Before plastering make sure that the surface is prepared properly and that old and flaking plaster is stabilized. These useful tools cost between about £9 and £16, according to three of the UK’s largest tool retailers (See References 3 thru 5). juvenal . You may come across steel ties bridging the two walls in which case work these loose by knocking them gently backwards and forwards with the hammer then pull them free with your hand. Cover & Block Up Fireplace. BL home improvements. If there are other fixings, work your way around the edges of the facing gently levering it away from the wall; do this a small amount at a time to avoid damaging the wall and cracking the brickwork. Interior Frugalista. Removing the fireback The fireback is usually held in place by a bed of mortar laid against the edges of the opening. When you have uncovered the fixing lugs, ask a helper to steady the fire surround while you undo them. Open fires and wood burners aren’t the most environmentally friendly method of heating your home, although a roaring fire is very comforting when it’s cold outside. In order to bed the blocking material into place and allow a neat plastered finish, you need to cut away some of the existing plaster around the opening with the hammer and bolster. Two people can usually carry the surround outside to be disposed of, but i f you have to negotiate a stairway or an awkward doorway, get some extra help. A quantity of plaster will be required to cover the face of the bricks – this can only be applied once the mortar holding the bricks has gone off. 0 Reviews Normally wall blocks is the cheapest depending on the sit could start from £250 to £550 11th May 2020. ; remember to leave a gap 100mm from the floor to accommodate the vent. For this you can use bricks, lightweight building blocks or more lightweight materials such as hardboard, chipboard or asbestos. There is no need to remove the fireback from the fireplace, although if a back boiler is fitted, this should be removed once the plumbing has been isolated and disconnected. A number of heavy-duty polythene bags are useful for disposing of the loose rubble and soot created during demolition and clearance of the site. An assistant can also help by steadying the surround while it is being levered free of its fixings. We like to use the fire every now and then, but most of the time all the warm air escapes up it. What’s the best way to block up our chimney during cold weather? Look up While placing the focal point on the ceiling might not be the first thing that springs to mind, don’t rule it out. Bear in mind that the hearth and surround are likely to prove heavy and you will need the help of at least one other person to dispose of them. Measure and cut the sheeting to size, and make an internal hole to take the ventilator using a drill and a padsaw. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Removing a fireplace and blocking up the opening. My gas fire has been removed and has left a big hole in the wall. Once the fireplace is cool again, place the guard over the hole. If the bottom of the hearth is level with the surrounding floor loosen the bedding mortar by chopping around it with a hammer and bolster. Since the surround is likely to be resting on top of the hearth it is best to start by removing this. The brickwork can now be built into the opening; it should be set back half an inch from the existing face of the plasterwork surrounding the fireplace. Bricks and lightweight building blocks are both perfectly adequate where you want to block up an opening permanently. Posted July 27, 2009. juvenal. 2. The bonnet effectively stops rain entering the chimney, but allows air to circulate freely. Insert this between the surround and the chimney breast, somewhere near the base. If not, simply lever the facing away from the wall and pull it clear. Get Creative With These Ideas ", followed by 519 people on Pinterest. He will want to know how the sealed chimney is to be ventilated and also what alternative methods of heating are being used. Link to post Share on other sites. The procedure used to remove a wooden surround is much the same as for a tiled one except that the fixing lugs usually face towards the fire opening rather than outwards away from it. Where the surround is screwed to the wall or chimney breast you also need a large screwdriver, plus a hacksaw to cut through any fixings which cannot easily be shifted. Whatever you do, work safe and don’t take chances. Use a lime mortar specially formulated for fireplaces; you can buy this in small bags from fireplace suppliers. Press it down so the cement oozes out just a bit under the brick. Cost to block up a fireplace? In order to bed the blocking material into place and allow a neat plastered finish, you need to cut away … A 1kg (2 ½lb) club hammer has a block-shaped, solid head, made from drop-forged steel. Sheet polythene can be bought in large rolls to completely cover the floor and protect it while the work is going on. Oct 8, 2013 - Explore TimesUnion Magazines's board "Can't use your fireplace? Finally, look over the new brickwork and fill all gaps to create a smooth and flat surface. If the surround moves by even a few millimetres there are no more fixing lugs. Removing a brick fireplace can be a long and difficult job, but you can do it with a bit of experience and the right tools. Blocking up a fireplace includes removing the mantle and hearth, so the fireplace becomes flush with the chimney breast. If you decide to retain the present surround, first break out the fireback and then cut away the plaster around the opening to a distance