Demo. or Modify My Fireplace?

wags848June 22, 2012

Greetings! We are switching to a direct vent fireplace which will require some modifications to the brick. A good time to update my fireplace. I've never like it because it looks too large for the wall/room, the bricks are too close to the windows, & its size darkens the room.

Options I'm considering:

1) New Mantle - Wider & better proportioned to the FP. A white or cream color. Paint upper crown molding to match.

2) Remove bricks from sides (8-12 in.) to reduce width (not sure if possible).

3) Add a surround w/tile or stone inside it; perhaps panel over the upper half of the bricks.

4) Paint the bricks white/off-white, paint mantel & molding.

5) Start over! Demo the bricks, put crown molding in whole room, & find a fireplace I truly like.

I am collecting inspiration photos from Houzz, etc. & feeling overwhelmed. Would love opinions from others! Thanks in advance!

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I would go for number 5 if you can afford it. I agree, it's too close to the windows and dwarf the rest of the room..

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Thx for your thoughts, EngineerChic! We may be forced to rip out the bricks if we decide to tear down half our chimney due to leaks. Still on the fence on that one; researching options again. If we go that route, we'd need a direct vent FP which would have a different firebox size. That would mean tearing out inside bricks.
Decisions, decisions!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:50PM
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You'll never regret doing it the way you REALLY wanted.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 1:41AM
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Circus Peanut

Could it be that the windows were replaced once upon a time? I ask because the classic scenario has higher smaller windows flanking these more elaborate stone fireplaces. What age is your house?

Lots of choices, enjoy the process!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:20AM
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circuspeanut (love that name & candy,BTW!) - Those are the original windows. We built the house in 2000. The first framers put the windows in the wrong place...then the bricks went up and they were too close to the windows. We should have pushed the builder to fix, but in a rush to close; got some money back though.

lynn_r_ct - Thx for those words of encouragement! The process is a bit overwhelming, but once the kids are back in school I can focus more on the options. You are so right...I won't regret it...need to pull the trigger & tear down those bricks!

Thinking a simple white surround, granite or marble inside surround, and white crown molding in the entire room.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:24PM
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If you have the option of a demo anyways, why not try option #4 to see if it will lighten the room and have the fireplace and windows blend together better? If it is not to your liking, you can go ahead with the demo plan.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:27PM
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