making a two sided fireplace

abchoppersJune 1, 2009

Hi all, I have a one story ranch with a fireplace in my den. The backside of the fireplace and chimney are outside and run up the exterior back wall. Right where the backside lies is where my outside seating area and patio is, so here's my plan:

Cut a hole into the backside of the fireplace to make it a two sided fireplace, one outside and one inside. I would install steel doors on the outside for when it's not in use and winter.

My questions: Are there any structural problems with cutting hole into the fireplace? Is a header needed? I'm very knowledgeable in construction, just never really did much masonry work. Thanks for any replies.

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I would pose your question in the forum in They have people there who love to tackle questions like yours. You might also go to for a listing of chimney experts who might help.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 6:41PM
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There are lots of problems with what you are trying to do. Yes you would need to put a header or lintel above the opening which is very difficult to do. You will also have to remove the throat damper which may be supporting the front of the fireplace. And you would have to make airtight doors for both sides of the fireplace and only open one side at a time. However you must have one side open when ever you are burning or you will have created an oversize masonry stove which can over heat the combustibles next to the chimney and result in a late night visit from the guys with the big red trucks. I wouldn't recommend that project.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:41PM
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