Having problems with your chimney? Let us help you deal with them without having to spend a great deal of time and money, by reading out chimney removal cost guide.
Are you interested in taking down your entire chimney? If yes, then you already have a bit of work cut out for you. It is possible that your chimney has got some spatial and integrity issues. And what you are up against is to remove or replace parts of your chimney; it is best you approach your task one step at a time. For instance, if your chimney stack is falling away from your building, your best option would be to get a total chimney replacement, as by doing this you also get to keep the lower section of the chimney untouched.
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Whole Chimney Removal Cost
In the process of removing the entire chimney, you need a bit more of everything- better reinforcement, better disposal, better reconstruction of walls, ceilings, floors and also as much time as possible. This is why there is a noticeable different between partial and complete chimney removal cost. Chimney demolition jobs are better handled by a structural engineer who is vastly experienced in the field. They display a remarkable level of experience by opening up to clients and telling them all they need to know about structures and safety standards. Whenever you have made up your mind regarding such jobs, your next step should be to locate a reputable chimney removal professional.
The average chimney removal cost comes around to £1,500, for removing the chimney from the first roof of a semi-detached house. The jobs includes fitting a concrete hearth to the level floor and the brackets in the loft, new skirting and plastering.
Partial Chimney Removal Cost
If your chimney is not in a very bad condition and a part of it can be salvaged, then it would be more beneficial to have a professional to remove only a part of it. On average the cost of partial chimney removal comes to £400-£700.
Stack Removal Cost
A stack is used to describe the upper portion of the chimney that is above the roof. Most old-fashioned stacks are built with cement blocks or bricks. Stacks are likely to be removed from structures with leaking roofs. However, such leaking roofs can be alternatively fixed by taking down the stack one brick after another, after which the hole in the roof can be addressed. A usual stack can take two persons up to 12 hours, while the large type of chimney could take two people as much as 36 hours to remove.
The cost of having a chimney stack removed usually ranges between £900-£1200 depending upon the size of the chimney and whether or not scaffolding needs to be hired or not. Roofers tend to charge around £250-£300 per day as this is a two man job. The final stack removal cost will be determined mostly from scaffolding, roofing to cover the new hole, as well as waste disposal. In most cases, these are included in your quote.
Chimney Breast Removal Cost
The part of the chimney that houses the fireplace is known as the chimney breast. The chimney breast usually sticks out to rooms, making it one of the reasons why it is not most homeowners’ favorites. If you don’t see the usefulness of your chimney breast, go ahead and tear it down, save yourself some space. Mind you; you can get rid of your chimney breast without touching the chimney stack.
If you are getting rid of the breast alone, you need more reinforcement to ensure that the other part of the structure is well supported. Have a look at what it will cost to install steel beams that can provide structural support. You also need to know the cost of refinishing after demolition, if it will require hanging drywall or the installation of a new wall.
Many people wonder how much will it cost them to remove a chimney breast, so it will be wise here to talk a little about the cost. For a builder/company to demolish and install the bracket based on your location and size of company that you are planning to hire ranges on average from £1,500 + VAT to £2,500 + VAT.
Liner and Flue Replacement
The one reason why most people have their flue replaced is that they prefer a flue that is more reliable. The cost of installing a liner or relining a chimney the first time start from £45 – £65 per square meter, depending on where you live and your requirements. The flue is referred to as that passage that conveys combustion gases away from the fireplace. Liners are useful for protecting masonry chimneys or mortar bricks since they are corrosion resistant and they could provide an obstacle between the materials and the gases. Liners constitute either concrete or metals.
Old and regular flues are not normally lined, and you need to fix that as soon as you can. If a liner is sub-standard, replacing or upgrading it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The difference in cost could be attributed to a couple of factors, which could include the nature of the flue material and condition of the chimney. For example, clay does not cost as much as metals do.
Legal points to consider
There are a couple of legal requirements you should be careful of when it comes to chimneys. And you need to sort these out before you proceed with anything you want to do. Proper guidance or clarification from a structural engineer is all you need to stay on course.
You will equally need to contact local authorities and those in charge of building control departments to get cleared. This is a process that requires time and money and must be duly observed. This is not just for your good, but it’s also useful for saving you from getting into any trouble with building surveyors later on, or even worse – selling your house.
You should always give severe thoughts to party wall agreements and honor them where necessary. This is important, so you don’t eventually pay for bills that are caused by a breach in agreement.
Always make sure the right to modify the structure of your building as it pleases you is equally stipulated in the agreement, considering listed buildings, their restrictions, and their conservation zones.
Taking off a chimney breast
If you have a project of this nature, you should get a structural engineer involved. They are in the best position to advise you on what to do as well as propose designs that are in line with safety standards. At this point, still considering the cost of hiring a befitting structural engineer is totally unnecessary. Just go ahead and hire one and save yourself all the stress and heartaches that might crop up in the future. You will need a comprehensive plan of your structure before you can acquire a completion certificate from the respective local construction authorities.
