How much of this double-sided stone fireplace can I demolish!?!

ashie0324August 10, 2008

My husband and I just bought a house that has a double-sided stone fireplace smack dab in the middle of the great room. It's a beautiful room but whoever built the house, had no idea of proportion and the fireplace is so large! To boot, there is about an 18 inch raised stone hearth on both sides, taking away even more of my room! I'd love to get rid of the hearth and maybe "shave" down some inches (or feet!!) on either side of the firebox. Anyone know how big of a job that will be? Will it be really $$?

Also, once the hearth is removed, will it look weird if we don't lower the firebox? Please help us!!

I have tons of digital pictures but I'm not sure how to post. Help me with that too!!! Did I do it right?? Can I upload pics directly into my message without posting them on a site?

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures

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We have a similar issue with our fireplace and, after considering various options, reluctantly decided not to disturb the overall structure.

I would caution against removing the hearth. It's there for a reason: It's noncombustible and that's important protection against a fire. Lowering the firebox to floor level and then installing a hearth at floor level will probably be a very big, very messy and very costly undertaking, almost like rebuilding the whole thing.

You might be able to remove the raised hearth and install a floor level hearth in its place. I think that would be okay from the safety standpoint, provided the new hearth is about the same size at the old one. You will then need to extend the fireplace surround so it goes under the firebox as well as over and on the sides. That sounds like the work of a mason, or maybe you can install metal -- either copper or powder-coated steel in black so it looks like cast iron, if you like that look and think it will blend.

If you want to reduce the size of the firebox, you could consider a fireplace insert. The most popular ones are gas-fired, either natural or propane. They are expensive ($3-4.5K), and typically come with fireplace surround to cover the old firebox opening.

I would guess that the kinds of changes you are contemplating would total about $6K or more. And picking a competent installer involves a leap of faith.

Ask a fireplace contractor for a free estimate. Then you'll know.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:56PM
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Thanks so much for the info. Is it ridiculous to dream of getting rid of the entire structure all together?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:32AM
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You can do practically anything, if you're prepared to spend the money and put up with the dust and the mess, and sometimes with disappointment due to marginal competence of the contractor. Before committing to a major renovation, consider what you can achieve by some modest cosmetic changes. It's quite possible that you can mask the aspects of the fireplace that you find undesirable by putting in things that draw attention away from what you do not like. It takes imagination and maybe the advice of somebody with a flair for interior design. For example, if the two-sided look bothers you, try to figure out how to de-emphasize it, maybe by painting in a color or colors that play it down.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:18PM
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We just took down our huge fireplace that sounds similar to yours. When I say "we", it was just my husband an I. It's a big job, but so worth it. We're going to install a dv gas fireplace in what's now a great room.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Hi ,

I wish to share this downloadable folder which I gathered from hundreds of resources in my search for a fireplace designs for my new home which am Finishing-Thanks God- Now.
The folder contains more than 300 images of fireplaces(stone, cultured stone,marble,venere and rumford, french designs and more) beside many DIY manuals about fireplace inserts, consctructing fireplaces, maintaning them and wood burning tips. I will be posting more soon and the folder is being updated from time to then I hope it is not forbidden to share rapidshare folders.

Please enjoy the download:
The file is 67 MB and is worth seeing I hope!!

This new folder contains Much more images of Fireplace designs, beside the previous folder is incorporated inside here. Please follow the download link:

I appreciate any input from you, I would love to get more images if you have any to update the two folders.



    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:05AM
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