My neighbour built a dormer window and loft extension that went above
the height of my chimneys. Thier dormer is about five feet from our
chimney. We have two gas fires and the fumes are extracted via
chimneys. Now what is happening is that on the prevalling wind (SW)
the air is going over their roof and dormer and over our chimeny (as
the roof is now heigher) and causing a change in air pressure and
forcing the fumes back down our chimney. I found some information
about this issue a while ago which showed diagrams etc of what happens
to the air circulation and extraction and when a construction goes
above a chimney level. Does this come under building regs? Can anybody
point me in the right direction please or offer advice. Thanks.
It should have been picked up at building regs checking stage (if their
designer actually showed your chimney on his plans) and at site inspection
stage. Contact your local BC dept to see if a completion certificate has
been issued or if there is any mention of this problem. Either way, ask for
an officer to come and have a look and advise you.
The Party Wall Act would have applied here, and although its implementation
by the neighbour is not compulsory, and he can not be penalised for not
following its guidelines, it will still count in your favour if you pursue a
You should get a suitably qualified gas engineer to give you a solution
(possibly a different chimney pot or extension) and then speak to your
neighbour about him fitting the bill for it.
Ok many thanks. I have managed to find some documents online showing
the effects of developing close to a chimney and building above its
height. The diagrams show that the air pressure changes causing
downdraft. My next concern is that my neighbour is planning to build
another dormer window at the back of the house in a position closer to
my rear chimney stack which is used by the downstairs living room gas
fire. This chimney stack has always been lower than the other which at
present is affected. The second dormer will be about four feet away
and several feet above.
Then you should notify building control of your concerns as soon as you are
aware work is planned.
You should also insist on the Party Wall procedure being followed. If work
starts and you have/can not come to a solution, then you should seek an
injunction on the works, which the Courts would be obliged to grant.
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