Possible to turn a basement fireplace to a first floor?

meagainDecember 22, 2010

I hope someone can help me a bit on this. Everyone I speak to gives a blank stare.

I have a fireplace in the basement. I would like to seal that off and punch in a fireplace in the existing stack to make a first floor fireplace.

Has ANYone done this?

My main concern (IF this can be done) is support for the new firebox. Of course I'd have pros do all this but I'd still like to glean information on the basics of how this would be done and so I can make sure they're doing it right. There is access to the basement firestack due to an odd closet/vertical crawl there.

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fandlil

I think I understand your situation -- you want a fireplace on the first floor. So why not use the chimney that's used for the basement fireplace. What you have in mind can, IN PRINCIPLE, be done. But how costly and messy a job it would be, and whether that's a more desirable alternative to building a fireplace from scratch, would have to be determined by a chimney expert after looking over your fireplace. I have a feeling that any reputable contractor would probably give you a rough estimate of the cost, and stipulate that he cannot be sure because once he breaks into the chimney he may find some bad surprises that will add to the cost. It would probably be a good idea to get more than one professional opinion on this project.

On the other hand, maybe your chimney was already built with two updrafts to accomodate a fireplace on the first floor to be put in at some future time. That would be a really lucky break. But if that's not the case, and you go ahead with a first floor fireplace, you probably will no longer be able to use the one in the basement. Or possibly only one at a time, but never both simultaneously.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 11:14PM
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meagain

Thank you for responding. I don't want to use the one in the basement so I'd want to completely nuke that one. You're right about the can of worms aspect to the point where I'd bank on it. But right now I'm thinking it would be silly to knock down a perfectly fine chimney stack to rebuild another so they better be able to do it for me. LOL

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 4:59PM
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mainegrower

Given enough time and money, there's no reason why what you propose could not be done. A much easier and cheaper alternative, however, would be a first floor wood stove rather than a fireplace. You would have to build a hearth for the stove to stand on, create a 6" opening in the chimney for the stove pipe, and block off the present basement fireplace - that's it. (Unless the chimney lining needs attention). You'd avoid considerable expense and not have to worry about supporting the weight of a new fireplace. In addition, you would wind up with a much cleaner, much more efficient source of heat.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 6:09AM
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fandlil

I agree with Maingrower. The choices of stoves is large, so you might be able to find one that's right for you.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 4:58PM
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