Help! We have a 50 year old home with two brick (floor to ceiling) fireplaces that are in the middle of the room. We would like to add build in bookshelves to each side of the fireplace and cover the fireplace with drywall and maybe add marble around the opening and also add a mantel. I don't think we will ever light a fire in the fireplace, but are considering turing it into gas. My question is this: can we cover it in drywall? I think I saw in a home improvement show that fire codes prevent wood strips being placed around the fireplace to stud out the surface for drywall....but now I can not remember what they did use....was it metal strips....and then you attach the drywall to that?? We are going to hire someone to do the work...but just wanted to make sure it is done correctly. Any thoughts, tips or suggestions???