If you want to increase internal floor space within your home, one effective way of doing so is to remove a chimney breast (assuming you have them within your home). In most instances you will only wish to remove the breast within one room, leaving the chimney in place within the loft and above the roof. It will therefore be necessary to support the remaining chimney rather than leave this 'hanging' and it is very common to see 'gallows brackets'. In this blog we will look at what these are.
Where certain structural works are undertaken within your home it will be necessary to comply with the building regulations. These are a set of guidelines and it is possible to comply with your legal requirements in more than one way. For example, a chimney breast can be supported by installing a gallows bracket (in some instances) or by a full steel support beneath, therefore there are at least two ways to comply with your requirements in respect of removing a chimney.
You must therefore seek professional advice from a qualified engineer and a competent builder before you undertake any structural works. You will also be triggering the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and you can call us for a free phone consultation.
Above we can see a typical set of gallows brackets with a concrete lintol/s below. Effectively these comprise of a set of metal angle brackets which are chemically fixed to the wall below using bolts. The holes in the wall are pre-drilled and then filled with resin. Whilst still wet the brackets will be aligned and bolts pressed into the resin which will then set. The concrete lintols will be places beneath the chimney and then cement packing will be installed to the underside of the remaining chimney masonry.
The load of the chimney will then be transferred to the wall.
Taken from LABC (https://www.labc.co.uk/news/how-get-it-right-remov...)
Gallows brackets should only be used if...
- The stack is not completely
vertical (i.e. a gathered flue to a central stack).
- The neighbours’ chimney
breast on the other side of the party wall has not been removed (or partly
removed). If it has then the whole of the chimney above the roof should be
removed and the roof made good as there is a possibility that the party
wall may only be 100mm thick above the ceiling line.
- The party wall supporting
the gallows bracket is a minimum of 215mm thick, in brickwork, and in
- The maximum width of the
chimney breast is less than 1200mm. For wider chimney breasts a structural
engineer should be consulted.
- The chimney breast should
project no more than 340mm into the room.
- The chimney is no more than
two storeys high plus roof space.
The relevant notices required under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 have
been served on the adjoining owner (where the chimney is on a party wall).
For further advice, feel free to call The Hopps Partnership.