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Old 05-16-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
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removing a fireplace

Hi guys, I am considering removing a fireplace from a two-story townhome. Here in the SF Bay area it seems like every time it's cold enough to use, the AQMD declares a "spare the air" day and I can't have a fire anyway

So, here's the question. My living room / dining roon is basically a rectangle. The fireplace juts out from the wall roughly in the middle of the combined space, facing the living room area, to divide the two rooms.

Here's a nothing like to scale sketch...

And here's a photo....

Since this sticks out like this, is it likely that the outer corners of the surround will be load bearing, or are they most likely just a frame for the drywall around the chimney? I know I'll need to cut into it to see for sure, but if the majority of the 'educated guesses' are that they're likely to be load bearing, I'll just shelve the idea right away.



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Old 05-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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I think you're better off leaving it as a decorative focal point, perhaps adding a nice mirror above the mantel to open up the space, candles in the firebox, etc. Chances are this corner is load bearing and you'll cause problems going up into the second floor if you try to remove it.


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Old 05-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Impossible to tell from the information provided.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SharperCleaning View Post
Taking down the fireplace is a job you can do yourself, but it will take some time and you must use extreme caution. Demolish your fireplace from the top down, one brick at a time. Erect or rent a scaffold and work from it. Make sure that the scaffold is equipped with stable flooring and safety rails and that it is securely attached to the building.
I wouldn't advise taking that fireplace down unless you are knowledgeable of the work that needs to be done.

In other words looking at the drawing provided and the heating supplies locations you can clearly see that there is a # of joists resting on the side wall of the fireplace.

This structure would have to be reframed on both levels in order to properly support floor and ceiling joist which would be left free if the side walls where ever removed.
In addition opening on the roof would have to be addressed afterwards.

My suggestion would be to incorporate that fireplace in to the design somehow else.
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