Just about to buy our first house and of the many projects i plan to get done, removing a particularly big chimney breast from the kitchen is looking like the first on the list.
How much do you reckon a builder would charge? Is it cheaper to get the entire stack taken out and roof patched up or more sensible to get the breasts on the first and 2nd floors deleted and leave the stack in the loft (with appropriate support). Can I do any of it myself, if so what? NO doubt Building Control will want to have a look...?
The house is a 1960's semi-detached and the chimney is right in the middle, well away from the neighbour's walls.
It depends where you are but 3 years ago in Birmingham I paid £1200 to have a wall (supporting wall, 3.5m long) and a chimney breast removed (ground floor only), RSJ put in and made good. I recon about half was the wall, and half was the chimney
It will be cheaper to have just the bottom taken out, but if you want it taken out upstairs, it will be easier for them to do it all at the same time.
Why not get a builder in to give you a quote? Most will do it for free, and could get them to price different options
Indeed. The chimney breast is very often structural so may need to be replaced with an RSJ to take the weight instead.
If you know how to do calculations for that kind of thing you can DIY but will need to run it all by building control (I know someone who did). If not best get someone in. Not something you want to get wrong.
In reply to adstapleton: Unless you intend to commission the services of a Structural Engineer; I would leave well alone! A good experienced builder should tell you this, as the only thing that will stand up in court (should the house fail to stand up at all!) will be the engineer's credentials and thier professional indemnity insurance.
Anything at all can be done right, if you have sufficient funds... such as re-building the house from scratch without a chimney.
If you do take the chimney down...
1. You may need planning consent
2. You will need building regulations certification (via full plans or a building notice) and structural calcs are likely to be required in this case.
My advice...? Put a lovely woodburner in there (or an Aga etc.). If the hearth is centre house it should be most effective in heating the thermal mass of the property.
The chimney may also be contributing to ventillation; so removal might bring condensation issues and poorer air quality - requiring other action to remediate.