Below are some vital points you should have at the back of your mind:
- Gallows brackets are useful for supporting the chimney just above the removed breast.
- They are usually fitted at both sides with a length of steel, preventing the bricks from falling.
- This should be considered as a temporary fix, as it is not too pleasant to the eyes.
- Hanging chimney breasts can be kept in place with adjacent joists.
- A noggin fitted with plywood beneath the breast can stop bricks from falling underneath.
- When it comes to more significant projects or loft conversions, simple brackets may not be good enough to provide the required support. In such cases, steel beams can serve as a suitable substitute for the load bearing material.
Useful DIY Chimney Removal Tips
This is a job that will involve a lot of dust flying around. As such, you would need some protective wears. Boots, long sleeves, mask, eye protection and anything you could lay your hands on.
Hang plastics from your ceiling to prevent the spread of dust and to help manage the debris accordingly. A restricted work area with plastic sheeting and tape would make a lot of sense.
Proceed by tearing down one brick after another. A hammer and chisel will make a good choice instrument to do this; a mini-sized hammer can help you get through the smaller bricks.
As you sweep through the floor, you may need to cut ties to framing members. And do not forget that you still need to finish the room afterward. Refinishing the room after removing the chimney would require some more time, and that automatically translates to more money. Suitable flooring is excellent for the hearth; also, the walls may need plastering and newer decorations.
Chimney stack removal
You need to be in agreement with your neighbor before you tamper with your chimney if your property is semi-detached. There are existing building regulations, and you should never act outside of them.
If you have scaffolding in place, there is a higher chance of getting the job done.
Steps to take for stack removal
- Place scaffolding around and at the up of the chimney
- Getting rid of cement flaunching, cowls/pots
- Taking the bricks out one by one carefully and dropping them gently on the floor
- Fitting in the new roofing felt, timbers and tiles.
- Doing away with waste and reselling reusable materials.
For a usual chimney with regular size, a two-man roof team can remove the chimney stack in just 12 hours. Larger chimneys can take up to a day and a half.
Removing the chimney stacks could go for between £1,000 and £1,600 in many parts of the UK.
Things to consider when hiring a professional
This is a service that needs some time and at least two workers to be on the job simultaneously. That is because whenever chimneys are removed, they have the capacity to compromise the structure of the building; as such, they need to be handled with great care. Take the brick chimney stacks, for instance, their bricks need to be removed one after another, and carefully too.
That is why it’s highly recommended that you call in a structural engineer, so they take a look at the site and know how best to go about the removal. Before you decide on your choice of engineer for the job, it is good you know the scope of their responsibilities. Find out if scaffolding and waste removal are included in the quote? Does it include the reconstruction of walls? Otherwise, you will need to consider those services as an extra cost and have them included in your budget. If protecting your furniture from dust during the work is not part of your engineer’ responsibilities, you need to do it yourself.
More significantly, it is expected that you look up all the professionals that are in your locality. This is a big project that can have some severe consequences if it’s not properly handled. Make it a responsibility to hire the services of someone who is well-grounded in this task, and who can keep you up to speed on every single development as the pro.
Do I have to obtain permission before taking a chimney down?
If the building is located or sited in a conservation area, planning permission is required for chimney breast removal, but if it is located somewhere else, permission is not needed. However, when removing some of a chimney, a Building Regulations application is required.
Do I need to obtain permission for internal changes or alterations?
If you are making internal alterations such as building or removing an internal wall, you do not have to apply for planning permission. If the building is, however, listed, for you to carry out any significant work on the building, you will have to get listed building consent.
Do I have to get Planning Permission to remove a chimney breast?
You have to apply at the local authority building control department and inform them. An independent approved inspector can do this for you. You also have to make sure the work complies with the Building Regulations.
Alterations do not count as development; therefore, you do not need Planning permission for them. However, you must obtain listed building consent if you intend to make alterations to a listed building.
Can a shared Chimney breast be removed?
If the owners of the chimney breast agree, an entire shared stack can be removed. If the removal is being done based on a defect, the two owners will share the cost between them, but if the removal is to improve one property out of the two, the owner of the benefitting property will bear the expenses. If one of the owners does not agree to remove the stack, the other owner can still go ahead to remove their half, but that only leads to more complications.
Can I remove a chimney breast with the stack intact?
Yes, that is very much possible. Sometimes, it is better to remove the chimney breast without removing the stack. This is because your neighbor might refuse to allow you to remove their half of the stack.
After getting your party wall agreement and approving your Structural Engineer’s plans, you can go ahead with removing the chimney stack in the loft area.
What you have to do is prop up the chimney in place with supports. Usually, gallows brackets were used for this purpose alongside a concrete lintel to support the brickwork, but these days, local authorities are against this procedure. You must use a Rolled Steel Joist (RSI) for support.
Also, for your party wall to be strong enough, it must have a minimum thickness of 220mm, and your Structural Engineer has to make sure that their designs comply with the building laws.