Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Removing a Brick Fireplace

Well, I was going to take step by step pictures, but it didn't happen. You'll just have to use your imagination.

The first step to taking out a brick fireplace-the big obnoxious type-is to seal off the room and get dust masks. Eye protection is good too! To seal off the room we just taped a large sheet of plastic (think drop cloth) across the opening to the room. It worked well until people started using it as a door. Other things we found helpful were trash bags or boxes and a wheelbarrow.

Next you will need a chisel and hammer. We did not need anything heavier duty than that.
We took our mantel off first since it blocked access to the brick. It was a beautiful custom made mantel that Eric made when we moved in. The old one was UGLY.

We have a gas fireplace, so we took down the Wall O' Bricks with some care. This is a 13 foot wall.
Starting at the top, begin to chisel between the bricks. Our home was constructed around 1971, for comparison. It was very, very easy to chip away and loosen the bricks. My 10 year old helped A LOT. He found it to be great fun!
After getting a few rows off the top we were able to pull a huge section away from the wall. Of course, my brother let it fall and break into a hundred pieces. But still, there were some larger chunks which aren't as tedious as the one by one approach. Be careful if you are working with brick above your head! We are lucky that ours only went halfway up the wall.

The hearth that juts out was the harder part. Mostly because it was filled with a bunch of junk. Inside the brick we found sand, rocks, broken bricks and cinder blocks. This is where we started using the wheelbarrow.

Our fireplace was a two day project. We did one row on Friday, lots on Saturday and finished up Monday evening. The project was primarily worked on by my 10 yr old son and 17 yr old brother. If you had a one whole day to dedicate to this project it could easily be completed.

Time: One weekend
Cost: $14 for plastic and chisel, we already had everything else


Kira =] said...

Thank you! =]

Wynona Duffel said...

My husband and I have a home with a brick fireplace whose facade was painted a glossy white. I've never been a fan of fireplaces because 1) I'd rather use the central heat, 2) I'd rather use the wall space for something else, and 3) I live in California where the winters don't get cold enough to justify a live fire.

This is more my idea than my husband's, so it's taken some great convincing and selling good points to get this project even considered. He'd rather hire a pro to remove the brick, but I'd rather save the $. It's reassuring to know a 10- and 17-year old worked on this project. It'll be a selling point for me!!

Thanks for the tips!