Removing Chimney breast in bedroom

I need some thoughts on removing a chimney breast in one of the bedrooms. I live in a semi-detached victorian house and the chimney breast in one of the bedrooms is "in the way". It is on the party wall and has been removed in the room below (not checked to see how it is supported - just pray there are no big gusts of wind to find out the hard way...) From the bedroom it goes into the attic and then out (nothing radical there then). The plan would be to remove the breast in the bedroom, but not remove it from the attic etc.
Questions: 1. What are the building regs that need to be taken into account? 2. I figure I could use a structural steel beam to support the weight of the chimney in the attic (where do I get these from and are they expensive?) and simply lay this across the joists with the brickwork resting upon it. Are there alternatives to this (have seen some reference to "stress graded timbers, two 6" by 3" for each chimney")? 3. Do I need to do anything special with the area where the hearth was other than simply extend the joists and put in new floorboards? 4. What about the impact on the neighbours side (not planning to touch that...) 5. How would I know if I damage the neighbours flue (is this as obvious as knocking a brick out and cursing?) 6. Anything else I might want to consider before I undertake this and is it as simple as it seems?
One other thing....it looks like I may need to notify the neighbour given that it is a party wall. Only problem is that it is all boarded up at the moment as the previous tennants were evicted. I think a housing association manages it. What do we do in that situation?
Thanks Greg
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If you take a massive slab of weight bearing structure out from the base, a hell of a lot of the top of it is going to want to fall all over you sooner or later.
How are you going to get adequate answers from a do it yourself group for a major architectural engineering problem like that? Sure, someone may know the text book answers but it is a highly specialised job.
If you are not prepared to take the whole thing out from the top down, then get expert structural advice.
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You need to be very careful with this type of thing. The weight you leave above the room in the attic can be more than a tonne, so it needs to supported properly before you can be sure it won't kill anyone lying in bed below it.
You'll need a structural engineer, permission from your local building control office and a good builder with up to date insurance.
You local council will also be able to tell you who the next door house belongs to so you can contact them. This needs time for them to reply to the request for the changes you wish to make, and time for you to draught a legal letter which covers in a court of law if anything goes wrong with their side and needs proven that your changes didn't cause it. This is also where the building control office comes in, because they will inspect the work before, during and after the planned works.
There was a thread on this about the middle of last year, so try googling through the group to see if you can find the advice that was given then.
Please don't go battering the walls down without knowing what is involved. :-))
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This is not a DIY job! You need a structural engineer to advise you and you will need to comply with the Party Wall Act.
-- Peter Crosland snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net
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"Greg" wrote | 2. I figure I could use a structural steel beam to support the weight | of the chimney in the attic ... and simply lay this across the joists | with the brickwork resting upon it.
No ....
The attic joists are almost certainly sized only to take the weight of a lath and plaster ceiling; even if they are sufficient for an ordinary floor they may not be sufficient for supporting the weight of a ton of masonry. The only way you can prove they are is by calculations, which the Building Control will require to be signed by a Structural Engineer.
Owain
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Folks,
Thanks for all the comments. I am happy to know my limitations and accept that this is not a DIY job - thanks for keeping me straight!
Greg

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