Tearing out our fireplace-what's inside the wall??
This may sound really silly, but I can't seem to visualize just exactly what we'll find if we tear out our fireplace so that we can build a classic wooden surround for the opening.
We live in a condo that was built before our county even had building codes. Our prefab fireplace is between 2 sliding glass doors and currently has a stone facade and slightly raised hearth, with the 'chimney' jutting out of the exterior wall.
A wood slab mantle sits on top of the stone facade like a cap, but I'm not sure how it stays there...there are two stone 'things' jutting out under the mantle just slightly in from the outside edges, but honestly, they don't look like a veneer covering up a 2x2 board or anything like that.....what could they be??
What would the mantle possibly be attached to inside the wall? There's hardly room for any studs to be in there unless there's absolutely no insulation in there, so I don't think they're attached to anything like that, but that may be exactly what it's attached to somehow.
Anyway, I simply want to rip out the stonework including the 6" high hearth and the slab mantle and then custom build a wooden surround with a deeper mantle shelf than what I currently have. But I don't want any costly surprises once I start ripping stuff out, if you know what I mean.
I also want to lower the hearth to floor level and use tile for the hearth -- we're on a slab so all I have to consider is making the hearth somewhat the same height as hardwood floors when we finally install some.
Any help letting me know what I'm in for would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks in advance,