Knocking down a few walls, especially one with a fireplace, to reorganize your floor plan can drastically transform your home. But hold on! There are a few things to consider before grabbing a sledgehammer and going full-on demo day. We've researched whether you can knock down a wall that backs against a fireplace to learn if this is a safe move when renovating.
Knocking down a wall with a fireplace is possible if done correctly. If the wall you want to remove isn't load-bearing, meaning it's not a supporting structure to another level, then, yes, it is possible to remove it. However, if the situation is otherwise, an expert such as an engineer or qualified builder is necessary. Also, the process of removing a fireplace depends on the type you have.
A fireplace can be a significant selling feature for a realtor and can also boost a home's value. But not everyone wants one for some reason. So, spread out a bunch of dust sheets and read along to learn more about things you need before knocking down a wall with a fireplace.
Can a fireplace be removed from a house?
Nothing is cozier than a good fireplace. But, although a warm fire sounds appealing, fireplaces can be messy and costly to maintain, as well as posing safety issues. As a result, some homeowners prefer to have a wall in place of a fireplace instead.
A fireplace, on the other hand, isn't merely a hole in the wall. It's also the shaft that runs through your home and the chimney that protrudes from the top. So, it would be a hard job to remove all of it.
Removing a fireplace also differs depending on which type you have. A zero-clearance fireplace requires a different demolition process compared to the masonry type.
But yes, you can remove a fireplace from a house. In fact, you can take down a fireplace just like how the mason does the job - one brick at a time. Although it is messy and hard work, it shouldn't be as complicated.
How can I tell if a fireplace is load-bearing?
Another item you should check before tearing your fireplace down is whether it is load-bearing or not. A load-bearing wall is critical to the structural stability of your home. With that, tearing it down without some other kind of alternative support is not an option.
Most people with experience could usually tell whether the fireplace is load-bearing or not. But, if you're a newbie when it comes to renovation, you could check the wall of the fireplace above and below.
If there is a wall on top of it and that wall supports another level of your house, that's a load-bearing wall. You could also check the crawl space underneath your home to check for the signs. If you see a cinder block or a supporting beam connected with the wall in question, then that's also a load-bearing wall.
Having a load-bearing wall doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot remove the fireplace. However, such work will need the expertise of pros like structural engineers and architects for safety purposes.
How easy is it to remove a fireplace?
A fireplace with a wooden surround can be removed as simple as removing screws then lifting it away. But for a tile surround, you might need extra help due to its weight.
However, as mentioned, removing a fireplace is a long and challenging task. Plus, to do that, you need to make sure that you have the knowledge and proper tools to do that. These tools include a sledgehammer, a chisel, working gloves, goggles, among many others.
With that, it is always best to get advice from an expert before beginning such a task. Also, although it is possible and cost-efficient to remove the fireplace on your own, the task is too risky and is not a suitable job for amateurs to try.
How much does it cost to remove a chimney wall?
Removing a fireplace or chimney is an expensive process.
For an entire demolition process of entirely removing a fireplace from your home, it would take about $6,000-$7,000. However, partial demolition could cost half of the whole process. With that, you can take into consideration whether you need a complete removal or half demolition is all you need to free up some space inside your home.
Not to mention the inspection fee you need to secure for the engineer that would check the safety of the process. Prices could vary depending on whether the wall you are removing is a load-bearing wall or not. Other things like the fireplace's height, location, and material are also considered for the demolition price.
Does removing a fireplace decrease home value?
A fireplace may be an impressive and practical home feature for you to warm up your freezing hands. However, it can also be hazardous. In fact, every year, an average of 22,300 fireplace-related fires occur. In taking this into consideration, the fireplace may be more of a liability than an asset.
However, fireplace removal can also be a big hassle. Fireplaces are helpful, especially if you are living in a region where the climate can be a bit harsh during winter.
With that, several buyers are still considering fireplaces as a must-have amenity and will most likely look for a house with fireplaces. So, removing a fireplace could decrease the number of buyers attracted to your home listing.
On the other hand, in regions with warmer climates, a home without a fireplace is not much of a big deal.
Fireplaces remind us of the warm, cozy holidays, hot chocolates, and s'mores when we were still young. Also, fireplaces have become the center of many homes where families gather and perform activities. In fact, people are still enthralled by the charm of a house with a fireplace compared to those without.
However, in modern architecture, fireplaces can be outdated, especially with the emergence of heating technology that functions the same while providing us with a much more spacious home.
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