Chimney breast were built in all old houses as a means of using fireplaces to provide heat in a house. These days however, most chimney breasts are either used as a cosmetic feature of a room or not used at all. Where they are not used at all homeowners offer consider them a waste of space and have the option of removing them entirely and re-using the space gained in removing the chimney breast.
There are many ways in which a homeowner can make use of the space gained by removing an unused chimney breast. In a living room for example, the space can be used for a new television system, a large sofa, a dining table or simply a means of making the room feel larger. Ina bedroom, removing a chimney breast can provide the space for fitted wardrobes, a larger bed or simply more free space.
As chimneys were originally built as part of the houses structure, the process of removing it should be carried out by someone who know the impact which removing it will have on the structure f the house. If the chimneys are removed without suitable and appropriate beams being provided to support the structure, damage could be made to the structure of the house and in the worse case scenario the collapse of the entire building itself. If not done properly following all building regulations, a chimney breast removal could result in the inability of the homeowner to sell the property or successfully apply for a mortgage on the property.
It is strongly advised that a Structural Engineer take a look at what necessary supports will be required in order to safeguard the property and in order to prevent neighboring buildings from being damaged. The structural engineer or builder should submit these designs to the local council building control office to which the property is located. This should be done before any work has begun. The appointed builder must then work to these approved designs, and then once the work is complete, the local authority building control officer should visit the property to check that the work has been completed following the approved designs. On satisfactory completion of your work the Building Control office will then be able to issue a completion certificate which solicitors will need to have before any re-mortgage or sale is completed.
Before any work removing a chimney breast can commence, the written consent of the owners of a neighboring house must be received before some projects can begin.