Perhaps you’re looking at your old chimney and contemplating about its removal. It’s not as straightforward as it appears, and there are a lot of aspects to take into consideration before beginning. If you want to take down the chimney for pure decorative reasons, however, the work required could be far more than what it’s worth.
Below are a few of crucial factors to be taken into consideration prior to beginning to take down your chimney.
Two Important Terms
There are two main phrases that are likely to be mentioned often in chimney projects. Knowing these terms is essential to decide on the best course of action and for calculating the cost.
The chimney breast is one of the most prominent and crucial components of the chimney. This brick wall protects the flu as well as other useful parts, offering insulation as well as structural strength.
However, the chimney tends to extend into the rooms it travels through. If you want to take back this space within an area, it’s possible to eliminate only the portion of the breast instead of the whole chimney.
Be aware that removing any part of a chimney’s breast will require structural reinforcements to that floor, as well as for the one mentioned above in addition to possible reinforcement of the wall on the outside.
When we think of chimneys it is this part they usually imagine. It’s the part that is visible from the roof and culminating in an end cap. Damage to the structure and leaks are the most frequent reasons to get rid of the chimney’s stack. in these instances you’ll be able to choose covering the remainder of a chimney that is not being used when you expand the roof above the space left by the chimney stack.
There are many aspects to take into consideration prior to making a decision to remove a chimney beyond the actual project. This includes both short-term as well as long-term impacts of the removal, aswell being able to set goals and inform neighbors of the plan prior to the project begins.
In the process of tearing down chimneys remnants of the initial builders can be discovered. They include dated or signed bricks, trinkets gathered by animals that were displaced by the grip of influenza, and other unexpected items. In certain instances, they might be valuable in the future, either directly or through history and therefore be on the lookout for anything that is unusual.
If you are planning to take down a chimney, you might be considering estimates from contractors or intending to do the work yourself in order to save cash. But, there’s an impact over time upon the worth of your house.
This is particularly true for an older house where chimneys can be seen as an attractive feature or you live located in a community where many houses have chimneys. In these cases it might be more beneficial to cover the flu with a seal and then replace the cap and stack with a decorative faux chimney.
Keep in mind that chimney removal can be an extensive, challenging process that can result in serious structural problems. It is recommended to have multiple people involved in the work simultaneously In addition, having experts available will significantly decrease the likelihood of issues.
If you are unable to pay for a contractor to complete the work, you might prefer to engage an expert for guidance as required.
The reasons for removal
There are many reasons for having to get rid of the chimney. These include:
- The stack is badly damaged
- Home insulation
- Local regulations on pollution and LEED Certification
- Plans to stop using
- Roof leakage
- Reclaiming space that is not being used
Each of these is valid , however some of them require additional considerations for instance, whether a complete removal is required or if it will cost more than simply fixing and maintaining your chimney.
The pollution ordinances are more prevalent in the UK than in the US However, they often are based on the type of fuel burned, as well as the quality and quantity of emissions generated.
In a lesser degree the chimney that is still in use could affect the efforts you make to obtain LEED certification for your renovation of your home. This is often tied to issues with heating or emissions. Sometimes, sealing the flu or switching the fuel type that you use can fix this issue, without needing to spend a lot of money on a removal. The fact that you have a chimney does not hinder your chances of getting an LEED certification.
If you choose to tackle the task yourself or contract a contractor, you must be aware that removing a chimney can be tedious work, particularly the traditional brick chimneys. A chimney made of brick must be disassembled carefully each brick at a time to prevent damage to the structure. This will not only mean an extended time commitment from you however, it could also significantly affect the cost of hiring aid.
Considerations for the Project Considerations
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Eliminating a chimney can be an entire undertaking, since the visible chimney is the smallest part of a larger structure. It is essential to plan each step of the process prior to beginning the project in order to avoid any setbacks or fines.
Consult, Consult, Consult!
You’ll need to speak to several experts prior to starting your work. Experts in the field of Masonry can inform whether the chimney could be salvaged and then fixed or sealed with less expense than the removal.
The structural experts must be contacted in order to clarify any possible concerns in the event of taking the breast off of any floor.
Your local code enforcement agency can tell you which permits or documents are required for your project.
In the end, contacting an individual contractor should be preceded by verifying their credibility and credentials prior to making a hiring.
The simple removal of the chimney may result in a small amount of dust, but when you plan to take off the chimney’s breast in several regions, you could be dealing with a significant quantity of tile and brick. It’s not just expensive to get rid of however, it may also require special permits.
It is important to thoroughly study local regulations for disposal and find out whether there are any masonry firms that are interested in salvaging the bricks. In this case the disposal process could be affordable as well as free based on the business and the condition of the bricks that you take away.
Removal of Part or Full?
The removal of a chimney isn’t the same as simply getting rid from the stack visible. The chimney is just an insignificant portion of the chimney’s actual structure.
A complete removal requires removal of the entire structure, which often results in more space in areas where the breasts are encroaching. Removals that are complete require a lot of additional structural support, since it causes a significant gap within your home.
Partially removed breasts often remove the breast. These may also require a additional reinforcement, but most notably on the roof to build up the roof and stop leaks. The partial removals are more efficient and more affordable and suitable in projects where the purpose is to eliminate a damaged or damaged structure.
They also are safer when taking a chimney off an exterior wall of an unattached house in that a complete removal could severely weaken the wall.
There are a variety of documents and permits might be required prior to working on chimneys. Similar to many home improvement projects the building permit is the first item to be considered. But, you might require various other documents available, based on the local regulations and those of your state. These include:
- Blueprints A schematic of your house is an important tool as it can alert you to issues with the structure or issues with the house next to you.
- Certifications If you employ another person to complete the job for you be sure that they’re appropriately certified for the job. This includes knowledge of the removal of chimneys and in construction.
- Waste Permits You may be required to get an exclusive permit for disposal of garbage. This is especially the case when you are disposing of shingles as part of the construction.
- Liability Coverage The contractor you employ must be insured to protect yourself from any liabilities falling on you.
The process of removing old masonry bricks one at a time can be an exhausting and hazardous task. Make sure to wear adequate protection for your body and head and be aware of the large amounts of dust that you’ll create that can affect the quality of your breathing or your vision.
Make sure you have at the very least one spotter to ensure that ladders are stable and that no masonry is at risk of falling over you.