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Replacing Cut Bricks in Fireplace Chimney Breast

Discussion in 'Building' started by RichT222, 29 Mar 2021.

  1. RichT222

    RichT222

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2010
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi all!

    I'm opening up a fireplace, ready to accept a wood burning stove. Property is 1918.

    It's clear it's been chopped about over the years. At some point it seems to have had some kind of large inset fire or similar installed. I haven't been able to quite figure out what it was (any ideas?!)

    Anyway, that seems to have then been removed, and replaced with a smaller open fire. The remaining space it left has then been filled back in with a single brick skin, and faced with a layer of concrete over the skin.

    I chipped out the concrete skin and left the bricks behind it in place. They're currently supporting the chimney breast above.

    I need to remove these bricks and install a new concrete lintel. No problem, generally. However, a portion of the bricks of the front inner cheeks have been cut away, presumably to accommodate whatever fireplace used to be in place way back in the past. This means there's inadequate support for a lintel. (Perhaps this is why it was infilled with a skin of bricks and a concrete fascia, as it was easier than installing a lintel?!)

    Original idea was to build a new skin of bricks against the inner cheeks to add extra support to the lintel. However, I would lose ~20-25cm of the opening, which given the stove I would like to install, I would rather avoid.

    I'm thinking I could use an acrow + strongboy for support above the cheeks, chop out the affected bricks, replacing with new full bricks. Are there any issues with that, or does it sound ok?

    If it sounds like a reasonable approach, is it necessary to remove and replace the bricks shown in blue? Or would it be sufficient to just replace the bricks shown in red and mortar in a cut brick (60mm ish) to bring the "blue bricks" to the full width of the cheek? I'm guessing that as these cheeks will be supporting a lintel, the belt and braces (and probably correct) approach would probably be to just replace the blue bricks with full length new bricks? Let me know if you think it's overkill and unnecessary though. I'm not worried about the extra work involved. It's more that, if I remove BOTH the red bricks and the blue bricks, I'm removing quite a lot of support from the front of the cheek before getting the new bricks in place? But, with the other bricks stitched into the wall abutting the chimney breast behind, and an acrow at the front of the cheek, seems like it should be ok?

    Appreciate your thought, before I get cracking with this!
     

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