1920 bungalow chimney stack replacement

Old 04-05-16, 07:46 PM
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1920 bungalow chimney stack replacement

Hello all. I just bout a 2 story bungalow built 1917-1920 in Jacksonville, FL. The brick fireplace looks great, but it is not usable as the interior chimney was cut off in the attic years ago. This is a travesty to me, and I don't want to sit in my living room looking at a useless fireplace. So, is this something to remedy myself? The brick is probably softer than modern and the mortar is probably straight lime, given the age. Above the roofline, I calculate it will have to be 7' high given the pitch. Assuming a camera inspection says the flu is in good shape up to the attic, would you just reopen the roof and build it up? The gable should shield it from wind, so would you use the same lime putty rather than type N above the roof? I would make copper flashing/counter-flashing, and maybe pour a cement cap in place. Would you make some kind of bond beam in the attic to distribute the weight of the new stack? Or would you hire a mason who does historic restoration and knows what the heck he's doing?
Any feedback and input is appreciated.
Old 05-02-16, 06:53 PM
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Speaking as a retired gas fireplace repairman, I think it would be wise to hire a competent mason to restore the chimney system.

A GOOD chimney will allow you to enjoy fires for decades. A POOR chimney will cause you huge amounts of aggravation when it fails to vent properly.

And I'd consider installing a direct vent gas fireplace rather than a conventional wood fireplace. Conventional fireplace are find for decoration, but they are MASSIVELY inefficient, and really an obsolete technology.

A direct vent gas fireplace is highly efficient and provides a reliable backup source of heat for a home --- always a VERY good thing to have.

I'd shop around and educate yourself on the options. A wood stove insert might be an alternative if you want to burn wood, and you could install a metal vent and not bother with the masonry.

Again, shop around and consider carefully what you really want to do. Wood fires require a lot of labor, while a gas fireplace takes very little.

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