Case Study: Restructuring Fireplace: Wood to Wood Insert
Before and After
Rebuild the basement supporting structure.
Rebuild the main floor fireplace structure.
Create the conditions for a wood fireplace insert, WETT certification.
Support a two-ton chimney while removing all the structure below.
This 100 year old home, by the river, has a rustic feel to it.
The chimney is painted and rises through the second floor, then the attic, and then several feet above the roof.
This existing fireplace was built without firebrick, just regular brick.
We're going to make it possible to install a new wood burning fireplace insert, with venting through the chimney.
Chiseling removes the bricks one at a time.
This old fireplace held about a ton of brick and cement, all taken to the dump.
We're being careful to continue supporting the chimney at this time.
The Basement Structure
Here we have something very unusual.
The base of the chimney sits on a large block of cement covering a big stone or bedrock.
The bottom of the chimney structure narrows slightly rather than going straight down, or flaring out.
The bottom part of the chimney is made of regular brick, which isn't meant to be load-bearing.
This wouldn't pass a building code inspection now, but it is grandfathered as ok.
It did work for 100 years! But the bricks were beginning to crack and fail.
Removing the basement structure
We began to remove the basement's bricks, one side at a time, creating an opening to the main floor.