Opening up / widening a chimney breast

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Steve2017, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Hi, I have started uncovering the fireplace in a 1850 cottage to install a woodburner but dont know how wide I can go. I have removed the old fire inset bit and a few bricks below the sandstone lintel and this is what Im left with, any advice would be great thanks -

    IMG_20181008_120403.jpg IMG_20181008_120347.jpg IMG_20181008_120335.jpg IMG_20181008_120321.jpg
     
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Wel that's one wall to build a wall, bricks on edge above lintel.

    Would think you you can open it up,all depend how it's been built,but difficult without being there to have a nosey.
    Ideally you need 200mm masonry minimum each side to support lintel,need to get bco to have a look.
     
  3. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    I know i was thinking of taking it down but didnt know what would be hidden behind it.... I know theres old looking large bricks from looking at the side (probably the original from the 1850's) but dont know whats hidden in the center...
     

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  4. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Old houses can throw up some very nasty surprises, so expect the unexpected.:D
     
    stuart44 likes this.
  5. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Removed some more bricks from the left and right. If these ones left are supporting anything would they not be sitting abit more neatly in more of a square fashion?
    IMG_20181008_191501_HHT.jpg IMG_20181008_191523_HHT.jpg IMG_20181008_191510_HHT.jpg
     
  6. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    There doesnt seem to be anything resting on this section on the right (the bricks were loose so just wobbled them out by hand?)
     

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  7. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Looking good.:)
     
  8. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    The thing to watch out for is that quite often a chimney may look straight but can bend a lot higher up. Obviously have to watch that you don't leave the sides of the flue unsupported or any overhang
     
  9. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Heres the progress so far, cleared the right section.... House / chimney not fallen down yet..... Lol

    But I have left the bricks that were interlocked into the rear wall bricks
     

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  10. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    Only guessing, but if those non-structural infill bricks are keyed in to the back wall, I suspect the back wall is infill too. It's pretty obvious that the original fireplace, that most likely had a large range, was the one with stone uprights and lintel. The rest was most likely added afterwards to close the space down for a domestic fireplace.

    Wiggle one of the back wall bricks out if they are loose - I bet they are - and see if there is another wall behind.
     
  11. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Yea there are some loose ones with gaps in where pointing should be that go back and behind seems to be sandstone but Im abit worried that if I take any more out things might come flying down lol.... The way they are positioned seems to be infill bits of rubble, its not neat looking brick work, just looks thrown together...

    But yea Im guessing your right that it was a big old cooker in there as the house originally didnt have a kitchen as that has been added on at some point looking at the outside of the house

    Smashed the other side out now and offered the stove up, think I will need 2x 30 degree bends for the pipe..
     

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  12. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Close up of whats left, looks abit like more infill, doesnt look supportive, if I take it out I suppose I would save £70 or so on 30 degree bends
     

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  13. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Removed some bricks and theres abit of sandstone looking stuff behind but dont know on the condition as some looked quite crumbly and loose... Unless thats more infill stuff...
     
  14. Steve2017

    Steve2017 Member

    Heres how it started off
     

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