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sara's house
Fireplace Conversion

I would like to replace the stone around this fireplace with a different type and color of stone and also convert it into a gas fireplace.
Could someone please enlighten me on what it would take to accomplish this???


Re: Fireplace Conversion

Judging by the style, depth of the hearth and mantle and the stone style, this was fairly recently (5-10 years ago) covered with a stone veneer and was a brick hearth and mantle originally. Your home looks like 1910-20 Craftsman and you fireplace certainly is not that.

The upright section and hearth area was probably mortared directly to existing brick. That will make it a bit of a chore as, being fairly new; it will be solid and difficult to remove. The bright side is that anyone who would have done that job probably wasn’t too experienced and the mortar is probably weak and should break apart easily.

Once you have an even surface after removing the stone, you can cover the base brick with what you like. I doubt that the brick below will be salvageable.

Obviously, since I’d never recommend a homeowner do their own gas work, you should be able to find a professional to convert the opening to gas fairly easily if you have gas available on your property.

sara's house
Re: Fireplace Conversion

Thanks Kelly,
I didn't realize that the fireplace is not original to the house.
I'm posting a pic of the exterior, the home was built in 1922. The next question I have is - does the stonework on the front porch column also look like a veneer?
We just bought this house, the home inspector advised is that the stone work needs shoring because its crumbling.
The addition at the back also needs to be beefed up because its not well supported!!
I wanted to have the same support colums at the back to look like the columns in the front just to unify the look of the back and the front.

Re: Fireplace Conversion

Well, the fireplace is original, the veneer isn’t. Just to clarify.

The stonework in front is not original, although the taper to the columns is. It’s probably a decorative veneer over the original tapered columns. Most people simply veneer those tapered areas with architectural shingles. The original shingle cover tends to be worn by wet weather, vine growth or simple sprinkler erosion and, well, normal rot because of the growth and wet around them.. The stone veneer certainly hasn’t anything to do with anything structural. The columns themselves, however, are structural supports to the roof above them and usually rest on, relatively, shallow concrete caissons.

Your second floor on the back is very unlikely original. And, as can be expected, inspectors tend to be concerned about the original foundation’s capability to support the addition. Making a guess, based on the lap siding surrounding it, the addition was likely added in the late 60s or early 70s. The extension to the back, as you probably are aware, also isn’t original. But you certainly can use tapered supporting columns beneath it to enhance the look and make inspectors happy.

Aside… All in all, it seriously helps to know where the houses are when I answer questions. Building codes are “Uniform” but building needs and inspector expectations vary widely by region. Other than the lush growth, I’d pick that house as a Denver 1920s. The new Mini-Mansions around it pinpoint a few possible locations… But, if you don’t mind my asking, and for my general info-banks, where is that house located?

sara's house
Re: Fireplace Conversion

My apologies for not providing complete info, the house is located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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