Can I remove these bricks or are they supporting my flue?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by 1930ssemi, May 24, 2020.

  1. 1930ssemi

    1930ssemi New Member

    9C32E516-5A02-4CC7-B76B-073E2BDA9D1A.jpeg A550B88C-6567-490B-B4B6-6F18932F03E3.jpeg Complete novice here, we’re trying to open up our chimney in our 1930’s semi and have found a mess of disorganised brickwork behind the builders rubble, we want to take this out, and lower the opening below the supporting arch with a lintel to fit a bioethanol fire in (so is purely decorative and doesn’t need to be functioning), however, we are concerned that chaotic brickwork may be supporting the flue above it as we can’t see what’s holding it up? Any ideas? We will get a builder in if it’s risky, but just wanted to see if it was possible to do safely ourselves?
  2. teabreak

    teabreak Screwfix Select

    The arch above looks promising in theory that should support the wall above, but I am not an expert. The whole thing looks a bit of a hotchpoch to me I think I would go the local builder route myself.
  3. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Screwfix Select

    I think I'd take the rest of the plaster off so you can see exactly what the arch looks like, but I agree with Teabreak.

    What was there originally? Has it ever had a real fire?

    Oh yes, and whatever you do, take the bricks out carefully and save them. You never know when you might need them in future and if they're gone, you'll never get matching new ones (guess how I know....)
  4. 1930ssemi

    1930ssemi New Member

    Originally it was a builders opening and a gas fire, there’s soot in the flue, so I think at one point it did have a real fire, but that was a long time ago. We’ve got a builder coming round tomorrow to have a look at it, as I’m baffled about what bricks I can take out safely as it’s all a bit of a mess, thanks for your replies.
  5. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Screwfix Select

    Fear not, although it looks a bit of a mess at the moment, I'm certain that hiding in there is a sound structure that will look absolutely brilliant once it's sorted out.

    If it does end up with a semi-circular arch, you'll have to tell people it's Norman!

    Please post us a few photos of progress. It's a very interesting project.
  6. sharkey_2k

    sharkey_2k Member

    All the brickwork at the back is just infill to fill the gap for gas fire if you look up the hole you should see the top not far after the opening take down from there and will all fall out pretty easy would take plaster away round arch to make sure that’s sound before removing any bricks under the arch
  7. 1930ssemi

    1930ssemi New Member

    Had builders in today, needed three lintels but it’s done!

    Attached Files:

    Joe the Plumber likes this.
  8. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    I think I would have opened up to the arch, but looks good whatever.
    stevie22 likes this.
  9. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Thought you were going to make a feature of the arch, something a little different and a cut above the rest you see. :(
    Tidy job though. :)
  10. 1930ssemi

    1930ssemi New Member

    I was thinking of opening up the arch, but the builders didn’t think it would have suited the style of the home as it’s a 30’s semi and the living room is quite small, so might have looked a bit too large and out of place? I think in a larger older home it could have been a great feature though.
  11. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    Hmm. [CYNIC] the builders maybe thought that if you chose to open up the arch there wan't as much for them to do/charge you for [/CYNIC]

    However, they did a neat job...

    The interesting bit is the hint at a second arch form in the second layer of brick below the first arch. Trying to work out what it all looked like originally
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
    rogerk101 likes this.
  12. 1930ssemi

    1930ssemi New Member

    I have no idea, because the flue continued below the arch as you can see in the first pics and when removed there was no soot behind it, so I originally thought the lower flue was a recent addition, but looks like it was there from the beginning? In which case surely the arch would have not been exposed? Not sure if I’m explaining it well!

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