Unsupported chimney stacks

2 Jan 2013
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United Kingdom
Hi there

I am in the process of buying my first house, and the results of the survey state that "chimney breasts in bedroom 1 and 3 have been removed leaving the stacks partially unsupported". The chimney breast is present in the downstairs underneath bedroom 1 but not on the first floor and there is no evidence of any chimney breasts underneath bedroom 3, either on the first floor or ground floor. The survey came back just before Christmas and I can't get hold of any builder just yet. I wondered if anyone could tell me an approximate cost of replacing the chimney breast on the first floor (as I would like to eventually but a wood burner in) and making the other structurally safe. There was no building regs for the work done and no one is quite sure when it was done although the survey does say there is no sign of instability at the moment. The house is a 1900's terrace, with the flues being on the party wall. I realise that it is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string however as a single first time buyer on my own it is pretty daunting!! Many thanks for any help anyone is able to give.
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Ask your Surveyor for an estimate.

Anywhere between £2k and £5k should be allowed for the work and the reduction in the asking price.

There are options to rebuild or support, but there are building regulations and Party Wall notification issues involved - and their fees and costs.

Don't just rely on a builders estimate unless he includes all the associated costs. He may not quote on a viable method either, so you may need a proper professional specification for the work. The cost of your wood burners won't be something you can include (ie negotiate on), only the costs of support or reinstatement

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