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Old 04-30-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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Tear down old fireplace or sheetrock over?


Hi, my wife and I are self labeled noob DIY'ers. We bought this house almost 2 years ago and are just now getting to the point to where we're able to do some renovations. We've decided to start with the den and started demo'ing the walls in preps for sheetrock.

It was built in 1907 and you can really tell. It's been added onto 3 or 4 times and had minor renovations intermittently over the years (i.e. sheetrock with out removing the trim.... wtf? ). First order was to level up and strengthen the foundation. Considering there really wasn't any foundation to begin with and the house was on the side of a hill (5' crawlspace in front, about 6" in back), a new foundation cost close to $10k (10% of price of the home) and 5 weeks.

After removing the plaster and 2 layers of sheetrock that was over top of that, we found the fireplace in the center of the house (which we knew was there, so that was no surprise). Problem is, after taking everything down to the studs, the fireplace protrudes an inch beyond the studs, which leads to the problem. I've asked for advice from several different DIY'ers and a few private contractors and I'm left with a few options.

1. Have the entire disaster removed. This would cost several thousand $$$$$ and end up forcing me to also sheetrock my bedroom and having the hole patched on the roof. $$$$ is a big constraint so I'm trying to steer clear if possible.

2. Install furring strips on all of the studs and over the fireplace and sheetrock over it. I prefer this because it is the least expensive option, but it just sounds half-assed to me.

3. One contractor suggested cutting into the bricks with a circular saw and chiseling the protruding 1" or so away. The problem with this is that the bricks and mortar are very brittle. It won't quite crumble away by hand but a screwdriver can pick it away fairly easily. If the whole thing caves.... need I say more?



What I want to know is, what is the best route to take? Is the second option completely unacceptable and a waste of time? $ is a constraint as I'm not as well paid as I'd like to be (Coal Miner), my wife is in nursing school (tuition), and I have two toddlers (speaks for itself); so my funds are stretched thin.

I tried to include pics but I don't think they're big enough to tell anything.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Tear down old fireplace or sheetrock over?


Knocking off the face bricks is not going to bring it down as you suggest.
But you are going to have to do something to fill in the hole so air is not just blowing down into the room. A cap one the top and filling in the bottom with cement blocks and morter would do it.

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Old 04-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Tear down old fireplace or sheetrock over?


If it's sound...and I'm not sure from your description and it's appearance, you could fur out the studs and just conceal it. The safest and obviously the most expensive it to get rid of it completely. Personally I would remove it myself and I don't see that costing several thousand dollars. Shop around a bit and find someone who can do it and guarantee their work.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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Tear down old fireplace or sheetrock over?


The top is already capped and the bottom is stuffed full of pink insulation per the previous owner.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:08 PM   #5
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Tear down old fireplace or sheetrock over?


what pitch is the roof, and can you get into the attic easily ? if the pitch is ok enough for you to walk on, and not too high. it would not be hard to take that chimney down yourself.
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