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Prospective homebuyer, but there's this HUGE fireplace

Posted by combat_commo (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 7:14

There's a house that the wife and I are interested in but there's one major thing that has got to go. The fireplace....
The house was built in 1979 but this is not the original fireplace. The chimney on the outside is brick but you can see where later on they decided to add this HUMONGOUS fireplace. It's solid stone but it's not actually attached to the wall behind it, (the wall behing it is actually the other side to a wall in the kitchen but I believe it is what they call free standing?) There is enough space between the wall and fireplace to where you can literally stick your fingers between but you cannot see through to the other side. The stone seems pretty damn solid but we are wondering if we could just remove the whole thing or remodel it to a smaller more modern fireplace. This fireplace takes up the room of a love seat, that's how huge it actually is. Any advice or suggestions?

This post was edited by combat_commo on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 10:06


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Prospective homebuyer, but there's this HUGE fireplace

Fireplaces have to be deconstructed from the top down. So, what does the roof penetration area look like? And are you willing to live with a patched area on the roof?


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RE: Prospective homebuyer, but there's this HUGE fireplace

Well, if there a way to just take away the stone and mortar and then just leave the brick chimney like in this attached picture.(sorry it's the best pic I have) I would rather do that then have to patch the roof. Or if we could remodel it back to brick but smaller?


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RE: Prospective homebuyer, but there's this HUGE fireplace

Well, if there a way to just take away the stone and mortar and then just leave the brick chimney like in this attached picture.(sorry it's the best pic I have) I would rather do that then have to patch the roof. Or if we could remodel it back to brick but smaller?


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RE: Prospective homebuyer, but there's this HUGE fireplace

You are looking at major bucks either way. The law of gravity will not allow you to keep a masonry chimney on a roof, unsupported by a structure below it- especially if the fireplace really is freestanding. That means it was designed to bear its own weight from the bottom up and must be deconstructed from top down. You could get a structural engineer to figure out how to support the chimney temporarily if you wanted to take out the stone and rebuild with brick, but that would be difficult and expensive. Best way to go I think, is to take it out entirely, and pay for a new roof instead.


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RE: Prospective homebuyer, but there's this HUGE fireplace

Do you know if this is a prefab fireplace insert? I have seen construction where they build a wood and Sheetrock enclosure for the prefab unit and just face the whole thing with a rock veneer. The chimney is usually built the same way and it sometimes does not use the stone in the house as a support for the weight of the chimney.

Take a look in the attic to see if the rock extends all the way through and supports the chimney on the roof. If the chimney is just a veneer over framing that is directly supported by a reinforced area under the roof, you can take away the stone inside without causing any problems. However, if the stone extends all the way up through the house and bears the load of the chimney you have remove the exterior chimney first.

Bruce


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