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Old 11-30-2010, 08:25 AM  
JohnVonBarry
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Default How to demo a stone fireplace?

Hello. We recently bought a house which has a very tall stone fireplace in the living room that is pulling away from the concrete block behind it. It is on a wall with a vaulted ceiling, so it goes from 8' tall up to 14'. These are real stones that were pulled from the surrounding land, not lightweight fake stone. So, there are many tons involved in this. I am a general contractor, so I am pretty handy and have the tools, but I just do not have very much knowledge when it comes to masonry. I am basically wanting to remove the stone SAFELY, then I will have a professional mason come and inspect the condition of the block and fireplace itself, and if it is in good condition, I will be refacing it with a flatter and less heavy stone.

So, my main question is:

What measures should I take in safely removing the stones to insure that the whole thing doesn't come crashing down? Thank you.



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Old 12-13-2010, 12:26 PM  
nealtw
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cover the floor with plywood to protect it, build a scafolding and start at the top and chip away each stone. Just in reverse of how it was built



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Old 12-14-2010, 10:17 AM  
SteelToeS
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Default Stone

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cover the floor with plywood to protect it, build a scafolding and start at the top and chip away each stone. Just in reverse of how it was built
Agree.
In addition if stones are really pulling away so much be careful because top of the stone wall could be acting as a wedge, in other words my concern is if you chip away the top of the wall rest of it could come down rapidly...again if wall is really in such a bad shape.

To be on the safe side frame and box in fireplace with a 1/2 cdx plywood ,use screws so you can remove sections and start from the top and work your way down.

George
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:30 PM  
BobAristide
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Default Stone panels?

I'm surprised that the stones were not anchored to the wall. If you have to use real stone again, and you may want to consider some light weight faux stone panels, make sure you use anchors to keep the stone attached to the back wall.
Do you have photos ?

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:12 AM  
JohnVonBarry
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Agree.
In addition if stones are really pulling away so much be careful because top of the stone wall could be acting as a wedge, in other words my concern is if you chip away the top of the wall rest of it could come down rapidly...again if wall is really in such a bad shape.

To be on the safe side frame and box in fireplace with a 1/2 cdx plywood ,use screws so you can remove sections and start from the top and work your way down.

George
That is my concern exactly. I am afraid that once i start taking them out at the top the whole thing will crash down. It seems like a lot of extra work, but I like the idea of framing a box in front of it. I would rather err on the side of safety when dealing with this kind of weight. Thanks for the idea. And I will definitely cover the floor with plywood.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:17 AM  
JohnVonBarry
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I'm surprised that the stones were not anchored to the wall. If you have to use real stone again, and you may want to consider some light weight faux stone panels, make sure you use anchors to keep the stone attached to the back wall.
Do you have photos ?
I was also surprised to find it not anchored. I will try to get a few pictures uploaded today. We do have new stone to replace it with. But the old stones are anywhere from six to ten inches thick, and the new ones we have are a pretty uniform inch and a quarter or so. It will easily be at least 1/6 of the weight of the old. Thanks.


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