Hi - I'm new to the forum and hoping to get some good advice on a potential project.
I'd like to put in a ventless gas fireplace on my covered patio. The patio shares a wall with my living room and there is a large 2-1/2 story brick veneer chimney for the living room's gas fireplace built into the wall. The brick chimney is deep enough such that there is an approximately 18" void space at the back of the chimney behind my inside fireplace (big enough for the new fireplace). What I'd like to do is to cut an opening in the brick on the outside of the chimney and install the outdoor fireplace, hooking it up to the gas line that services the inside fireplace. The opening would be about 36" wide and the total width of the brick chimney is about 60".
My concern is whether cutting this size of opening would compromise the structural integrity of the chimney. I could fabricate some type of steel frame to install in the opening to help carry the load of the bricks above the opening, but I'm not sure whether this could create a problem during the time from cutting the opening to getting the steel frame installed. The last thing I would want is for the chimney to start collapsing from the weight of the unsupported brick above the opening.
I'd appreciate any input from anyone who may haver tied someting similar. Thanks in advance!!