Firebox Repair Question

LaurieOctober 1, 2011

I have a 95 year old home and am about to make repairs to the entire chimney and fireplace to clear a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy issue.

First, I knew I had to have the liner installed to bring it up to Code. Let alone, it's leaking from somewhere during heavy rains. Was given a price which includes resealing the chimney base, the permit fee, and resetting of the boiler and hot water heater into the base of the new liner. Had 2 people come in for quotes, both came in at approx. the same amount ($1500 on special thru this past August, without the permit, but I didn't take it so probably a few hundred more now, the 2nd at $2185), so I don't feel like I'm being ripped off (both, are certified companies).

I also need to have masonry issues addressed and this is where I have a question, since my funds are tight.

The firebox back wall is currently stable but, not in good condition at all and the brick needs replacement. Very costly. The first company had given me a 2nd quote to give me a new flue extention for the fireplace and fireproof the smoke chamber (apparently this item is very costly) for $3500 and, I'd have to call in a mason for who knows how much to repair the brick (at least $5000-$8000?).

The 2nd company, would do same for $3250, and add in wiring and plastering of the firebox, which would in essence take out the need to re-do the brick; but, leave the back wall of the firebox smoothed over and gray in color.

I *think* I could live with this, in order to save more than several thousand dollars. I've spent SO much money on renovating this home already in the 1 year I've owned it, and have so much more to do that that it seems wasteful to spend that much on the fireplace. I guess I could pile up logs inside it when not in use, and you'd never really see the back wall?

Anyway, I would love some opinions on going this route. The company has been in business here for eons, and has a great reputation so I know they know what they're doing. But, I can't find any photos online to give me an idea of what it might look like; that would certainly make me feel a lot better about it if I could see a visual of the end result.

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