how do i hold up the top of a chimney?


Postby katiesdad » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:15 pm

I live in a mid terrace Victorian house with chimneys either side of the party wall. My side of the chimney was removed at ground and first floors many years ago. What’s left was tapered back, leaving the bond to support the rest of the stack up through the loft and out the roof. I know this is common practice and with a few boards on the ceiling rafters to catch any dust it works OK. I want to now convert the loft but leave the chimney breast in place. Can someone please advise me on what might now be the acceptable way of 'tidying up'/supporting the chimney breast? I plan to build a stud wall completely across the front of the chimney breast when I convert the loft.
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Postby rosebery » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:13 pm

I think you should take the rest of it out TBH.

Cheers
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Postby katiesdad » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:32 am

Thanks Rosebery, but i really dont want to disturb the party wall and my neighbours chimney stack. So I need a "proper" alternative.
Thanks
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Postby rosebery » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:31 pm

"Thanks Rosebery, but i really dont want to disturb the party wall and my neighbours chimney stack. So I need a "proper" alternative."

Thats my point - I don't think there is one until you find a pile of bricks in your front room, by way of the bedroom, one morning that is when the problem will have been solved. But I'm quite open to correction on that. I think you had better find yourself a structural engineer to look at it.

Cheers
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Postby Perry525 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:24 pm

You probably don't know this but the UK has more Earth tremors than anywhere else in the world.
It is not unknown for chimneys to collapse.
You probably have never stood next to a chimney and don't realize just how big they are.
Get a pair of binoculars and count the rows of bricks, throw in the lines of mortar and work out how much weight you have balancing up there.
Consider has your next door neighbor done the same thing?
The whole thing may just be balanced on one row of bricks.
Does he use his side of the chimney?
He may well be happy to have the whole thing removed.
Bricks and mortar weigh in at 45 kilos per cubic foot, about one hundred weight.
If it tips over you may well be dead sooner than you expect.
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Postby elwood » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:31 pm

hi

Take rosebery's advice it is sound.

unlike your chimney.

Bye
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Postby wonderfulwend » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:41 am

Hi, I am in a similar situation. Live in a detached bungalow. The ground floor chimney breasts were taken out years ago before we purchased the property 5 years ago. We are doing a loft conversion, and have been left with an unsupported chimney in the loft area. The stack has been taken down to below roof level, and re-roofted over the top of the chimney left. There is approx 8ft of chimney breast left in the loft area which is tied into the outside wall. We are now wondering how to support the bit that is left, as the outside wall is rendered and tyroleaned, so do not want to disturb this as it will be a big job to get it all re-done. Will gallows brackets support the weight of the chimney breast that is left, is there anything else we can use, or will we HAVE to take it down.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Postby katiesdad » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:23 am

The Gallows brackets will have to fixed into the brick wall, but to prove the strength of the wall to a structual engineer might be difficult. My building inspector suggested using extra floor joists, with a timber frame supporting the chimney breast. Remember that the most of the chimney is supported by the brickwork bond, so actually there is not that much weight to carry.
Let us know how you get on.
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Postby polishingpeanuts » Tue May 04, 2010 9:00 pm

katiesdad wrote: Remember that the most of the chimney is supported by the brickwork bond, so actually there is not that much weight to carry.
Let us know how you get on.


I dare not tell you how little that the brickies of old used to bond into chimney breasts sometimes.

I have lost count of how many chimnys that we have taken out and there has been a 'tie' brick into the gable about every half a dozen courses or so......

Also, what is the span between the walls under the breast? It is quite usual to slide a steel underneath if possible and brick up to the hanging breast.

How are you supporting the loft conversion floor too? IF steels are needed there, maybe you should incorporate one of the steels to sit under the breast. (some loft conversions fit steels in between existing ceiling joists packed up slightly off the wallplates, and new floor joists are notched into/onto them)

So difficult to advise accurately without seeing job/plans! Sorry if that is a bit generic.

Good luck
Ian
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