Possible unsafe chimney stack removal



Good Morning to all.
Moved into a 1930s semi back in January, and the survey picked up that a stack had been removed from the dining room and the bedroom above. Surveyor said in his survey that it seems to have been removed some time ago and he can see no movement to cause concern. The other half is still in the lounge and attached all the way up.

Anyhow, neighbour picked up a possible crack in the stack, right down the middle, got the insurance company out and they said it just needed re-pointing and the lead work replaced.

I ventured into the loft at the weekend and noticed that there is no support for the removed side of the stack. An "A frame" of timber is wedged in between the 2 stacks but some of the lower bricks on the removed side are starting to drop. No sign of the crack internally either.

Looking closer it seems that the removed stack is stepped from the bottom up, so the lowest brick is firmly wedged into the party wall with the one above resting on it etc etc, until it gets to it's original depth.

I've read about the Gallow brackets that are used for supporting stacks but had a couple of questions:

1. Can I just buy the strongest bracket and get a builder to install?
2. Do Building control have to be involved?
3. Party wall agreement, do I have to get one?

Haven't had a chance to get pictures but will do so this evening and post for your viewing pleasure.
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23 Feb 2012
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United Kingdom
Gallows brackets are not universally accepted by building inspectors - much depends on individual circumstances (size of stack, condition of brickwork etc). The safest way is to put a steel beam across (that is, if you have an internal loadbearing wall between the bedrooms, and your ceilings are level with the tops of the walls).

Yes, you should get a party wall agreement with the neighbour.

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