Beginners Guide of Removing Your Chimney Breast

What is your chimney breast for? 

The chimney breast is the part that peeks outwards into the depths of your home. They ae mostly seen in older homes. In the past this was the main way of heating our homes, this was an important element in pushing heat throughout our houses. However today chimneys are rarely used due to central and electric heating. 

Why would you want to remove your Chimney breast? 

For some a chimney breast is seen as something that takes up valuable space that could be used for something else. However, some people love the idea of an open fireplace which is also the most inefficient way to burn fuel at home. Some may have the chimney-piece removed for an eco-friendlier way of heating. 

Removing the Chimney, the correct way  

This is not a quick DIY job. When removing the chimney-piece, you are also removing an important load-bearing wall. Due to this you need to ensure that the structural integrity of your building isn’t put at risk.  

One of the most common internal altercations carried out is to remove an obsolete chimney breast at ground floor level to create more floor space. Commonly chimneys are also removed at first floor level leaving the roof bare and external section of the chimney in place.  

Building regulations apply to this work because it is material altercation to the structure ensuring the remaining part of the stack is properly supported. 

Regulations and considerations  

There is a lot of planning, approval and checks that are needed to be done, plus your labourer. The next steps you should go through is: 

  • Planning permission 
  • Get building regulations approved 
  • Party wall agreement (only if you have adjoined neighbours) 
  • Speak to structural engineer  
  • New building support structure  

What will the structure engineer do? 

The help of a structure engineer will determine how the chimney breast should be removed in the safest way. 

The Party wall agreement 

This step only applies if your property is adjoined to a neighbouring property. This means you must inform and agree with your neighbours on any work done on a shared boundry. 

Costs of removing the chimney breast 

Removing a chimney breast isn’t a low-cost project, the total cost will depend on the complexity of the job and how much you want removed. For example, only removing the ground floor chimney-piece could cost around £1,500 estimated, but wanting to remove the entire chimney it could cost around £4,000 estimate. 

Can you still have a fire without the chimney breast?  

Yes… There are other options to pick from such as: 

  • Balanced flue gas fires 
  • Flueless gas fires 
  • Electric fires 
  • Wall mounted fires. 

Contact us