chimney breast party wall ground floor flat

22 Apr 2008
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United Kingdom
Hi there,

I am considering buying an ex council gf maisonette (you know the type) and am thinking about removing the chimney breast on the ground floor between the kitchen and the lounge. It is not attached to any of the four outside walls, just goes straight through the middle of the ground and first floor then terminates in a stack at the roof of the flat above.

I’m aware I will need building regs, a party wall agreement and permission from the landlord, the property being a leasehold. The people upstairs I believe to be tenants, so primarily it will be some form of legal agreement from them, if they give permission.

I’m also aware that this could cost (structural work alone) £1,500 - £2,500 plus building regs, structural report and party wall agreement. I’m guessing circa £3,000.

Use of an rsj spanning between the two outside walls, then boxed in and finished up.

First of all, does anyone have a similar experience that I could learn something from? It would be great to hear another persons experience.

And secondly, my main concern is the chap upstairs. Who I imagine will not receive this idea too well.

Does anyone have an idea of the extents of work require to make his part of the chimney breast safe? And what kind of access would be needed by a builder to complete any safety work in the ff flat, and exactly what would this ‘upstairs’ work entail? Time taken? Noise? Dust?

Curious to know the pros and cons of doing something like this.

The flat is really an empty shell apart from a basic bathroom and kitchen, so works will need to be carried out anyway.

It would be great to hear your thoughts and thanks for reading, I look forward to your response.

Thanks in advance,

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I’d be more worried about the leasehold. How long is the lease? How many in the block who owns the lease and are there any specific obligations about maintenance and reserve funds.
It is a set of two maisonette flats. The lease is brand new, 125 years, Orbit housing are the landlords. It might be over complicated things but I hope to try and get the freehold.

I need to put an offer in first though, just going through ideas atm.
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No, not yet. I do not want to go to him without a plan, hence why I am asking if anyone knows what kind of impact this might have on him. I will need to support the remaining stack with an rsj. But I don’t know if I would need to access his flat to complete the works.

The red dotted line on the attached plan is where I want to remove the chimney breast and wall from.

The works might require fixing up above ground level, which may mean that I do not do the work. But if not I’ll be keen to try and remove it.

Thanks again


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Sorry, I’m not sure whether I would need the tenants permission I think he would need knowledge of a party wall and for me to get his agreement to the works? Access so forth.

Interesting point a solicitor would have to advise me on the legalities.
The red dotted line on the attached plan is where I want to remove the chimney breast and wall from.

That would leave a tremendous amount of weight of wall, floor above and chimney to be supported on RSJ's, in the middle of a floor. I suspect you may be struggling to get approval to do that.
Okay, that is really helpful, thanks. I would imagine there is over a ton of bricks in the chimney, not to mention the weight from the walls either side which the existing ground level walls are supporting.

What about 2 rsj's, supported by pillars either end - would that solve the problem, or would the load still be too much?

An alternative might be to remove around the chimney, but that might look odd - with a single large pillar in the centre of the room.


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