Fireplace removal

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My house was built in the late 1960’s, it has cavity walls of Cotswold stone outside and breeze block inside. One lounge wall has a fireplace built of Cotswold stone bricks, they are of irregular sizes but nominally 8” x 5” x 3”, the actual chimney stack is built outside the house.

The fireplace bricks protrude out the wall about 1½”, and the mantelpiece is also of Cotswold stone and protrudes about 4½” out from the wall. The row of bricks above the fireplace opening are set vertically, i.e. 8” high x 3” wide.

I want to remove the fireplace by cutting 1½” of the bricks and 4½” of the mantelpiece so that I can plaster over them to install a ‘hole-in-the-wall” wall hung fire.

I’ve removed some plaster over the mantelpiece expecting to see a lintel above it to support the internal breeze block wall, there isn’t one, the breeze block internal wall is sitting on top of the mantelpiece !!!

The plaster around the fireplace has not been disturbed therefore I think it’s been in place since the house was built, 40 years.

My questions are:
1. What’s holding up the internal breeze block wall above the fireplace, is it the row of vertical bricks above the opening with the mantelpiece on top, these are below the breeze block wall?
2. If I cut off the 1½” from the protruding face of the bricks and 4½” from the mantelpiece will I weaken the structure holding up the wall, this will still leave the bricks about 4” deep that are under the breeze blocks?

Looking up the chimney it appears to be concrete lined with the Cotswold stone outside it on the outside of the house.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
 
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The blocks above it will be built on top of it with no lintel required as its self supporting above the opening - or if the mantle is one piece, it is also the lintel

By chopping the front of the fireplace off you should not weaken the wall if these split easily. However, the more hammering you do, then more likely cracks will develop in the joints, but whilst these should not be significant structurally (ie the wall will stay up) it may allow very slight movement just enough to crack plaster finishes.

So if you do this, use plasterboard or put a fine mesh in the browning
 
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Many thanks for the reassurance, the mantlepiece is in three pieces. As I've got to reduce the height of the opening a friend suggested I put in a lintel to do this by inserting it just below the row of vertical bricks to support them. This appears a good idea 'just in case'.

Thanks again

Rod
 
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The blocks above it will be built on top of it with no lintel required as its self supporting above the opening - or if the mantle is one piece, it is also the lintel

By chopping the front of the fireplace off you should not weaken the wall if these split easily. However, the more hammering you do, then more likely cracks will develop in the joints, but whilst these should not be significant structurally (ie the wall will stay up) it may allow very slight movement just enough to crack plaster finishes.

So if you do this, use plasterboard or put a fine mesh in the browning
self supporting lol whats up with putting a small plank lintel in woody to be sure to be sure,they only cost £3.50,your advice is diabolical ,just a chancer who hardly has any idea about real building tasks ,chopping off 1 and half inch of brickwork lol ,you remind me of a guy we once knew called bodge it and scarper harry jones,you sure your not him he was skin flint too always looking for bargains on ebay,and another thing why dont you get the sh.. out of your eyes and read some posts correctly ,ie the angle grinder post ,he never had a 9 inch grinder so as for you saying use what you got talking out back of your head, yee haaaa :LOL:
 
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Oh dear.

Well Mr leaning gable wonky perps megabucks earner, there is a difference in knowing about structures and not knowing - and doing all unecessary work because of not knowing.

And I think it is you who needs to put the bifocals on - the OP in the other post had a 115 grinder and the advice was based on that.

Check out this site for help with your brickwork and reading
 
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Oh dear.

Well Mr leaning gable wonky perps megabucks earner, there is a difference in knowing about structures and not knowing - and doing all unecessary work because of not knowing.

And I think it is you who needs to put the bifocals on - the OP in the other post had a 115 grinder and the advice was based on that.

Check out this site for help with your brickwork and reading
pathetic you are woody a disgrace to the industry,whats the big deal in taking out the bricks and putting in a little lintle blocking it up and can have the height of his off the floor fire any where he likes, you wanna get clued up in the real world not making things up as you go lol, hey 115mm grinder cut both sides of the bricks long tedious dangerous way of doing it, for £20 you can cut through a 1000 in no time with a petrol grinder and wont have to worry about chopping your legs off or was you going to suggest to him put the brick in a vice lol, woody stick to searching ebay for bargains and leave the building to the experts , as from now iam ignore all your advice it makes me cringe you being wrong so many times lol KLIK
 
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I've very nearly clicked the "ignore" button for you FNT, as your contribution and knowledge are well, non-existent. And you know it.

But like a baboons bum at the zoo, damn ugly but strangely enchanting. I'll let it go for a few more posts, but clowns do become tedious after a while.
 

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