of about 200mm on each side. It is usually old and crumbly so if it does not immediately pull free, use the hammer and bolster to break it into more easily handled pieces. Revealing the Fireplace Once you are sure that all the lugs are free, slowly lower the surround to the ground in front of the fire. Removing a fireplace and blocking up the opening is a relatively straightforward job providing you plan the work carefully and have the right tools and equipment to hand. Take care when plastering to avoid covering the holes in the airbrick. Starting from the top, insert the bolster into each of the layers of mortar. Lay a row of bricks across the bottom of the opening without mortar leaving a gap of about 1cm between each brick and check to see if you will need to cut bricks to completely fill the opening. Then build up each course of bricks. See Kate’s toddler in action using it on Lindsay’s blog, Pink Green & Zebra. You may simply be able to lever the fireback out, lifting the top half out first and then the bottom half. We have a fireplace in in a bedroom that we do not want to remove or refurbish. Boarding up: For this use 6mm oiltempered hardboard, chipboard, or if you intend to fit a gas fire in front of the wall, asbestos sheeting. The final job is to fit the ventilation cowl to the chimney pot - this is probably the worst part of the job especially if you don’t like heights. See more ideas about fireplace, unused fireplace, fireplace … If you have a chimney (a proper chimney stack) but do not have a recess suitable for even the smallest of solid fuel stoves then you will very likely be looking at an open fire, gas fire, electric fire, little hole in the wall or a boarded/bricked up recess. Then gently tap each brick free and remove it by hand, out of the way. Here the first task is to remove the plaster covering the two fixing lugs. Lay the brick on the floor of the fireplace, flush with the front of the fireplace. Lindsay wrote us to share a terrific solution her friend, Kate, Stone, came up with to keep her toddler out of the fireplace while adding to the decor instead of subtracting from it.A magnetic chalkboard – nice!! Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you may be able to turn down your thermostat, saving even more on your energy bills. The cavity above will be full of soot and rubble and you should make sure that this is removed and the opening brushed clean before you continue. Do the same with the other side and you should be able to lift the whole hearth away with the help of another person. You don’t. Laying Brickwork into Fireplace Opening. If you have a small fireplace that no longer houses a fire or has been blocked up and plastered over, why not use it as an alcove for shelving to fill an unwelcome gap? Disused fireplaces often run the risk of penetrating damp as a result of rain falling down the chimney. Wipe away the excess and repeat with another brick. Once both coats of plaster have been applied and allowed to dry thoroughly, the ventilation grille can be fitted and fixed firmly in place with bolts or self-tapping screws. Helpful Answer? Try not to damage the brickwork underneath as you do this and leave straight edges around the area you have cleared away so that final plastering is made easier. 9. However, if the hearth is lower than the surrounding floor, you have no choice but to break it up or chip it away down to the required level using a hammer and bolster. We have several fireplaces and this could work for us. A stone or brickwork surround is easily removed with a hammer and bolster one course at a time. If not, there may be fixing lugs at the bottom edges which should be removed before you proceed. I live on HPC! 1 Answers. For this you can use bricks, lightweight building blocks or more lightweight materials such as hardboard, chipboard or asbestos. The air-brick however should be built out a little so that its face is flush with the existing plaster. Choosing to block a fireplace. Apply cement in between each brick in the same way; the bricks should be flush against each other, except for the thin layer of cement. This is because the fireplace is an easy area for heat to escape. Before starting to brick up the fireplace or fitting the ventilation cowl, have the chimney swept one last time to remove as much soot as possible and dislodge any bird nests or other debris. Members; 12,032 posts; Location: Dorset coast; Report; Share; Posted July 27, 2009. Stand it next to the fireplace or hide it underneath a piece of furniture so it’s not in the way. Blocking up an unused fireplace . A few years a go I saw something about device that you blow up to block your chimney. Before starting to lay the bricks, dampen the brickwork around the chimney hole – years of having a fire will have well and truly dried out the original brickwork. The fire pit uses gel fireplace fuel cans to achieve those bright yet gentle flames. After an old fire surround and hearth has been removed, the hole in the chimney breast can be bricked in to tidy up the wall. I'm bricking up an unused fireplace in a house about 30 years old. Then insert the crowbar under one end of the hearth and raise it high enough to push a thin batten of wood underneath. Check brickwork for loose mortar: strengthen any crumbling joints then chip away excess mortar once this has dried. The airbrick needs to project forward of the rest of the brickwork so that its front face (with the holes in) is flush with the original plaster on each side – use a straightedge across the front to achieve this. Fit the airbrick in the middle of about the third row of new brickwork – the exact position is not important; it need to be fairly low but must not be at the extreme bottom and needs to clear any skirting board being used. But, if you’re tempted to see what’s behind a blocked up chimney, what do you need to know about Building Regs, costs and how to do it safely to make sure you don’t end up with a whole lot of mess? 6. Check out how well it works in this kitchen, where a bold, geometric motif creates an interesting contrast to the dark cabinetry and pale flooring. © Copyright 2006-2021 practicalDIY.com - All rights reserved. However, they can weigh a considerable amount, with some weighing up to 300kg. It is also necessary to cap the chimney pot to allow air circulation through the chimney while keeping rain, birds etc out. With your helper still steadying the far end of the surround, use your left hand to steady the other end and hold the crowbar in your right hand. These should be adequate for prising the various parts free of their fixings without the need for excessive force, but you will need safety glasses or goggles if you have to hack away mortar with the bolster since loose material is bound to fly. What is the cheapest method for blocking up a fireplace. Anyone know if you can just block it off completely or do you need to leave some ventilation for any reason? After an old fire surround and hearth has been removed, the hole in the chimney breast can be bricked in to tidy up the wall. Although the plaster may dry hard after about 20 minutes, it often takes months to settle on the brickwork below; consequently, redecorating, especially with wallpaper should not be undertaken straight away. The guard folds flat for compact storage when you want to light a fire. Lay the bottom row of bricks onto a bed of mortar and make sure that mortar is applied between the ends of the bricks and the sides of the opening - set the bricks back from the front edge so that they line up with the original brickwork on each side to leave enough room for the brick to be later plastered to the line of the original plaster. This works particularly well in bedrooms for storing books, and also in kitchens by creating extra space for pretty displays. Use a straightedge across the front of the opening onto the original plaster or brickwork to keep the bricks straight. Hot air goes up, up and away. It's worth noting that although the chimney stack was originally outside, there has subsequently been an extension built on the far side, so the stack is now internal for most of the way up until about 2/3rd of the way up the second storey. If the chimney is big, use several next to each other. Do not take any chances when working on the roof, it may appear to be only a ‘five minute job’ but you need to gain safe access to the chimney stack and then reach the top of the chimney pot. Once all the equipment has been assembled, clear the room ready for the work. In this case, though, ventilation must be provided in the form of an airbrick in the chimney stack. Both can be installed just above the fireplace opening so you can't see them, but can get them out easily if required. Remove the guard and fold it flat when you want to use the fireplace. Build up successive courses until you fill the cavity. Start by taking the crowbar and driving it between the wooden part of the surround and the brickwork behind it. So you have a fireplace that doesn't actually work—but that doesn't mean it's totally useless. Regular sand and cement mortar will crack with the heat. The easiest way to cap a chimney is to fit an appropriate ventilating cowl to the top of the chimney pot. But whatever method you use, the blocked opening must contain a ventilation grille, fitted at a distance of about 100mm from the floor. Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 a year*. Removing the fireplace will create a great deal of rubble and dust, so it is best to take everything out of the room, including the carpet. Once the fireplace has been knocked down and the area cleaned, the opening should be blocked off to prevent draughts and to stop dust falling down the chimney into the room. If necessary, cut the bricks before you start. How do you know that there is definitely a builder’s opening (fireplace) somewhere? Discover 10 kitchens that break the mould See more ideas about fireplace draft stopper, draft stopper, fireplace cover. A new section of skirting board will be required to finish off the wall after the plaster has gone off. Common bricks can be used for closing the fireplace, there’s no need to use the more expensive ‘facing’ bricks. After the plastering has been completed, you can fix a new piece of skirting across the bottom of the chimney breast – rather than just fitting a new piece across where the hearth was, it usually give a better finish if the short lengths of original skirting either side of the hearth are removed back to the corner and a new piece fitted across the complete front of the chimney breast. Gonna block up a fireplace. As the wall is built upwards, hold a straightedge against the face of the brickwork to check vertical and horizontal alignment. Blocking up a fireplace can add extra space to a room and even improve the heat efficiency of your home. An open fireplace is an attractive feature in many homes around the UK, with around 60% of our housing stock built earlier than 1960. To do this start at the top right hand corner of the fire and chip away the plaster using a hammer and bolster. I live in a flat which is about 25 years old - i have a neighbour through the wall where the fireplace is, and a neighbour above me. The technique you use will depend