If you originally moved into a period home, equipped with a grand fireplace and its own chimney, you may have enjoyed those cold nights in front of a roaring fire. However, time may not have been too kind to the chimney stack itself, and it now represents a potential danger to those around it. How can you remove it safely and with due regard to the structural integrity of the home?
Defining Your Goal
To begin with, you need to make a decision about what you want to do with the fireplace. Do you want to keep it for aesthetic purposes, and introduce a gas log feature instead, or do you want to remove it entirely? This will dictate the scale of your demolition work ahead.
Regarding the chimney itself, demolition work here can be quite labour-intensive. You will need to remove a brick at a time and will, of course, need to be particularly careful as you do. You must ensure your safety and will need to erect a scaffolding that gives you plenty of space all around the chimney stack for your efforts.
If you have the right tools, you can begin to chip away at the masonry and will eventually be able to free each brick from the structure. Be especially careful if there is some kind of flaw, as in the worst-case scenario, the whole chimney could collapse. Don't be tempted to throw the bricks down to ground level as you free them from the structure because this is not only dangerous, but it could also cause damage to the lawn below. That will simply create extra work, so if you can, build a chute down to a nearby skip or have a bucket and rope ready to lower bricks down to the ground periodically.
Venting Your New Burner
If you want to keep the fireplace, then you will need to seal it off and create a venting system for your new log burner. Once again, care is of the essence here as you need to get rid of those noxious fumes efficiently.
Closing It Off
Assuming that you are able to remove the chimney stack itself, you will, of course, need to close off the open space, make sure that is waterproof and add new tiles.
Handing It Over
Most people should hand over this entire job to an expert. After all, it's detailed work, potentially dangerous and requires an element of skill in order to close everything off at the end. Get in touch with demolition contractors for their advice.