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Quixote

Opening up a fireplace

I have a blocked-in fireplace in one of the bedroom that I'd really like to open up. It's been blocked with plasterboard & papered over, but recent high winds have resulted in cracks where the plasterboard fits in & it looks pretty tacky

I know that the chimney flue's clear & the structure's & hearth are in good order too. All I need to do is replace the surround & grate. Do I need to get it sryeyed before I start doing any work? And has anyone else opened up a fireplace? If so, any hints & tips will be more than welcome as I've never done this before! Very Happy
lefthandandy

done a few Q,GTB would tell you more than me,just do the normal smoke bomb test,check the brickwork,you might need to do a little pointing,and depending on your firplace might need to buy some microfill.just make sure its all clean stick your arm up there Laughing do make sure your chimmey hasent been capped off ,and above all dont alter the size of the opening.hoping this helps
Quixote

Thanks mate! Very Happy

Just took the plasterboard off, and it turns out the opening's been bricked-up. Too much to hope for that all it needed would be a surround & hearth Rolling Eyes
Calli

So is the chimney still standing or are you surrounded by plaster dust??? Very Happy
Quixote

Ain't gone near since that awful discovery! Frantically reading lots about how it's done Shocked
Guest

i had one bricked up,knocked the bricks in and the fire place was still there! Very Happy
Quixote

That's reassuring! Very Happy

I wonder if I should just go for it then? After all, the night's still young Wink
monkeybum

Have a large drink and then just do it. Whats the worst that can happen?!? Shocked

Don't answer that! Shocked
Quixote

monkeybum wrote:
Have a large drink and then just do it. Whats the worst that can happen?!? Shocked



Quite right! After all................I have a spare bedroom! Laughing
Quixote

Oh bugger Shocked

Well, I decided to go for................wish to God I hadn't though. What a half-assed job some prat's made of it! Evil or Very Mad

The old fireplace detail has been ripped out, not even a firebrick left in place! No sign of the grate or firebox, and the whole thing's been filled with rubble & mortar! The brick facing looks as though it was done by a blind bus driver (i.e: someomne VERY crap at it!!!!), and the plaster finish is terrible. I wish I could have 5 minutes with the utter waste of oxygen that did this job!

The only thing I can do is make good the plaster, box in the void and install a mantlepiece & fire surround. It'll need to be used as a feature only. I reckon it'd cost hundreds to put right!!! Evil or Very Mad

I'm not in a good mood Mad
monkeybum

OOps! Pretty expensive drink then! Thing is though Q at least you know that this time it will be done right and that it will far better at the end of the job. It will all be worth it in the end and think of the satisfaction you will get from knowing that if you ever need to do that job again you have had plenty practice. Wink
Quixote

monkeybum wrote:
Have a large drink and then just do it. Whats the worst that can happen?!? Shocked



That's quite enough from you, thank you very much!! Laughing Laughing


Seriously though, it just goes to show how quickly things can go wrong! Never mind, now that I've stopped sobbing I can see the potential of it Very Happy

The plan now is to box in the void, fit a mantlepiece and surround, put in a marble (or granite)-effect infill, and just place a cast iron log grate in the space. I'm sure it'll look great once it's all done. I'll take some pics & let you all see how the job gets on
Calli

A couple of church candles in the grate - wonderful atmosphere and ambiance.

I know its not the same as apple logs smouldering away Rolling Eyes
Graham The Builder

Sorry about getting to this topic a bit late. Embarassed

A lot of up-stairs fireplaces were pre-cast iron affairs which not only contained the mantle but the grate itself. When these were ripped out you were often left with a large void behind. You could try a reclamation yard near you, Q which often has these sorts of items in stock for just over the 100 mark for a plain example.
Quixote

Bugger, bugger, and treble 'bugger' Shocked

Before the awful truth dawned


Uh-oh....just couldn't leavce it alone, could I?



The right hand side.............



Where the grate should be...........


And look what they've done to my lum!!! Evil or Very Mad


And the rough plaster you can see is about 3 inches shallower than it needs to be to meet the plasterboard cover! Confused


It's actually a downstairs fireplace (I'm all on one level). I can't actually see any evidence of a 'built' fireplace from what's left, so your suggestion about a built-in cast iron fella may well be right, Graham. Having said that, there is a stone hearth under the carpet. It might be an option to put in a stove, but I reckon that could be quite expensive.......first buying it, and then having the chimney cleared Confused
Calli

Can you put it back? Laughing
Quixote

Cheers! Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

Just you watch this space!!! I'm determined to make a silk purse out of this sow's ear now. It's got my dander up good n' proper now, dontchya know!? Laughing
monkeybum

What are you mumpin about now man??? By the sounds of it I though your entire wall had collapsed. Have you never heard of No Nails??? Our entire house is held up with it. Well that and Big Gap Filler! Laughing Our whole house looks like that, its called "rustic"! Laughing
lefthandandy

Calli wrote:
A couple of church candles in the grate  - wonderful atmosphere and ambiance.

I know its not the same as apple logs smouldering away Rolling Eyes



Starpots look good in fireplaces Very Happy i might have the odd one knocking about Cool
Guest

A fire place in the bedroom is loverly, please continue to let us know how you get on. Wink
fenlandfowl

Re: Opening up a fireplace

Quixote wrote:
I have a blocked-in fireplace in one of the bedroom that I'd really like to open up. It's been blocked with plasterboard & papered over, but recent high winds have resulted in cracks where the plasterboard fits in & it looks pretty tacky

I know that the chimney flue's clear & the structure's & hearth are in good order too. All I need to do is replace the surround & grate. Do I need to get it sryeyed before I start doing any work? And has anyone else opened up a fireplace? If so, any hints & tips will be more than welcome as I've never done this before!  Very Happy

Has it got a vent in the plasterboard? I would open it, get it swept and light a smoke bomb in the fireplace to check it draws properly.
Esparcia

I had a hell of a job with mine; revealed some lovely cast iron grates and beautiful tiles though.
Quixote

I revealed nothing other than a damn big hole surrounded by broken rubble  Rolling Eyes
fenlandfowl

Quixote wrote:
I revealed nothing other than a damn big hole surrounded by broken rubble  Rolling Eyes

there was a way you could have fixed it. If you had removed all the rubble, then covered the hole  with a sheet of asbestolux, you could have put a nice little cheapo woodburner in front. They are as little as 80 from machine mart. Make a hole through the asbestolux for the flue pipe and hey presto. You have heat.

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