Attempting to open up a fireplace??!!

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Hi guys, first post here but this site has helped me so much in the past!

Thanks for all the tips but now i have come to a bit of head scratcher on recent project. Hope someone can help.

Im wanting to have a multifuel log burner installed, so went about removing the old gas fire, mantlepiece and hearth myself. After taking some plaster off (more than i wanted in the end) i found the original brick arch lintel. The hole had been bricked up originally to accomodate for the gas fire previous. Now, i have two questions, please look at the picture below i have posted.

1. If i take the new bricked up hole down, will the arch support the upper breast ok? The crappy bricks they used to pack underneath the arch seem loose but the arch seems solid.

2. I have got to widen the hole by taking one course of bricks out either side as the opening is only 580mm wide, which is no way near big enough for the burner we want. Do you think i will need to put a concrete lintel in underneath the arch to support to upper load so i can take these brick courses out?

Any help would be muchly appreciated!


Thanks

Mike
 
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If you widen the hole (no pun intended) the arch won't have anything to support it. As I see it, you'll be removing the half brick to the left and right of the arch?
Why not replace the arch with the lintel?
 
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Wait till others post, but I would say although its hard to see from the photo, that the existing arch is proberbly good to go, if you remove the infill. But obviously if you want/need to widen the opening you will need to do something to support the arch/bricks above, be that extend the arch, or put in a lintal of some sort.

Also be aware of the hetas requirements in fitting a stove.


Daniel
 
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Guys

Thanks for coming back so quick! I wanted to keep the arch as a feature for when it gets rendered. If i put a lintel underneath it, i guess i would lose that option to have an arch! So i can see your point in saying replace the arch with a lintel.

One of my plaster chaps made a feature arch for us out of plaster board on another house so i might just take the arch out and replace with a lintel.

Would i need some stongboys etc to hold the breast if i take the arch brick lintel out?

Thanks
 
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Also be aware of the hetas requirements in fitting a stove.


Daniel[/quote]

The burner is being fitted by a hetas installer daniel, i wouldnt dare install it myself! :LOL:
 
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Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I'm now thinking I definitely need to replace the arch with a lintel in order to widen the hole. Thinking of putting the lintel in where the arch is. Will I have to put strongboys in at the course of bricks above the arch to support the load??

Many thanks
 
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IM not a builder, and there isnt a huge width to the brest, however, if I was doing it myself I would proberbly hack out the infill, support the middle of the arch with a acro/strongboy and a timber spreader, take out the extra width (as said, when you say 'a course' i assume you mean 4.5inches?) by removing a brick and reusing the half bricks, then extend the arch out by a brick, and make good.

If your planning to widen it out 9inchs a side, you have an even bigger hole and even less down the sides, at which point it may be more dubious to retain the arch due to the outwards forces created by an arch.


Daniel
 
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IM not a builder, and there isnt a huge width to the brest, however, if I was doing it myself I would proberbly hack out the infill, support the middle of the arch with a acro/strongboy and a timber spreader, take out the extra width (as said, when you say 'a course' i assume you mean 4.5inches?) by removing a brick and reusing the half bricks, then extend the arch out by a brick, and make good.

If your planning to widen it out 9inchs a side, you have an even bigger hole and even less down the sides, at which point it may be more dubious to retain the arch due to the outwards forces created by an arch.


Daniel

Hi Daniel

Many thanks for the info. Feel confident it can be done easily now. Im going to do away with the arch and replace it with a 900mm concrete lintel. In doing this i can then take out a width of bricks (4.5inch) either side of the breast as you say.

But one last question as i am safety cautious! lol.

When i put the lintel in and all above it is supported, i then start taking the width of bricks out either side all the way to the back of the builders opening. What is then supporting the bricks running to the back above what i have taken out as there will be no lintel there. Are these bricks tied in some way to the whole chimney?

Hope that makes sense!

Thanks in advance :D

mike
 
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Hi I actually did this myself and put in a 1200 lintel just below the arch to create a bigger space underneath to accommodate a new Gas fire the forum link is below hopefully it will help, Overall it wasn't a bad job just very dirty but well worth the effort.
Wayne

http://www.avforums.com/forums/memb...living-room-project.html#post14675510[/QUOTE]

Hi wayne

Thanks for the info. Great job you did there, very profesional. Can i ask you, when you widened the builders opening, did you put 2 small lintels up going to the back wall or did you just put the one front lintel in?

Thanks again ;)

Mike
 
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Hi

I put one long lintel in just left a brick length either side also done the same in the dining room. Got the lintel from Wickes cost around £12 then just concreted it in and levelled everything.
 
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Hi Mikey,

This looks somewhat like I found when I unearthed my fireplace!


I'm going to repoint and use as a fire or insert a woodburner.

Cheers


Nick
 
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