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Chimneys & Fireplaces Questions

Our chimney and fireplace specialists have kindly agreed to share their wisdom on such topics as removing chimney stacks, constructing a chimney, ventilation, chimney breast brickwork, liners and flues, chimney restoration, fireplace styles and much more.

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603 Questions: Chimneys & Fireplaces


Fireplace and chimney removal - do I need planning permission

I had a fireplace removed from downstairs plus the breast which went to the room above (no fireplace) and the chimney removed. Would I have had to get planning permission for this and any special joists put in?

Ydebbid01 20th Oct, 2011 Chimneys & Fireplaces
1 Answer u2

Shared chimney stack help

I live in the upstairs flat of a house conversion. My lounge fireplace was bricked up flush and completely hidden. I have had a tradesman to knock it out but he has discovered that the chimney is shared with downstairs. To knock out my section would only give me a small hole which is off centre within the chimney breast and and obviously would not look right at all! The people downstairs do not use their chimney. Can I block their part of the flue up or make it smaller to expand my fireplace or will this cause problems??

Any advice appreciated.



Hi, thank you for the comments. I think the removal of the stack below will be too much hassle and cost to be honest. As you say -I could expand breast out to make it even. It seems so silly that when the house was built the fireplace was not centre in the chimney breast but logical that the downstairs flu needs to go somewhere too. Are all first floor fireplaces like this then?!

Ymel0812 7th Jul, 2014 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Using pepper pot chimney cowls on a gas fire?

Is it ever possible to use a pepper pot style chimney cowl on a gas fire that is in use and would it be dangerous to do so? i don't want to have to get another chimney cowl if the pepper pot will suffice.

Thanks for the response.

Yreservoircat 25th Apr, 2014 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Chimney sealed, is it safe?

We live in a rental property with a condemned gas fake fire stone thing in the fireplace. We recently had a pigeon come down the chimney and sit on top of the bit of cardboard that was blocking the chimney and asked if the landlord would consider putting a cap on the chimney to stop this happening again. A contractor came and rather than putting a cap on, took the chimney pots off (threw them down the chimney where they smashed on the fireplace and made a huge mess) and sealed the chimney completely at the top with cement. I thought this was a bit weird and am wondering if this is usual? So we now have an open fireplace with a broken gas fire and a chimney breast that is open at the bottom but sealed at the top - does that make sense?

Yfrodolives 3rd Dec, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Flu lining

Does a 100 odd year old chimney have to be lined before I fit a log burner? Its been an open fire in constant use until last week when I took it out.

Yfiremantim 26th Sep, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Condemned Chimney for Wood Burner - Lining needed?

Today a chimney Sweep condemned my wood burner as the chimney is "suffering downdraught". He advised removing a slate from the top of the chimney and replacing with pot and UFO ? Also must have smoke test which could ( if failed) mean i need a lining. Cost £1k ! This sounds expensive - would it be cheaper to rebuild the chimney ? Advice welcome please

Ymrsb_12 1st May, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Capping off an old flue?


Big apologies for the lack of technical language and know-how here, but can anyone advise on what could be best in the coming scenario....?

The old pre-cast class two flue was sealed off at the gas fire end about five years ago, after the gas fire was removed and the gas supply disabled by a heating engineer.

I'm sure there should have been some sort of vent or air-brick at the bottom end but there isn't. It's been bricked up and plastered over.

The top end is some sort of ridge-tile, where a tile sits over the (looks shallow) flue opening and it vents to the sides. That's the only way I can describe it.

I'm not sure what's best to do.

Option one seems to be to get the top of the flue sealed up properly (however that's done properly - needs to have ventilation??), or remove the part of the flue which runs through the loft and into the roof, and get a new ridge tile put in. Whichever is best.

Option two is to reconnect the gas fire. But I don't really need one - just considering it as I don't think the flue can be left as is, so might be better to put it back into use?

I'm guessing the flue needs to be cleaned whichever option I go with. Pretty sure it wasn't when it was first sealed off at the bottom end.

I guess there's no way of cleaning it without opening up the brickwork in the house where it was sealed off?

After all that, I guess my questions are whether there's a usual route to getting the flue capped off properly, given it's been out of use for a while, and how much this sort of job is likely to cost in the Cambridgeshire area?

Many thanks if you can help.

Ykeith_50 13th Apr, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Does my chimney need sweeping if I am having a new flue installed for my wood burner?

I have purchased an old house. It has a wood burner but requires a new flue. My home insurance has stated that I need to have my chimney swept once a year but my builder has told me that, as he is installing a new flue, it will not be required this year. I cannot argue what I don't understand so would appreciate some guidance on this subject

Yannmorgan 9th Apr, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

whats the best cure for rising dam in a chimney breast

we have been advised to strip back to the bricks and put on the plasterboard that has a foil of somekind on the back,but should we be putting something on the bricks to treat them first

Ylesleywhite 19th Feb, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

I've a mid terrace house and a water patch is appearing on my landing wall which is in line with my neighbours chimney.

I've checked the loft and their stack which forms the particition between our houses is also wet, rain water. They had the chimney breast in their ground floor living room removed. Is the chimney stable? I suspect the rain water is now finding a run off point into my landing wall and loft. What can I do to protect or fix my property, if they are not prepared to fix the problem? I've asked them twice already with no response. Thanks

Yfmcv 2nd Feb, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2
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