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Chimney Demolition

Chimneys are common structures found in many building types, not just the ones that have wood-burning stoves or a fireplace. However, with central heating installed in most homes, chimneys are now becoming somewhat redundant.

While having a chimney can improve the interior design of a home, it does take up a lot of floor and wall space. Besides, maintaining a chimney can be more trouble than it’s worth if it is unused and just becomes an entry point for dust, pests and rainwater. Therefore, if a fireplace is restricting that need for extra space, you explore and consider chimney removal options.

While residential chimney demolition could be considered as a potential DIY project, hiring demolition contractors is crucial if you do not have prior experience to building or demolition work. Most chimneys are structurally independent, but some do connect to the building walls, and any mistakes removing one could ruin the structural integrity of the property.

In this article we look at the partial and complete chimney demolition and removal process, including the costs involved.

Chimney Demolition

Chimney Demolition Process

All chimney removal projects begin with the assessment of the chimney’s position in the building or structure. For example, is it in the middle of or at the side of the house with no structural attachment to the building?

You should also consider the external chimney stack height, which extends above the roof, and the chimney breast size within the building.

With partial chimney demolition, you can remove the chimney stack until it is flush with the roof, but if only partial removal, you just need to seal the hole in the roof and leave other chimney parts intact.

Partial removal may only require a hammer and a chisel to remove the chimney stack brick-by-brick and patching up the holes as you go. However, complete residential or commercial chimney demolition means you will have a gap in the walls, roof, and floors to seal up. While it is possible to remove the brickwork of a chimney breast, it will need adequate structural support using a bracket to avoid it from collapsing.

If the chimney forms a buttress, you will need a structural engineer to check the stability of the building before sealing up any of the walls.

If the chimney extends into the building foundations, you should not attempt to modify the foundation work without consulting an expert. Therefore, you can either leave the remaining part of the chimney underneath the floors or find an expert demolition contractor to carry out the project.

Chimney Demo
Chimney Demolition

Chimney demolition costs will vary depending on the size of the chimney, is it residential, commercial, or an industrial chimney demolition job? Are the floors it occupies in a multi-storey building and what is its attachment to the building?

Expect to pay more if your chimney is part of the structure or foundation of your house. Most demolition contractors will factor in the cost of removing the chimney stack, chimney breast and rectifying the resulting gaps left behind.

You will also purchase materials to patch up the holes and match the interior design with the rest of the house. If your home needs framing adjustments and foundation work, the expenses may start to increase.

Chimney demolition is a significant structural change to a building or structure. This means you need to adhere to the structural guidance and legal framework provided by building regulations; local authorities may declare your project impractical and illegal. To ensure you comply with the regulations, contact the local authorities and building control departments to get the relevant permissions before work begins. A building or demolition contractor can help you expedite the process as they will be familiar with the requirements and rules.

Getting the right building permissions is necessary to prevent future complications with surveyors when you come to sell the property. You should also consider party wall agreements to avoid additional charges for rectifying any discrepancies caused. Other legal considerations include restrictions provided in conservation zones and listed buildings.

In most industrial chimney removals, the contractors utilise explosive demolition instead of removing the structural framework systematically. Such demolition methods may require planning permission, including a detailed plan to seal the resulting hole and dispose of the demolition waste.

Residential chimney demolition should not be considered a DIY project, it is always advisable to seek professional assistance to avoid causing structural damage to your home.

Besides, professional demolition experts are likely to make the process less invasive and complete the project faster.

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When you are next researching for a quality and competitive demolition company for whatever construction project, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team, we offer a free quote and site survey.

Call us today on 01322920 053 to get a quote for your next demolition project.

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