Blocking off chimney breast?

8 Sep 2015
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United Kingdom
My wife is a huge worrier so i'm hoping someone here can help with this situation.

CURRENTLY: We have a gas fire installed which will be getting removed as well as surround & hearth. We were going to have a real fire installed, which then changed to a gas fire & now we're very likely to just be having no fire in it - expose the recess, maybe put in some shelving or something.

Photo 08-09-2015 1 15 31 pm.jpg

The flooring will also be getting renewed also as part of the job - boards & joists.

What is worrying my wife is:

  1. What should be done to block up the chimney so that nothing falls down & to stop one huge draught coming down there?
  2. What should be done regarding venting the chimney?
I'm no expert (that's why I'm here) but i am guessing they would put some sort of plate somewhere in line with the lintel there. My wife thinks they may plasterboard it. My only concern with plasterboard would be it getting damp.

I also guess they would put some sort of top or cap on the chimney, in order to stop birds getting in there. What sort of top/cap or if one at all...I don't know.

As for the vent, wouldn't this let a big sooty stink in to the room? At any rate, if a vent is needed, would it have to go top centre, or could it go at one side of the chimney, or if on the sides would it have to go both sides?

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