fire wall in loft missing


Hi all,
Buying a house. Mortgage offer has come through and has one condition listed:
"Our Solicitor must obtain, and place with the Title Deeds, an undertaking that the following works will be completed within six months from the date of the Mortgage Deed: Complete fire break wall repair. "
Doesn't sound too bad...
From what the surveyor has said (I've not got the report yet) there is a small part of the wall missing (never built). Is this a case of building a lightweight concrete block wall up to roof level? I think it's only a metre or so long at one end, so tapers to nothing at the eaves.
Does it need sealing in anyway to the roof? Can't see how that would work, and there doesn't seem to be any sealing for the rest of it.
Internet is inclusive. Survey report might have more info I guess, but I'm not holding my breath!
Any advice?
Darren
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On Friday, 17 May 2019 09:41:23 UTC+1, Darren Chapman wrote:

Block (laid flat, rather than two leaves) will be easier to do from one side only, or can be done in stud and plasterboard - possibly double-clad each side.

Fire-rated intumescent foam.

Building Regs may apply if it's forming a new fire barrier, so factor in the cost and time of going through that process. Also Party Wall Act :-)
Owain
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On 17/05/2019 10:18, snipped-for-privacy@gowanhill.com wrote:

+1
And while in principle you could ask neighbour to share the cost in practice likely not worth it - the more so as it'll be /much/ cheaper for you if neighbour signs off Party Wall Act without surveyors on a "DIY agreement" - see <https://www.gov.uk/guidance/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance> for sample letters
--
Robin
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On 17/05/2019 11:26, Robin wrote:

The neighbour might well chip in and assist if he is asked if he's told his insurer's of this lack of fire-break? :-)
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We had to have that done on an old terrace house you could go into your loft and get into anyone else's in that block you could get down into their place and rob 'em!
So best not to let a fire do the same, it took a couple of blokes around a sat morning and they were all done around 2 ish. Didn't cost that much either around 8 years odd ago now ...
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Tony Sayer


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[[snip]]

It's a bit less worrying than that, as it's from a closed bit of their roof space. They could cut a hole in their bathroom ceiling and come over I guess but I'm not overly concerned about that just now :)

Ok, that's good to know. Do you know if it was "sealed" - thinking back to all my previous places they have had walls, but not airtight sealed with foam or anything. I've no idea if that's normal, but given the inspection that found this was "a bloke up a ladder 10m away with a torch peering" it doesn't feel like that level of detail was cared about...
If it can be done from my side only, and not invoke party wall issues that would also be grand. Neighbour is away for many many months at a time in the middle east (not seen him since Oct for example!) so that might be painful :-/
Darren
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On 17/05/2019 11:24, Darren Chapman wrote:

What matters is not whether it can be done from your side but where you are building: if you are building up the party wall then the Act is engaged. See the booklet on the gov.uk site I gave a link to in my earlier post.
I suggest you try to get an email address for the neighbour. (An email "signature" should be OK in my opinion for what very little that's worth.)
It would of course be very naughty indeed to go ahead without. But FYI there are no actual penalties for not complying with the Act...
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Robin
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Or house loads of asylum seekers up there I guess! However its not just fire is it, water leaks vermin and all of that can simply move about if there is no barriers. Brian
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I would talk to your council building control about it, pay their fee, get their advice, and make friends with them
[g] On Friday, May 17, 2019 at 9:41:23 AM UTC+1, Darren Chapman wrote:

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I thought that, but the surveyor said they wouldn't be interested as it was only a tiny bit of wall missing, and it wasn't a significant change
*shrugs*
It all seems a little vague! Maybe I'll just get a builder round to see what they think and quote and let them get on with it :-(
Any one know a builder in the folkestone area who would be interested in a fairly crap little job? ;-)
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do it yourself- i'd use heavy concrete blocks or bricks and readymix mortar if its a little job
[g]
ps thinking of putting a smoke alarm in my loft as it joins to the neighbours with 2 man size holes!
On Friday, May 17, 2019 at 12:23:24 PM UTC+1, Darren Chapman wrote:

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On 17/05/2019 12:23, Darren Chapman wrote:

Apologies for stating the obvious but much depends on the state of the neighbour's ceiling. Eg if you are looking at old lath and plaster in a state where one dropped brick would fill his bath it may call for some care. I'd wondered about fitting a plasterboard "screen" and then building the blocks flush to that.
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Robin
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It's likely crap lath and plaster - cottage is from 1890 and mine (or soon to be mine hopefully!) are.
Got a couple of pics now of the issue:
https://tinyurl.com/wallinplace
Thats the front, where it's ok.
https://tinyurl.com/missingwall
shows the bit that's missing annoyingly :-/
Darren
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wrote:

you are lucky it's a purlin roof or you wouldn't have a wall at all .....just a chimney breast or two ....tee hee
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On 17/05/2019 15:19, Darren Chapman wrote:

It looks as if you have a outgoing roof apex to the right so that wall might have to reach some distance with possibly not much load support beneath.
Perhaps a firewall can be made of plasterboard?
https://www.british-gypsum.com/white-book-system-selector/systems-overview/specialist-partitions/firewall
--
Adrian C

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Hmm. Well spotted. I'd not even noticed that. Yes, now I think about it, you are right. The bathroom (above the kitchen) is out the back there so that makes sense.
Bugger, that makes it quite a bit bigger job than I thought. Ho hum. Maybe I'll not be replacing the boiler then :-(
Guess I'll need to get some prices and try to find the neighbour, but he is out of the country and I've no idea how to get in touch! This is going to be quite a bit more expensive than I'd hoped :-(

I think there is a wall along there that should be ok, but I don't know that for sure - as you say, it's not holding up the roof! So yeah, plasterboard might be an option. Tiny loft hatch though, so that won't help.
Lightweight concrete blocks have also been suggested - that sounds easier to get up there, and to handle.
So, anyone know a builder in Folkestone area who might be interested? At least now it's a bigger job there might be more chance of someone wanting the work!
Cheers,
Darren
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On 18/05/2019 14:29, Darren Chapman wrote:

Putting in a larger loft hatch isn't abig job. Even easier if you use one of the pre-made ones.

That'd probably be what I'd look at. You don't need any structural strength, just something to stop fire spreading easily. Single skin would probably be all you need too, but I don't know what the regulations actually require.
SteveW
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On 17/05/2019 15:19, Darren Chapman wrote:

I have something very like that in my c1900 semi. Was filled up with breeze blocks my surveyor described it as 'very recent'[*] but I suspect it could have been done before the previous owners moved in 30 years ago.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UbbqRwU0a1gxRX0XunrwuMcRyTfuYfrJ/view?usp=sharing
[*]> The party wall is built in brick and at the top of some of the walling infill with quilt has been added to

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bugger wet trades in the loft....metal stud and fireline board and bags of intumescent material and intumescent foam sealing gaps .....stuff building standards approval .......
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On Friday, 17 May 2019 09:41:23 UTC+1, Darren Chapman wrote:

,
Yes the party wall etc act applies. Yes it's just a simple block wall. The point is to stop spread of fire. Lots of such walls have the top gaps cemen t mortared. If your neighbour doesn't comply & agree you'll need to pay for their solicitor re this job. I daresay a lot of people would do it without even asking, but the PWA forbids that. Read the simple govt guidance on th e PWA.
NT
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