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burningbaal 10-01-2009 02:18 PM

new opening in fireplace?
 
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My wife and I bought our first house (1965) in March and have been putting together our list of projects we want to do. I have already put in torn out the carpet (hardwood underneath) two new toilets and re-sided the house among other small projects.

the chimney is in the center of the living space with the living room/entry on one side, the dining room and kitchen on the other. there is a short wall of the back of the fireplace (separating the kitchen/dining room) that we plan to take out (not load bearing) as part of a kitchen remodel. We would like to have a new fireplace that opens to the current side and the 'end' of fireplace and potentially also have a solid glass wall on the back of the fireplace so you can see the flames and feel the heat in the kitchen.

So the questions: Working with masonry is not super easy...is it possible to 'cut' these new wholes in the current chimney and put in a new firebox?

Is there anything wrong with having a closed 'wall' of glass on the backside without having a hearth there?

Figure 1: from the entryway at the front and 'end' of the fireplace

Figure 2: from the dining room and the back and 'end' of the fireplace

Blondesense 10-06-2009 01:25 PM

Very much not an expert here, but a few thoughts come to mind.

First, have you checked into codes and permits to see how much of this you can legally do yourself?

Second, you want two sides open and a third made of glass? I don't know if that is possible or not but it looks like you have an awful lot of bricks to hold up with very little support.

Third, In your current situation, the fire is pretty much built against the back of the firebox. If glass were even possible, I assume the fire would have to be much farther away from it for safely reasons. It wouldn't surprise me to find you need a much deeper firebox and therefore footprint. If it is fixed glass you want, as opposed to glass doors, who gets to crawl through and clean the inside?

It seems to me, by the time you deal with supporting the existing brick, trying to get the old firebox out, and forcing a new one in, you just might have an easier time of it demo-ing the whole thing and starting from scratch.

Final thought: Considering you are literally playing with fire, will your homeowners insurance pay if you DIY and something bad happens?

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Ron6519 10-10-2009 11:25 AM

This is a bad idea for so many reasons. Combustible walls. Glass??? Structural support.
Call someone in who's competant to evaluate this project before you do something wrong.
Ron

ausblake 10-11-2009 02:18 PM

If you want to burn wood get the whole thing tore out and replaced. If you want to use gas logs get the whole thing torn out, get a pier direct vent fireplace and then you can do what you want with it.


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