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Old 06-04-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


We have a finished basement that has an oddly placed sunken floor. The sunken area takes up about half of the room. The way the room is laid out we basically only use the raised side and sort of just walk around the nuisance of a hole. The sunken area is about 10' by 11' with a brick fireplace in the middle. The sunken area has about 8" step down. The fireplace hearth is only about 3 1/2 inches high off the floor.

So what I'd originally wanted to do was raise the fireplace up and put in a wood insert. Then fill the hole with concrete or something. I called a local place that sells fireplaces, but they won't even come out to look at it because they said there is really no way to raise the fireplace up.

I'm now in search of suggestions on what to do and what professionals I should be seeking out. Do I need just a general contractor or do I need a masonry professional, or someone else.

Thoughts on any of this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


Is this a wood burning fireplace?
How is it vented?
Is there a chimney or what?

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


Pictures please!
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:36 PM   #4
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The previous owners had put in a direct vent gas insert fireplace. Here are some images for reference.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:16 AM   #5
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


Is there a possibility that you could lower the rest of the floor? If it is wood that would probably be cheaper than rebuilding your fireplace. I wonder what the thinking was behind the different heights of the floor.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:29 AM   #6
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


Yeah, we would sure like to know what they were thinking as well. Lowering the floor did cross my mind, but I've pulled up the carpet a little and it looks like the upper part is concrete. The higher section of the room is 15 x 10 and there's an area of 6 x 11 in front of the lower section I'd need to lower as well to complete the room. So I think lowering the flooring is going to be a bigger issue.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #7
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


More questions---How old is the house?

Is the flue all masonry or is it metal?

Is the inside of the fire box masonry or a steel insert?

You may need to check the flue in the attic --

Was that ever a wood burner or was the flue sized for gas only.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:06 AM   #8
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


Altering that fireplace looks like it would be expensive. What is it that bothers you the most about that space? If it is a simple issue of having an 8" drop maybe you could put some sort of transitional step down. Maybe a 2-3 ft wood deck/step 4" lower down to the fireplace.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


The house was built in the late 70s. The fireplace was just a regular wood fireplace that someone later added a gas insert. Looking at it from the outside it looks to be all brick and there's another fireplace on the second floor directly above that shares the chimney.

So right now the sunken area is really unsuable for us. If The fireplace can't be raised then I'm considering having the floor filled in as much as possible. I think it will look a little hokey, but at least the the room would be more usable. If I were to fill it in I'd prefer to use something like cement, since we had some water seepage from this last harsh winter. I'm also concerned with the wood flooring and a fireplace seem like a possible hazard especially if it's sunken.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


The fireplaces don't share a flue---or the shouldn't , anyway.

If the flues are masonry and not metal,it should be possible to punch a new opening for a wood burning stove--then brick up the opening.

You don't provide adequate info---that looks like a Heat-o-lator insert---and I suspect that there is a steel flue above it.

You may benefit from getting a pro out there to spell out your options.---Mike---
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
The fireplaces don't share a flue---or the shouldn't , anyway.

If the flues are masonry and not metal,it should be possible to punch a new opening for a wood burning stove--then brick up the opening.

You don't provide adequate info---that looks like a Heat-o-lator insert---and I suspect that there is a steel flue above it.

You may benefit from getting a pro out there to spell out your options.---Mike---
Sorry, Mike I don't really know much about this. I'm sure you're right about it not sharing the same flue, that wouldn't make much sense. I guess I'll keep calling around and see if I can get someone to look at it. What type of pro should I be looking for?
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:13 PM   #12
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raise sunken living room with fireplace


Either a fireplace company--a chimney sweep and inspection company or a masonry contractor who builds fire places.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
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Either a fireplace company--a chimney sweep and inspection company or a masonry contractor who builds fire places.
Alright I'll check around.

Thanks.

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