Remove chimney in HOA

wcantrell2003September 29, 2013

I live in an HOA and want to change the layout of the inside of my house. My HOA is very difficult to work with and does not like changing the appearance of the houses visually (exterior). This is a problem for me because I have a fireplace that is in the center of the main living space that is eating up lots of space. I have to replace it anyways because the insert back wall is cracked. There is a huge area of unusable counter space and extra walls surrounding the fireplace. I want to turn this area into a kitchen island and reclaim 50-75 sq ft of wasted space for my living room.

Is it possible/normal to remove the fireplace but leave the roof portion of the chimney in place? If so that would work out great and allow me to flip the living room around 180 degrees and use another wall to use for my tv. My house was built in 1997, the interior portion of the fireplace is just drywall and wood frame. The roof chimney is stucco to match the house. I am currently saving up for my remodel and plan to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the walls I want to remove.

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Follow-up I do plan to have a new fireplace put in on the new proposed tv wall. I am researching my options to see if a direct vent or electric fireplace will work better since the proposed wall is also an interior wall. That part is for another day though :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:26PM
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I'd have the plans drawn up professionally, with the removed FP and your new FP, and see what the HOA says. If it will end up looking very similar and stay in line with the look of the neighborhood, they may be easier to work with than you think.

I thought for sure our HOA would be a huge PIA to work with. When we replaced our windows (due to mold/leaks), we discovered a lot of shoddy construction with issues. We basically had to replace a lot of plywood, wrap the house (it wasn't wrapped at all), and replace the siding. This was all uncovered in a day, and we had one night to decide on siding so it could get ordered ASAP. So we picked a nice sage green color that fit in well with the color palate here.

Well, turns out there are no green colors on the "approved" list. But we were too busy dealing with rotten walls, carpenter ants, and other fun stuff to remember to get approval for the work.

So one day we had a bunch of guys in suits with clipboards standing in the road for a few hours. Soon after, a "friendly reminder" about ALL exterior changes needing HOA approval went out to everyone. Luckily they didnt make a huge deal out of it, most likely because everything fit in well.

Then I though for sure they'd deny our landscaping plans, which included regrading (lawn sloped to the house, so sump pump ran all the time), replacing the deck with a patio (deck had to come off for regrading anyway), and planting assorted trees/shrubs. Nope! Got a short letter back saying it looked great, go ahead!

So I guess you never know until you ask!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:58PM
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