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mu5t4ng
Reopening Closed Fireplace

I recently bought my first home, and I would like to reopen the fireplace that the previous owners closed off. The chimney looks intact on the outside of the house, but the fireplace has had sheetrock put over it, and a hideous built-in desk and cabinets installed over it. It looks as if the fireplace was/will be right in the middle of the desk, where the chair would go. I have no idea what to do first, or how to figure out if it's even possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

First check and see if the back wall is even with the wall in the next room. If it is, you may just have a stack for a stove. If the wall is a couple of feet or so further out than the wall next door, you may have a fire place, and the only way to check its condition is a tear out or the drywall.

Jack

ed21
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

My thought too, it doesn't look like a fireplace, but a flue only, possibly for a wood stove or a furnace in the basement.

A. Spruce
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

Make that 3 votes for no fireplace, only a flue for woodstove or furnace. Follow Jack's advice re: neighboring wall

mu5t4ng
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

First check and see if the back wall is even with the wall in the next room. If it is, you may just have a stack for a stove. If the wall is a couple of feet or so further out than the wall next door, you may have a fire place, and the only way to check its condition is a tear out or the drywall.

Jack

I'm not quite sure what you mean?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

Measure from the door way to the back wall, if the distance is the same in both rooms there is no fireplace, you only have a flue. There may have been a wood burner in that room or it is the flue for a furnace in the basement.

Jack

mu5t4ng
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

The wall is the same depth in both rooms, if that's what you mean. So that means there's only a hole leading into the chimney, correct?

Is it possible to tear out the cabinets and desk, and build a fireplace out of brick? Or must the fireplace be directly under the chimney? If it's possible, how would I go about learning to do this?

A. Spruce
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

Building a fireplace is not a DIY project. Another issue is that with today's EPA air quality standards, you may not even be able to build a fireplace. You could install a pellet stove or possibly a wood stove, depending on the restrictions in your area. As for the existing chimney, it may be suitable for an insert or wood stove if it has a steel liner, but it will not be suitable for a fireplace, which means completely removing it from the house and starting from scratch from the ground up.

Again, check with your local building department to see what is allowed in your area, then proceed from there.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Reopening Closed Fireplace

Also if it is already in use as the flue for your furnace it can't be used for a wood stove or pellet stove.

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