removing my chimney


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Old 01-02-05, 12:50 PM
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removing my chimney

I want to remove a section of unused chimney from my home's attic, and possibly from the main floor as well. The chimney no longer goes through the roof of the home. That part was taken care of years ago, thankfully.

The chimney runs from the attic (see enclosed link to photo) down to the main floor. The problem is that there is no support beneath the chimney in the crawlspace, and the unsupported weight is causing a nice floor slope and exterior wall bulge and slight roof bow as well. My hope is that if I can remove the chimney, those three problems will improve somewhat over time.

My main question is, can I just go up there with hammer and chisel and hack away at it?

However, I have a couple of concerns, possibly silly ones, I don't know. The attic floor joists are just 2x4's and 24" on centre. Is it even safe for me (all 125 lbs of me) to be up there? Should my additional weight up there be any cause for concern?

The other concern is that in my online research, I've read that some chimneys actually provide some structural support in a house. Now I really don't think this is the case in my place, particularly as there's no support beneath the chimney in the crawlspace!! However, I just thought I would mention that too ...

I haven't contacted my municipality just yet, but has anyone heard of a job such as this requiring a permit?

Here's the attic portion of my lovely chimney. Roughly 7 feet of chimney up there: http://members.rogers.com/kelly.t1/interesting.jpg

Thanks for your time!
 
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Old 01-02-05, 01:03 PM
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From the picture Id for sure start and take it down. lay some other boards over the ceiling rafters there in the attic to work off of. Just a chisel and hammer is all you need there. Take it on down to the attic floor. then you can tell if anything is tied into it. If not just keep on going one brick at a time . Id say when its inside like this just do it

ED
 
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Old 01-04-05, 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Ed. I had another quick look up in the attic tonight. The chimney's on a bit of a tilt, and I'm hoping that's not any large cause for concern. I've seen photos online of other folks' chimneys that appear far worse. I also moved some of the blown-in insulation around my tiny attic access hatch. I was surprised to see that it's wood beneath it. (Not wood on top of the joists/rafters of course, that would be too good to be true). Is that unusual? My house is 75 years old. I also think I'm going to need an "assistant" up there with me, to tote bricks or at least keep me company. Should I be at all concerned about the weight of a couple of people working up there, assuming we're standing safely on boards of course.
 
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Old 01-04-05, 05:45 PM
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Put some boards up there to walk on .So all the weight is not on one rafter. That could be wood ceiling or just lath for the plaster to key to.


ED
 
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Old 02-24-05, 07:34 PM
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finally did it

Overall it took me about twelve hours, spread over five days. Probably would have been much quicker if I had better tools, but since I only used my existing simple hammer and a few screwdrivers, my only cost was for a few "dust masks" to wear while I was up there. Plus I was being extremely careful, having never tried any such task before! Of course, the time includes hauling bucketfuls of bricks down a ladder through my tiny attic access hatch! Such fun!!

http://members.rogers.com/kelly.t1/dayfive3.jpg

Now I've got to tackle the remaining portion of the chimney which runs down through my kitchen on the main floor.
 
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Old 02-25-05, 09:11 PM
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Newbie curious about your next step

Hey there...first post and all...

I noticed this thread because I too have a chimney to take out. This one goest into the crawl space as it was used for a furnace. I'm curious to hear how your project goes to the next level. When you get to it, let us know how it goes..

Bri
 
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Old 04-18-05, 05:26 PM
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Well, I'm sorry to report, I don't have much of an update. This past weekend I removed eight more layers of bricks from the chimney, below my kitchen's ceiling level. Then I came to a dead end. It appears that the whole chimney was being supported by a wooden platform enclosed within a wall of my kitchen. Of course, there's no support for this platform down in the crawlspace below!! What kind of yahoos would do such a thing?? Anyhoo, while dismantling the remains of the chimney, I came across some semi-charred newspapers, one of which had the readable date of July 2, 1976 on it. Here's the top portion of the platform which the chimney was resting on.

http://ca.geocities.com/kelly.t1@rogers.com/hatch8.jpg
 
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Old 04-18-05, 05:34 PM
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Hey my hats off to you cause its such a clean looking job.

You diod good.


Ed
 
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Old 04-18-05, 05:58 PM
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Hah! You should have seen the kitchen (and my brother and I) after us scooping 30 year old soot out of the base of the chimney! Yuck.

However, that chimney platform and surrounding enclosure takes up space in my small kitchen, so one day I just might make a project out of removing that platform and freeing up a bit of space. In my "spare time" you know??
 
 

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