Can a Chimney Breast Wall Be Removed?
The chimney breast wall is the material surrounding your fireplace inside your home. It is typically made of concrete or brickwork and is an integral part of the fireplace/chimney system if it serves to house the flue.
Some chimney breast walls are built more for cosmetic appeal, and these can be made of various materials like plaster skim and plaster board. Faux breast walls are simpler to remove than masonry walls.
Homeowners look into having the breast wall removed to free up more living space. Chimney breast walls can be quite large and intrusive, taking up a lot of square footage that could be put to better use.
If you’re wanting to make your room roomier by removing this structure, here are some things you should know.
Hire professional chimney/fireplace masons
The most important thing to know in considering removing a chimney breast wall is that it’s a job suited for experienced professionals, not the average homeowner.
When properly done, this job can be accomplished without having to remove the external chimney stack (the part of the chimney you see outside your home). Additionally, you won’t need to alter the roof or make any changes to the physical structure of the home or building around the chimney.
A skilled stone or brick mason will be able to advise you on the many aspects of chimney breast wall removal and help you make certain decisions that will affect how the job looks when it’s finished.
A chimney professional also will know exactly how to maintain support during the work if your wall is part of a support structure that is stabilizing other home building materials
Not the cleanest job
Removing a chimney breast wall is not a “clean” job. There will be a sizeable amount of dust and debris and a (temporarily) messy work area around the fireplace.
Before work begins, you should clear out an area sufficient for workers to do their job. Also, cover furniture, wall treatments and anything else that you don’t want to have covered with dust.
Finding the right chimney company
When hiring someone to remove your chimney breast wall, first and foremost you want a company (or team) with verifiable experience in this type of chimney demolition project. Do not hire a “handyman” who has a few tools and is good at working with his or her hands.
Other tasks in hiring the right company:
- Before signing anything, make sure you understand exactly what will be done during the project and what will not be done
- Confirm that the company holds a valid license to do business in your locale
- Get contact info of previous customers and ask them about their experience with the company
- Learn how long the company has been in business – companies that have been around a long time usually are doing something right
- Ensure that the company is fully insured for your protection.
- Check online reviews, and find out if complaints have been filed against the company with your local Better Business Bureau
Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney of Buffalo, NY, can help with any chimney breast removal project. We’re licensed and insured and have been serving customers throughout the Buffalo and Rochester, NY, regions since 1953. Call us first at (585) 308-4914 to get the job done right.