing the chimney breast can lead to more floor space in the room. And, taking out a chimney breast is not a major cost. You can remove a chimney breast to create more space in your home while leaving the external chimney stack intact.

Can You Get Chimney Breast Removal for the Ground Floor Only?

Typically, the chimney breast will run up the height of your home. You may find that it is not a problem in bedrooms and other upstairs rooms but want to remove the fireplace and chimney breast from downstairs areas such as the living room. It is possible to remove the chimney breast on just the ground floor, to free up space in the downstairs area of your property.

Party Wall Act: Chimney Breast Removal Considerations:

Not everybody lives in a standalone, private home and many will share at least one wall with a neighbouring property. If you live in a semi-detached or a terraced property, your chimney breast may be built back to back with a neighbour’s house that shares at least one wall. Since your chimney breast is shared with the adjoining property, you will need to follow the Party Wall Act of 1996 if you plan to do any work on any section of the chimney breast that shares a wall with your neighbour as it might impact the living space of those in the next-door property, including soot and debris coming down into their living space through the chimney breast. If your neighbour still uses the chimney for traditional fires, you will need to ensure that the work is done correctly so that they can continue to use it without any potential smoke or gas leaks.

Chimney Breast Removal Building Regulations to Be Aware Of:

Typically, chimney breast removal in your home will require necessary council approvals. There are various regulations that must be adhered to including Party Wall laws, ensuring property ventilation, fire safety, and water protection.

How Much Does Chimney Breast Removal Cost?

On average, a chimney breast removal for a UK home will set you back around £1500.

Factors Affecting Chimney Removal Cost UK:

The cost will vary depending on the situation, for example, if you want to remove the chimney breast on one floor only or whether you want to remove the chimney breast and the stack or leave the stack in place, which may be cheaper compared to removing the entire chimney breast and stack. Prices can also vary depending on other factors including the age of the property and how it was originally built, the difficulty of access, amount of scaffolding required and your location.

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What to Consider Before Chimney Removal:

There are several things to consider before planning a chimney removal, including the short- and long-term effects and ensuring that your neighbours are informed of the plans.

Chimney Removal Cost:

Primarily, you will be considering the cost of hiring a contractor or even the cost of removing the chimney yourself to save money if you have the skills. However, it’s worth thinking about the long-term impact of your home. Chimney removal could reduce the value of your home if it is an older house and the chimney is an aesthetic highlight, or if you live in an area where most homes have chimneys.

Chimney Removal UK: Potential Artifacts:

Artifacts left over from the original builders might be found when tearing down a chimney, especially if your home is very old. This could include dated or signed bricks, which could prove to be of some value – so be sure to look out for anything unusual.

Realistic Goals for House Chimney Removal:

Bear in mind that removing a chimney can be a difficult and lengthy process that could risk some structural concerns. Because of this, it’s is advisable to only attempt a DIY job if you have the required skills and expertise and have experts on-hand who can provide advice to reduce the risk of complications.

What to Look for in Chimney Removal Near Me:

The best way to ensure a good job with little risk of complications is to hire a professional contractor with expertise and experience in the area. Spend time getting recommendations and consult with excerpts before beginning your project to get an idea of the best type of job for the structural future of your home. An expert can tell you if the chimney is salvageable or whether it would be better to simply remove the ground floor chimney breast rather than the entire chimney, for example.

Today, chimneys are no longer needed like they once were. Removing the chimney can prevent future repair costs and also free up space in the rooms of your property.