How do I get a fire escape removed?

Joined
10 Aug 2015
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
Hi all.

I've got an old farmhouse with an exterior steel staircase that I want removed. The staircase is all painted steel with a couple of square tube section legs bolted to the floor and at the top it's got a couple of supports cemented in to the stonework.

I am tempted to try and remove it myself except I don't own any cutting equipment up to the job and I'm (just about) smart enough to accept that working at height on an unstable heavy item with iffy access is not the best place to learn how to use the big boys' toys. Plus it's a reverse jigsaw in that it needs breaking in to pieces to be able to remove it, but each piece has to be removed without rendering the rest too unstable to work on.

What sort of company do I need to contact to do this work? If I wanted a staircase supplied and installed it'd be easy to hit google for this but I'm a bit stumped about what sort of trade would do the reverse. I don't want to just ask on Facebook as I'll get every monkey with an angle grinder offering to do it to get the scrap and I'd quite like the house to be undamaged at the end of the process..

I suspect there's some value in it as scrap metal so I'd either just want someone to safely take it down and leave it for me to dispose of or I'd want the value of the metal to be factored in to the job.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 
Sponsored Links
Why remove it? Is the fire escape no longer needed (by law?)
will it be replaced? The door will present a hazard if left.
 
The people who install these things are the people who uninstall them.

General builders may be able to do this, but need to be aware of the process, not just go at with a grinder.

You should not leave any just bits of steel embedded in the walls. If need be, anything built in should be removed and the wall made good.

If this is a designated fire escape, then you are altering the fire safety of the building and should require building regulation approval.
 
Procedural/regulatory stuff is all under control, as is the making good of the building (ultimately there will be a balcony installed in place of the fire escape), I just literally need to find someone to get shot of the current staircase.

Incidentally, we call it a fire escape because visually that's what it looks like. It's entirely possible it's simply a direct access route to the attic as that was pretty common for seasonal workers. It's extremely old, too steep, has bent treads and has clearly been repurposed from a former life somewhere else before being installer here since it doesn't really fit the space properly.
 
Sponsored Links
I am tempted to try and remove it myself except I don't own any cutting equipment up to the job and I'm (just about) smart enough to accept that working at height on an unstable heavy item with iffy access is not the best place to learn how to use the big boys' toys. Plus it's a reverse jigsaw in that it needs breaking in to pieces to be able to remove it, but each piece has to be removed without rendering the rest too unstable to work on.

Photos might help. Were it me and assuming there was plenty of safe space for it to fall - I would be inclined to add additional supports, then undo/cut any fixings to the building, then to the ground, then finally pull the supports out with a tractor, via pre-attached ropes. Once on the ground, it can be cut up with a gas axe for scrap.
 
As you live on a farm, do you have access to a telehandler either directly or via a neighbour? Depending on the size and weight of it, seems like a couple of sturdy straps to support it from the TH forks, near the top of the stairs, before cutting the wall supports and unbolting the floor anchors might be a safe/sensible way to go about it. Could well be how it was installed!
 
That’s a good idea but unfortunately the access isn’t great. I’ve attached some photos below. You could get a scaffold tower in next to it, but just dropping it in place or lifting it out isn’t a viable option.

Thanks for all the ideas though!


59CD4DEA-68C5-4267-A5AC-541A426C0E7F.jpeg
F544EFB7-8613-4273-9B39-DD71D48BF63B.jpeg
BBE0D542-B23F-452D-9497-1FDF08C83AC9.jpeg
BA02CF14-C8BD-48BF-B453-98693E45DE65.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • A68A6BE6-7835-4E35-89E2-8ABAB3F505D8.jpeg
    A68A6BE6-7835-4E35-89E2-8ABAB3F505D8.jpeg
    694.2 KB · Views: 75
Hard to tell from photos, but it looks easy (ish) to remove with common sense.

i would take a bloody good look at it but it seems from the photos to be reasonable to assume that you could cut off the stair handrail and surround from the balcony. That would reduce the weight. then possibly every other tread on the stairs.

it might be worth hiring a hefty chain hoist and fixing it to the balcony floor, so that it can be used to retain the support on the stairs. Ensure the chain can be accessed safely out of range.

a scrap dealer might remove it for free?
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Back
Top