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1,063 Chimneys & Fireplaces questions

Does my chimney stack really need to come down?


My neighbour (who I get on really well with) has asked me to pay half the cost of having our shared chimney stack removed to the roofline and the roof tiled over.

He has water leaking into his upstairs bedroom, though I've got no problems in my side. It is a disused chimney running from the kitchen (would have once been a range cooker, I guess). Neither of us uses this chimney, we both have two other chimneys we use.

What worries me is there is nothing wrong on my side, no leaks, the mortar looks ok, but on his side, the mortar is very clearly degraded and some of the bricks look very worn.

It seems obvious to me that he should just pay to have his side repointed.
He insists the stack needs to come down for the long-term good of both properties.

Questions then are:

1. Should I agree even if there's nothing wrong my side just to keep good neighbour relationship and to avoid my side leaking eventually?

2. Should I talk to building regs people? Do I need their permission?

Thanks very much



Thank you so much to you three lovely wise people, I really appreciate your advice. Felt a bit in the dark on this and wasn't sure if it was common etc. feel much more brave now about squaring up to the problem and my neighbour. Big thanks!

Wondering about re-plastering or re-building a chimney

Plaster work has been done previously, and is done to a very poor standard. Additionally there is a chip of the bottom right of the chimney, also curves out at top. The chimney probably needs removed with new tunnels put in as still using gas fire. How much will the the job cost and how long will the job take?

How to get a Builder to respond to calls

A reccomended builder (HETAS and FMB) came to look at a job for us. He was very thorough, took measurements and photos, and we were impressed by his knowledge and attitude. He said to give him 2 days to get back to us. After 6 days I started to chase him and after 12 days of leaving messages, and getting no response, he finally sent us an estimate (by email) for the job. Two in fact, as one used an alternative method. We were happy with the estimates and accepted the second (higher one) by email, at the same time as asking when we could expect him to do the job. 5 Days later and we are still waiting for some acknowlegement. Ringing only gets a message system - messages are ignored (again) and emailing gets no response either. Now he may be an excellent Builder but a poor correspondant, but .... is this normal with Builders or do you think he's just mucking us about ?

vents in bedroom chimney leave or block up?

I've just bought a victorian terraced house that needs a fair bit of work doing. Two of the bedrooms (above the sitting room & dining room) had ugly white plastic vents over holes in the chimney breasts. The sitting room had a log-burner in the fireplace but the dining room one is boarded up. I'm under pressure, from partner/friends etc, to block them up and plaster over but I have a feeling they must be there for a reason and would rather relocated them lower down the wall and put a brass sliding vent on.
Can someone please confirm either to leave or block up? Thanks

reply - haha I knew I was right, I'll tell those boys to leave them alone! Thank you

Wet patches internally on upstairs & downstairs chimney breast

Hello - I have round damp patches on chimney breast in bedroom - under coving to right hand side and on the short return wall. Same place/shape each time we get heavy rain. Airbrick in skirting board. Room directly under has very large round wet patches with many long drip stains in middle of chimney breast and some patch/long drip stain from coving height on short return wall too (right hand side). These patches 'shine' in the wallpaper, even when, apparently, not wet. Fireplace tiled up, with two ventilation holes drilled in middle of tiles. Other half of house using other half of this flue has no damp at all even though identical tiled up ground floor fireplace. Upstairs room has fake fireplace, but gaps around this - ventilation. Chimney pots are capped with clay cowls that have rows of ventilation holes going all round. These sit inside the chimney pot. When lifted out there are wet drip stains going down the chimney - presumably rain is getting in through the small gap between cowl and chimney. Could such small amounts of rain be causing significant wet patches further down? No evidence of damp in loft chimney brickwork. Pointing on chimney seems ok.

Would be grateful for any advice - thank you.

Want to remove chimney breast in sitting room (no chimney breast in room above sitting room)

Hi, we are currently buying a house that has a lounge and a sitting room - we want to knock down the adjoining wall to create one space but the sitting room has a gas fire in a fireplace in the chimney breast. The house has a chimney stack that runs up the side of the house but whats odd is that there is no chimney breast in the upstairs bedroom directly above the sitting room - does this mean its already been removed or is the chimney stack in the sitting room false? I'm imagining if we take it down we'll be left with a cavity that goes into the stack is that right? Obviously we'll get professionals in but wanted some idea as we aren't able to go into the house and have nose!

The house was built in 1999.


concrete lintel in fireplace - does it have to be high temperature resisting?

Hi, I'm opening up a plastered over fireplace and the previous owners have used a concrete lintel as they never intended to use it as a fire. my question is will an ordinary off the shelf (wickes or b and q) concrete lintel do or does it have to be a specifically made high temperature resisting concrete lintel.

I know there are fireplace lintels with a chamfered edge for better venting but I'm fitting a woodburner.

Also, they have plastered right into the fireplace, does this need removing right back to the existing brickwork?

Any help would be greatly appreciated


Wood/coal burning stove in chimney breast

I would like to have a burning wood/coal stove installed in the chimney breast. What do have to do in order to have the job done?

Electric fireplace suite and ventilation

Hi ive bought a 1930's ex council house which has had the old gas fire removed and there is just a big hole.

Ive decided to fit an electric fire suite in its place so it will cover up the hole and create a surround as well, and from reading up i know there needs to be a vent by the chimney breast but im abit unsure where to put one, as once the electric fire is in place there is no hole, and i assume people dont mean to block up the chimney breast behind the fire and then use an air brick in that stack, as there need to be a recess for the fire?

Looking at the chimney breast it may be possible to vent into the floor as i know the room is suspended, or maybe i could add an air brick above the fire with a grill but i think that would look stupid and really it needs to be lower down.

Any help is appreciated thanks!

Chimney leaking smoke/gases into cavity wall - solutions?

I recently had my gas fire serviced. As part of this a smoke test was performed to check that the chimney was working correctly. Whilst smoke was seen properly venting from the top of the chimney to the outside, the engineer detected some "backdraft" which caused him to check the loft space. Upon checking we could see smoke venting into the loft space.

I understand that I have a class 2 flue, which I believe means this is a 5 inch, precast flue, which is built into the internal wall of the house during construction. The house was built around the early 90s. There is a metal pipe in the loft from the top of the cavity wall, leading up to a vent ridge tile.

The engineer checked the metal pipe and believed there is no smoke leakage from this. He believes the smoke was leaking from the pre-cast flue at some point within the cavity wall, and travelling up, and venting from the cavity wall into the loft space.

As a result the engineer has condemned the chimney, stating that it is unsafe, because there is the possibility of carbon monoxide build up in the loft space, which could seep back down into the house. He has therefore disconnected my gas fire from the gas supply and attached a warning/unsafe notice.

I would like advice on my options here. I know I could have an electic fire installed, but this would be my last resort, since I have no wiring readily accessible.

The engineer claimed that the only solution would be to have the internal walls of the house ripped out along the length of the chimney, to find where the leakage is originating from, and repair it. I have ruled this out due to the sheer cost and scale of damage it would cause.

I did ask about the possibility of having the chimney lined, but the engineer claimed this is not possible with class 2 / pre-cast flues. However, researching on the internet it certainly seems that liners are available for class 2 flues. I would like advice from others as to whether this is a possibility, and if so, the rough cost to install.

I know there are flue-less gas fires available but I have been discouraged from these since they cause condensation and require a vent.

If the flue liner is not a possibility I would appreciate any other suggestions as to how to resolve my problem. I would really like to have a working gas fire again.

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