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Hey,

Took the fireplace out and got left with what looks like a neat builders opening.

Can this opening be extended if I add a new wider lintel? Extending only by 10cm each side.

Can the gather/bricks inside be removed?

What if sides of chimney breast are hollow? Seems like they might not be but never know...

We will not be adding solid or gas fueled stoves in. This is all decorative.

Thanks
 

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They may well be hollow and widening the original opening by 10cm (half brick) each side might involve opening a can of worms.
 
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remove the plaster above the opening and lookfor a lintel. see how the lintels bearing at each side.
i thinkthe opening used to be wider and has since been infilled .Is this a outside wall?
 
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remove the plaster above the opening and lookfor a lintel. see how the lintels bearing at each side.
i thinkthe opening used to be wider and has since been infilled .Is this a outside wall?

Sorry should have mentioned because its not clear, the lintel in the second image can be seen above my head. And it is exactly 15cm wider than the opening on each side.

It is shared.
 
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if you go ahead with your plan it will leaves you 50mm of re-built bearing oneach side.not really enough.you could install a new lintel but is it worth it for a decorative opening
 
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If you don't need to enlarge it for a fire I'd leave well alone, there's a lot of weight in a chimney..
 
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