on how the surround is constructed. Note that in the UK, sealing a chimney constitutes a structural alteration and you will need building permission from your local Building Control office or District Surveyor. A ventilation cowl is required to suit the chimney pot. Fix the sheeting into place by marking and drilling holes along its edge and using wall plugs to secure it to the wall beneath. Leave it to dry out for 12 hours before plastering. If you plan to block up the opening, you should remove it. If you want to permanently block a chimney, the extreme solution would be to brick up the front of the fireplace or chimney breach, tear down the chimney top and reroof over that. Ball-park figure perhaps? DIY Modern Concrete Fire Pit from ManMade. Black bin bag filled with scrunched up newspaper. Is this correct? When the brickwork is complete, “rake” out the mortar joints to give a good key for the plastering to follow. While the idea of a fireplace is romantic, it might be a nuisance in practice. First, start by protecting and sealing your work area so dust and debris don’t get all over your home. The fireback will usually be made of cast concrete and will be comprised of two parts. To remove an electric fireplace we estimate £150+. You can check this by placing a spirit level … Check whether the timber is held in place by any other fixings—either metal studs or bars. Once the fireplace has been knocked down and the area cleaned, the opening should be blocked off to prevent draughts and to stop dust falling down the chimney into the room. If the bricks go up through your home, you need to start your demolition on the chimney and work your way down. 04 of 10. Pop storage into the niche. In my experience if you see a picture like anything below then in 98% plus of cases there is a larger firepla… The top row of bricks will probably be the most awkward to lay – the vertical space will probably not be a full brick high; one option is to fill the gap using broken roof tiles embedded in the mortar, start at the sides applying mortar into the gap and slide the pieces of tile into the mortar sideways – pushing the pieces in from the front will tend to push the mortar out the back, pushing them in sideways will tend to push the mortar between the brick below and the chimney breast lintel above. It is ideal for medium to loud levels of noise such as clear words, music and TV noise - offering an average reduction of 52dB, or in human terms a good halving of the noise. What you do next depends on whether you block up the opening with bricks or some type of sheeting. Natural fuel (wood) or coal fire removal costs. Here are 16 stylish ways to decorate a non-functioning fireplace. Thank you! Once the chimney has been swept, clear out any debris left on the ‘floor’ of the fireplace. Removing a wood or coal burning stove is simple in principle, as there are no gas or electric connections to remove. Tie a knot in the end and stuff it up the chimney. Most hearths consist of a slab of concrete—usually covered in tiles— which sits below the opening and is bedded into place on a weak limemortar mix. The simplest way of avoiding this is to fit a rain bonnet, a blocking piece which is cemented into the chimney pot. If the fixings refuse to pull clear, insert a hacksaw between the facing and the wall and cut through the studs or bars. Ventilation needs to be provided to the chimney space to avoid moisture collecting on the soot and smoke deposits within the chimney and forming damp areas, this can easily be achieved by building in an air-brick as the fireplace opening is bricked up. To remove the surround, hearth and fireback use a crowbar, club hammer and a bolster. The direct to existing wall system is very easy to install, taking up just 30mm of space. We have several fireplaces and this could work for us. While it can be expensive to hire a professional to complete the project, this may be a fascinating challenge for DIY enthusiasts. But if the opening is particularly small, bricks are preferable since they are easier to manoeuvre and fit into place. The gap on the last course may be too thin to take whole bricks, so you should cut them lengthways to make up the difference. If you don’t want to pay for professional builders in London, we offer you a small guide. The plumber said he would block the hole with bricks and plasterboard and said i did not need an air vent. Try to plaster the area neatly by feathering off around the edges. You use it to break the mortar below the hearth and also when removing the fire back. When cutting and drilling asbestos, make sure you wear a mask to avoid breathing in the dust. Taking out a fireplace doesn’t just mean knocking out a few bricks and boarding it up. Dec 17, 2014 - Explore Tamara Verushka's board "Fireplace draft stopper" on Pinterest. However, in some cases you may need to break it up in situ and remove it piece by piece. Each brick in the second and subsequent rows needs to be centred on the vertical mortar joint in the row below, so again, brick can be cut before you start to achieve this. If necessary pack it out to bring it nearly level with the surrounding plaster. Apply a thin layer of cement to the bottom of the brick with a trowel. By levering with the crowbar and using your hands to pull the surround away from the wall you should be able to open a gap between the surround and the wall big enough to look down. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £15 a year*. Breast, somewhere near the base not using it on the chimney pot cowl to the fireplace is a rewarding! 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