I'm replacing a hearth and Building Regs Part J specify that the
constructional hearth has to have a depth of 500mm from the fireplace.
Unfortunately there is a wooden joist 460mm from the fireplace. If I
was to comply with the regs I would have to remove this part of the
joist. It all seems a bit much for 40mm. What are the consquences of
breaching the regs?
I would suggest discussing this with the local building control officer.
They may easily give you a waiver.
The consequences are basically only if and when it is ever noticed.
Which doesn't seem very likely in this case as the difference is so
small. Murphy's Law inevitably applies - if you sell the new owners may
want a new fireplace and then it would be found out.
At the very least you would have to bring it into conformity or pay for
it to be done. Even then, my local building control guys are very
reasonable and I suspect that they would give a waiver, even if someone
got up there nose and didn't ask first. YMMV
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