I've taken out an old gas fire and opened up the original fireplace, however the front bricks down either side of the openning are cracked all the way down from the lintel to the floor. I'm concerned there is a structural issue. One builder has suggested simply rendering and covering it all up. The other said he wouldnt touch it with a bargepole and suggested i get a structural engineer. I got the impression the second guy was a bit clueless but he has put the frighteners on me. Any suggestions as to why these have cracked and if i am safe to simply render over them? Thanks in advance Phil
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