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Exposing a Fireplace


I live in a 109 year old Victorian home which I purchased in the summer of 2009. Prior to purchasing, the home inspector indicated to me that a fireplace existed behind the living room wall. The walls in the living room have wood paneling on top of plaster. A few weeks ago, I shined a flashlight into the pocket door between the living room and the dining room. I was able to see a chimney in there, but I was unable to determine if there was a fireplace.

How can I determine if a fireplace is indeed behind the living room wall (if possible, without tearing down the wall)?


A. Spruce
Re: Exposing a Fireplace

Start by examining the roof line in the general area of the wall where the chimney is located. If it exits the house, then it's possible that it still exists inside. If no chimney protrudes from the roof, then it has likely been abandoned and terminated. If the chimney is still present, then a chimney sweep can send a camera down to not only check the integrity of the liner, but to see if a fireplace still resides at the bottom.

Re: Exposing a Fireplace

Carefully remove the base board, cut a couple of holes that the baseboard will cover and use a light and video camera. If you can rent a fiber optic inspection camera it would even be better.

However, built 109 years ago a full inspection would be needed to see if the fireplace and chimney is safe to use.

Re: Exposing a Fireplace

Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate it. I will definitely hire a chimney sweep and have them check to see if they can locate the fireplace. Sure would be nice if the fireplace is still intact. This house is full of surprises. There is a stairway that was sealed off from the 2nd floor leading down to the kitchen. Fun stuff. :)

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