Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I have an offer on a house and have found out that the chimney breasts were removed before the current residents bought in the early 80s. There is no paper trail on what was done and how, or who by. I am buying the property to extend up and out and will need to assess if it's sound. Has anyone got any experience of this? If so, what were the steps and did you use anyone you'd recommend? ie Structural engineer, surveyor?

I know it's still standing (etc) but it's an issue for selling on also....would love some advice for a costly purchase! thanks

R

Tags for Forum Posts: chimney breast removal, structural engineer, surveyor

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Please could you provide a ball park cost on that?

Not really as it depends what work needs doing. Ours was fairly minor in the great scheme of things, but from memory was about £1k

AH ok - I have been panicking about tens of thousands....

A structural engineer (probably costing around £500) is a must but before the sale you probably won't have to pay for this report.  

If you still have your original chimneys in place above then you need to ascertain if any movement has or might occur if brickwork has been taken out. It all supports the stack.. Building Control at Harringay Council would have any records of this being done at your address. If not, then may be that no BC advice was followed.  In the 80s BC suggested gallows brackets to support the chimney stack above if left. Later RSJs were preferred.  I had concern recently when the owner of the flat below me put his flat up for sale..this co freeholder had had a workman hacking out brickwork below a few years ago (and I subsequently had some cracks above in my landing)....to make space for a kitchen hood and range below.  I was worried that the whole brickwork up to the chimney stack had no supports as this builder didn't know what I was referring to when I asked him if he had put brackets inside the chimney.  

My co freeholder recently put his flat on the market and I insisted that he get a structural engineer to check everything (which to be fair he did do so)... Some support work had been done in the form of a concrete bar - the co owner didn't know about this. The newly engaged structural engineer reassured me that it could be registered at Building Control subsequently so the house record was complete.  

IMPORTANT : The structural engineer told me that his services were not my problem and solely the co freeholder below. He also said...that if the co freeholder charged me with half the bill that I was to contact him...satisfying for me. I hope this helps as your solicitor should demand a structural surveyor at the existing owners cost.  It seemed that post renovation permission can be sought at Building Control if it's ok. Good luck.

Great response and largely where I am. My survey is looking into the lay of the land and giving me options - it’s ok, it isn’t and you need to get insurance con eyed or it isn’t and this is what needs to happen. But contrary to my panic, it seems to be a low thousands issue and not tens of….so feeling a bit more in control. 

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