Chimney Breast Repair + New Lintel

27 Oct 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi guys!

I have a chimney breast that has had the front section of its inner brick cheeks cut into at some point in the past. I'm looking at options to reinstate the opening to accept a wood burning stove.

A new concrete lintel is needed, but due to the inner cheeks of the chimney already having been partially cut away (by about 2/3rds of a brick width), the lintel will require further support on each end.

My original plan was to use acrows + strongboys and take out each of the previously cut bricks and replacing with new full bricks. Basically returning the cheeks of the chimney breast to its original configuration, ready for the new lintel. Please take a look at this post for photos and the original plan...

However, the chimney breast is shallow and I don't particularly fancy removing bricks from the cheeks relying on acrows and any remaining bricks to hold the stack up. I don't know how well the chimney breast is toothed in to the back wall and what support that would provide.

So, alternative approach that avoids the need to cut out large sections of brickwork...

I'm now planning to leave the existing cheeks alone and build a new skin of brickwork against the existing inner cheeks of the breast, tying in to the rear of the chimney breast (wall starter kit?) and at the front toothing in, a little, to the front of the breast. I think this additional skin of brickwork, in addition to the existing, should provide more than enough support for the lintel - which would then have support of over 200mm each end. Please see attached plan view (blue is existing chimney, green is the additional skin). Lintel would then be placed across the new skin of brickwork and into the existing cheeks.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? My only concern is - is there likely to be enough support for this additional skin of bricks? Most of the lintel loading would go through the existing cheeks through to whatever foundation is below them. The additional brickwork skin is just belt and braces backup. Or am I over thinking this?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated! I'd like to crack on with this job ASAP!


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