Remove a fireplace


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Old 02-02-14, 02:12 AM
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Remove a fireplace

Is it a big deal to remove a fireplace? This one runs down the middle of the house where it opens in the basement and living room (2 locations). We just have no use for it and the masonry needs work. We thought about putting an insert in there so there wouldnt be any mess and would look like there is a fire and put out some heat. Just thinking about what kinda job it would be, what it may cost or if would be safe structurally to do.
 
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Old 02-07-14, 07:34 AM
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Nobody any any insight for this?
 
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Old 02-07-14, 08:58 AM
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I remove or seal up the fireplaces from my rental properties. When removing I start up on the roof and work down. It's not rocket science. Just a lot of knocking bricks apart. You want to use common sense but I have never run into a chimney that was structural for more than supporting it's own weight. Start at the top and work down.

Probably the first and biggest concern is how to deal with the tons of waste material. Sometimes I can back the truck up to the house and use a makeshift slide (a piece of large diameter plastic drain pipe) to guide bricks down to the truck. You have to be careful on the roof as bricks can take some odd bounces, sending them in directions you don't expect. Also you often can't see the landing zone below so it can be a hazard if someone wanders into the area.

After getting the bricks down as far as can be reached from the roof. I repair the hole and get the house weather tight. Then the real difficult stuff starts. In the attic you may be able to drop bricks down the flue and have someone below removing them from the fireplace. You want to insure that you don't put too many down and jam up your waste chute. If that happens you're schlepping 5 gallon buckets of bricks down from the attic.

It's a dusty, dirty job and a good face mask or respirator is almost required once working inside the house. This also means that a lot of dust & dirt gets stirred up inside the house so it's helpful to spend the time sealing off the work rooms with plastic to contain the dust.
 
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Old 02-08-14, 10:54 AM
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Thanks sir! Very much appreciated!

I also wonder about putting in an insert to make it look decorative yet at the same time put some heat out. Would those require the use of the flue? Sorry, dont know anything about this kinda thing.
 
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Old 02-08-14, 11:40 AM
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It probably only becomes a big deal if your firebox or flue has an asbestos liner, but maybe you won't get into that. Every so often, some framing will be attached to the chimney with a nail or two... but you will likely have some framing to patch up anyway once the bricks are removed.
 
 

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