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Old 10-20-2011, 06:14 PM  
Nemoralis
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Default Remodeling brick fireplace?

We are looking at houses to buy and have narrowed it down to two. Both of them have fireplaces that act as dividers between rooms. House #1 has a nice fireplace that divides a sitting room and living room. It's gas and opens on both sides. It's also very slim and is framed by a wall.

House #2 has a huge brick fireplace that divides a small sunroom and the living room. It takes up a large amount of space and looks out of place. It only opens to one side - the back side is solid brick. We are wondering how difficult/costly it would be to remodel the fireplace on this house to look more like house #1, because house #2 is 8k less and has some other features we like more than house #1.

Here are some photos:
House 2:


House 1:



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Old 10-28-2011, 09:16 PM  
BridgeMan
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You may not want to hear this, but I personally think the all brick fireplace in House 2 is head-and-shoulders better than the one in House 1. Especially the way it ties in so nicely with the deeply-coved ceiling. It has balance, substance and craftsmanship, things that House 1's fireplace is completely lacking--to me, House 1 looks like a fake fireplace insert, slapped together by someone in a hurry, and looking almost "imitation." And there's also the added benefit of some solar gain from House 2's brick side facing the sunroom, releasing its stored heat at night when you'd normally turn the furnace down.

But to answer your question, if you insist on tearing out the beautiful piece of workmanship, it should be a fairly straight-forward operation. Plan on sistering in some floor and ceiling framing to support the patched floor and ceiling covering (the flue and block assembly probably "necks down" in the attic, so you shouldn't have any roof penetration problems). And perfectly matching what's there will be the biggest challenge, to avoid having things permanently look like an "add-on."



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Old 10-29-2011, 06:58 AM  
inspectorD
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And , Any fireplaces with a double opening never work correctly. And...if they do draw well, they suck all the already heated air out of the house at a very quick pace.
Go for the single fireplace opening, and get at least a set of glass doors on it.

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Old 10-30-2011, 06:22 AM  
joecaption
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I'm with Bridge Man on this one. It looks like a weekend diy built it.
Poor molding work and sloppy brick work.

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