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Widening Chimney opening and maybe rebuilding.....

Discussion in 'Building' started by confusionhunter, 8 Feb 2021.

  1. confusionhunter


    22 Apr 2013
    Thanks Received:
    West Lothian
    United Kingdom
    Hi All,
    Firstly thanks to this community, I've searched and looked at many threads that has helped me get this far with an old chimney breast, but its led me to admit defeat and and rebuild the whole thing in a different brick. We have removed a gas fire and isolated the supply and looking to fit a log burning stove.

    We live in a timber framed bungalow built in the mid 80s. The Chimney has a brick and concrete support under the floor into the foundations. The chimney doesn't look like its been built with the most care TBH. It has the chimney itself on the inside and the outer decorative part. Because it had columns on the outsdies originally, the brickwork is underneath tragic (blue circles) which has led me to have the whole thing rebuilt.
    Here is what I have now pic 1.
    The red highlighted bit will be removed and a proper stone hearth fitted extending outwards. The chimney breast isnt even symmetrical so I want to extend the opening one brick height to the left. The lintel should really have been 9 bricks, not 8! I'm a DIYer and see so many things wrong!

    I'm going to strip away the whole outer Chimney breast and rebuild it in different bricks the target it pic 2 for interest below.
    My question comes on the purple line. In the firebox, its mainly baby fire bricks. However below the line is common brick. I think it is because the gas fire was elevated off the floor. Opening it up will require supporting the chimney and rebuilding the left side of the fire box.

    I think my options are:
    1. I may as well replace the common brick below the purple line on the left side with more baby fire bricks (if I can get some the right size). However that also means replacing the brick at the back and right side which might be more hassle than its worth and sounds like a difficult job. It would also give me the opportunity to fox the odd brick pattern where the bottom course of baby brick is exactly below the second.

    2. Keep common brick and baby as it is. It looks odd and its not flush but it would reflect the history of the building

    3. something different. Replace Baby brick with common. I'm not even sure baby fire brick is the perfect brick to use for a stove? Fire brick absorbs and the radiates heat, perfect for a pizza oven. For a stove surely I want bricks that reflect heat?

    Opinions comments?

    Bonus question....On the target picture.... it has a brick arch. will that need a curved lintel. Just checking my research suggests that the span is small enough it might not, but I'd rather have it done once properly.Thanks for reading :)
    Target fireplace.JPG
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2021
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