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Installing Decorative Fireplace - Do BR Still Apply


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#1 Sluck

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

I have opened up a fireplace in our kitchen and replaced the lintel which was in bad repair. I am planning on installing an original slate fire surround, cast iron fire place and slate hearth. As you can see from the photos the original hearth was removed. I do not ever plan to use this fireplace for solid fuel or gas, it is purely decorate. Because of this do building regualtions still apply with regards to hearth sizes?

My plan is to lay an MDF board on the joists, add some temporary sides and fill it with concrete to create a constructional hearth, the slate hearth will then be laid on top of this. Obviously this is in conflict with Building regualtions if it was to be a working fire place, but as it is not will this be ok?

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Thanks

Steve

#2 tony51

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:50 PM

Approved Document J covers 'Combustion Appliances and fuel storage'. As yours will not be a combustion appliance,
the regs will not apply.

#3 Sluck

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:27 PM

Thank you, it could however be used as one, in theory. I won't be using it, but the next owner of the house might think, a fire place, I will get the chimney swept and use it. Does this matter?

#4 Nickfromwales

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:01 PM

Build it to suit your current requirements and inform any new buyer that it is decorative only. That covers you for all aspects of your enquiry :-)

#5 tony51

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:04 PM

Legally, no. What future owner do to the property is up to them. If in doubt, they should get the appliance and chimney checked.
Whether you feel any moral obligation to future owners is up to you.

#6 joiner

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:33 PM

Except that there are instances where BC assume they have a moral obligation to protect future owners, which is an argument for running your intentions past them to see if this is one of them.

Where forum advice is concerned, I work on the principle that if there's any doubt advise they check it out - unless there's a regulation somewhere that covers any instance specifically.

Edited by joiner, 13 November 2013 - 05:33 PM.


#7 Nickfromwales

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:48 PM

Yes, legally not a prob, but as your concerned I've suggested passing that info onto a new buyer.

Edited by joiner, 13 November 2013 - 06:31 PM.
Typo


#8 Nickfromwales

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:49 PM

My post crossed with joiners.

#9 tony51

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:51 PM

View Postjoiner, on 13 November 2013 - 05:33 PM, said:

Except that there are instances where BC assume they have a moral obligation to protect future owners, which is an argument for running your intentions past them to see if this is one of them.


I've had this on various occasions with more junior inspectors.
If they mistakenly ask for something which is not strictly required under Building Regulations, they sometimes fall back on the
'but-we-have-a-moral-obligation-to-future-occupiers-of-the-property' argument.
It's then that we have to point out politely that the Council has no moral obligation to anyone,
only a legal duty to enforce the regulations.

#10 Nickfromwales

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 05:54 PM

BR are there for the legal ( and encompassed moral ) obligations. If no BR is required then no obligation should be either, other than if your a nice person who'd fwd your info onto any potential future buyer ( like I would 100% ).

Edited by joiner, 13 November 2013 - 06:32 PM.
Typo


#11 joiner

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:40 PM

If it looks like a working fireplace then someone will light a fire in that wonderful "original feature" - and they'll probably get away with it too.

Brick-up the flue and type out the indemnity NOW. Then, having guaranteed a toe on the moral high ground, you won't need to worry about forgetting to do it when you sell on. :)

#12 ProDave

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:02 PM

The thing that concerns me is that downstairs is in different ownership.

And you are thinking of hacking a bit off a joist that's supporting his ceiling.

Should there not be something akin to a party wall agreement before doing this?

Personally I would but in a stone decorative hearth and use a raised stove that does not need a constructional hearth, i.e one that's rated to stand directly on a flammable surface.

#13 Sluck

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:39 PM

There seem to be a lot of issues with regards to getting this fireplace fitted, the party wall being a nice little bit of icing. I plan on doing the place up and selling it on so not having any working fireplaces isn't the end of the world. In theory it would be possibly to reinstate the fireplaces and meet building regs but the hassle involved is outweighing the benefit.

Final question - how to I permanently brick up the chimney breast but still have a fireplace installed, i.e. brick up the inside of it. Or is there an easier way, loads and loads of expanding foam? ;-)

#14 Nickfromwales

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:15 PM

Nothing combustible ! And not lots of foam !
Use an Ellis board or cement board and intumescent silicone to form a closure plate.
Anyone who breaks through that to light a fire isn't your responsibility right now. Fit an electric feature fire if you want to have a heat source. You can get some really nice effect ones.

#15 joiner

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 01:29 PM

I'd personally brick it up.