Need some advice: Chimney breast was removed and the support seems strange

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I have just bought a Victorian terrace house. The surveyor flagged in the report the chimney breast was removed and the chimney stack in the loft seems like being supported by gallows brackets. The surveyor cannot get into that part of the loft so he suggested me to hire a structural engineer to make sure the stack is well supported and safe there.

I have already committed to buy the property so it is now my problem instead of the seller.

I have got the keys to the house and get into the small space to look at the supporting structure myself. It doesn't look like a gallows bracket to me. It seems it is supported by some brick. The seller cannot provide any documentation of the work so I believe there is no building control approval.

I am going to hire a structural engineer but would like to get some idea of how bad the situation is.

1) Is it a gallows bracket? Is the stack actually being supported at all?
2) If it is not safe, what options do I have to remedy this?

Thank you so much!
 

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JP_

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I have already committed to buy the property so it is now my problem instead of the seller.

Wait for a structural engineer. Hopefully they will say it's OK. If not, they will quote a price and you can go back to agent / seller and say the chimney is unsafe and knock that amount off the price.
 
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Thanks JP_! , I have already bought the house. I prepared to take the hit to pay for any remedial work.
 

JP_

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If you're told it is unsafe, then get a quote to remove the whole lot. This year I had a small chimney removed, and it was about the same price to remove it all and tile over than to get a steel designed, built and installed, and building control signed off.

Hopefully it as been like that for years and is perfectly safe.
 
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Why would it be that your surveyor could not get to that part of the loft, and yet the surveyor expects a structural engineer to? He's just copped out.

Those are gallows brackets, and it appears to have been done correctly and has been done for a long time. Which would indicate that the chimney is going nowhere.

Have you checked with building control for past applications?
 
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If they are gallows brackets, there doesn't seem to be any inclined strut between the vertical and horizontal arms?

Maybe they just depend on the weld at the inner corner?
 
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Thank you both Woody and Tony

That part of the loft is very small and I need to "climb" into the area to take those photos. but I was expecting the survey could have looked into it for me though :)

I try to search how gallows brackets look like and it seems to me that the support element under my chimney stack is something different. From the attached pic here. the parts indicated by the red line are not metal. They seem to be just bricks :(
 

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Quite possibly they've just mortared 2 lengths of 4" angle iron into the wall so that they cantilever out and support the longer piece of angle under the chimney front.
Not ideal, but if it's been there for ?? years?....
 
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Thank you woody and Godwasaplasterer,

The breast a one brick projection, tied in, and is holding itself up.
Do you mean that it could still possibly be safe? is it a legit way to support the chimney stack?
 
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Quite possibly they've just mortared 2 lengths of 4" angle iron into the wall so that they cantilever out and support the longer piece of angle under the chimney front.
Not ideal, but if it's been there for ?? years?....
Thanks! I can't contact the previous previous owner who did this. The previous owner who has been in the property for 2 years. claimed they didn't even know the chimney breast is removed. I can confirm from the photos taken 4 - 5 years ago (in 2017) on rightmove. The chimney breast was removed at that time. So I believe this support is there for at least 4 years.
 
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Planners, surveyors ... anyone else on the hit list? :rolleyes:
I am so worried it is not safe. I can't sleep last night when I found it doesn't seem to be gallows brackets which I thought they are. So hard to find a structural engineer atm as it seems everyone is going out for the new year party.
 
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