All you need to know about removing a chimney stack including costs of materials, costs of labour and time frames.
When people talk about removing a chimney, they are generally referring to a chimney stack rather than the complete chimney. The chimney stack is the part of the chimney that sticks up above the roof. Therefore, a quote for chimney removal does not normally include removing the chimney breast or the hearth (if you do wish to remove the entire chimney the costs would be considerably higher). In this article we are simply considering the removal of the chimney above the roofline and then tiling the roof over.
Any additional work over and above this would need a separate quote. The most common reason to remove a chimney stack is if the chimney is in a state of disrepair, as often it will cost more to repair than it would to simply remove it. In addition, the need for chimneys has reduced significantly thanks to the prevalence of gas central heating.
While you have scaffold erected for roof access, it makes sense to have any other roofing work carried out, so any roof tiles that need replacing or repairs to the fascia/roofline could be carried out at a reduced cost. At the very least have your roof inspected and checked for any damage at the same time.
A typical chimney stack removal job would mean the hiring of scaffold, the removal of all cement flaunching and chimney cowls/pots, dismantling and removal of all bricks to the ground, then the supply and install of new roofing felt, timber and roofing tiles. Finally, the disposal of all waste material will be required, which may involve skip hire if the chimney stack is large. Depending on the age and design of your chimney, you may be able to sell some of the items such as clay chimney cowls and pots can to a reclaim yard or roofer's merchants.
Second hand Victorian bricks can be worth as much as 50p each, so you can potentially save a lot of money if you sell them on. If you have leadwork around the chimney this can also be weighed in at a metal recycling yard for cash, effectively reducing the overall cost.
Removing a chimney stack is not normally a DIY job, there is much to go wrong with this task and damage can easily be caused to the roof structure which can be dangerous and potentially cost a lot of money to put right. A bodged chimney stack removal can cause ventilation and condensation problems along with actual structural problems. Working without a scaffold tower can be extremely dangerous so if considering DIY at least ensure you follow safety precautions. A scaffold tower will typically cost around £300.
If you are determined to go the DIY route, you will still need to take professional advice regarding the structure and to liaise with Building Control, so there will be fees to be paid in any case. So even doing the job on a DIY basis you will still have scaffolding and professional fees to pay - then of course you need to factor in the tools and materials required plus the cost of your time. Once the many factors have been considered, it's no surprise that chimney stack removal is a job most often left to professionals!
The average cost for chimney stack removal is usually in the range of £900-£1200 depending upon the size of the chimney and whether or not scaffolding will be needed.
Roofers normally work in pairs and charge around £250-£300 per day. Removing a chimney stack shouldn't take much longer than a day and if it's a small-medium sized chimney, two roofers should be able to complete the job in half a day.
Here are a few average costs for removing a chimney stack, not including the time it takes to erect the scaffolding:
|Chimney Size||Chimney Position||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Small-Medium||Near the Eaves||£1000||3-5 hours|
|Large||Near the Eaves||£1250||5-7 hours|
Individual costs for removing a medium-sized chimney stack positioned near the eaves of the roof - Total Cost: £1000