Making a fireplace hole bigger

Joined
13 Jan 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Down
Country
United Kingdom
I recently had a corgi reg'd fitter remove and cap off an old gas fire in my dining room, i am now looking to fit a decorative cast iron repro fireplace in its place.

The problem i have is that the fireplace i wish to buy needs a bigger hole that what is currently there, the hole is deep enough just not high enough or wide enough.

Is it simply a case of using a hammer and chisel to make the hole bigger and do i need to worry about the chimney breast being a load bearing wall?

I called a fireplace fitter to ask him to fit it for me, when i told him it was just a decorative fireplace he told me to di it myself and that there were books on the subject i could read.....

Any help appreciated, thanks

garya
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
28 Jul 2005
Messages
100
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol
Country
United Kingdom
Hi,
I presume it is the cast metal back that is too wide and high and will not recess enough for you to butt the surround up against.
I used to fit fireplaces and normally it would be a matter of chipping away at either side of the chamber to get the width. The thing to watch out for would be if there was a fireplace in a basement or room below and making sure you dont knock into that flue.
The height could pose a problem.
Is there an arch of bricks acting as a lintel? This would be present in oldish properties and is perfectly fine. If you just have to chip away some of this you should have no problem. Any major work to this though could cause structural problems.
it can be removed of course but it would need to be supported and a new lintel fitted at the required height.
Bit longwinded but I hope it helps.
 
Joined
13 Jan 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Down
Country
United Kingdom
thanks for the reply danro,

yes, its the protruding bit at the back of the cast iron fireplace which is higher and wider than the hole currently in the wall, its just 2-3 inches too high and too wide, so i wouldnt need to be removing a lot of brick. i cant see whether or not there is a brick arch as the wall is plastered, but in our bedroom the chimney breast has been stripped back to the brick and there is a brick arch there, would you recommend i remove the plaster on my dining room chimney breast to see if an arch exists?, theres no danger of me going into the room below. the house is 100 years old, dont know if that helps. what tools would you suggest using? thanks again
 
Joined
28 Jul 2005
Messages
100
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol
Country
United Kingdom
Hi,
I now presume you have a one piece cast grate that has a cast shelf as part of it.
If this is the case then it might be worth chipping off some of the plaster because it would be covered anyway. Just so you can see what you are dealing with.
Another point is seeing as it is just a decorative fireplace are you just going to put it up against the existing plaster as opposed to sinking it back to the brickwork and then replastering round it.
Remember that the more forward it is to be i.e up against the existing plaster then the less you would need to knock out.
A hammer and bolster or cold chisel will be good for starters.
 
Joined
22 Dec 2005
Messages
2,449
Reaction score
355
Location
UK
Country
United Kingdom
just be a bit careful chipping off the plaster above the opening. You may well find that there is a brick arch that has been bricked in below to reduce the opening size to that required by the gas fire. These bricks won't be supported by anything other than the mortar, and if you start banging at the plaster you may well loosen these bricks and find the bricks below the arch all fall in. This is exactly what nearly happened to me! Luckily i needed to remove these fill in bricks back up to the arch anyway to make the fireplace fit anyway.

If you want to see if there is an arch, get a torch and stick you head into the fireplace and look at the inside of the chimney breast. Unless its heavily caked in soot, you should be able to see the construction of the chimney breast.
 
Joined
13 Jan 2006
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Location
Down
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks for the advice all, after much dirty work and your help i got there in the end !!
 
Sponsored Links

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 

Similar threads

S
Replies
2
Views
1K
sammoseley
S
R
Replies
3
Views
359
richard7761
R
R
Replies
1
Views
353
richard7761
R
R
Replies
2
Views
618
richsmith2005
R
Top