And the condo association is cool with this kind of construction?
Yes, as per our condo agreements, the fireplace is part of my property. What I must not touch is the flue vent and the gas line. Anyways, I would not touch these since its mostly a safety hazard.
Talking about these lines, would normally the fireplace be just inserted in the box or would it be fastened somehow to the structure? I am pretty sure I happened to slightly move the insert (maybe a quarter inch) when I pushed on it to see if it was anchored...
In the end, if its just a box with studs (metal or wood) and some paneling, and there are no connections to the fireplace insert, I feel pretty confident to be able to rebuild/straighten this up.
I will drill a 2inch hole on the side and insert a flashlight to see whats inside and how its built. Then Ill have an idea of the construction.
For the floor, yes its a shame but the quarter round that was installed on the baseboard on each sides of the insert covered the mess and you couldn't tell. I am not sure I want to play with the flooring because I have zero experience in that and it would probably result in having the whole floor repaired or worst, replaced ($$$$$)...
I am thinking the rocks and panels (whatever they will be) will be thick enough to cover the floor mess but like I said, the fireplace insert will appear to be deeper in the "box" because of the thicker walls.. Any cosmetic issues with this? I will look on the web for decoration ideas as well...
Attached is a picture showing what I have as much as I can tell for now.. The crooked portion is shown on the left side and is exaggerated for clarity.