Removing a fireplace....bad idea?
justine7700
June 25, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am doing an entire house remodel, and I have no use for the fireplace. The cost to extend the current one up through the new floors (adding a second and third level) plus making it pretty will far exceed just removing it and putting some nice shelving in the living room. My architect is against this because all nice homes have a fireplace. Not sure what to do and would love some input on this decision. Thanks!
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PRO
Dytecture
Does the climate where you live requires heating in the winter? If so, it might be a good idea to keep the fireplace.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:08AM
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justine7700
I am in the pacific NW, so the chilly season is long and rainy but not extremely cold.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Darzy
I agree most buyers have a fireplace on their "must haves". But, is this your "forever" home? Do what you want. Or, you can close the vent and convert to a modern, ventless FP with gel can fire. It's technically not a "working" fireplace anymore tho and only gel fuel can be used.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Darzy
PS...If it were me I'd keep the fireplace though.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Skyler Paul
Hi, do you have an image you can attach? I think a fireplace is a great addition to a home. Especially if you are looking to resell in the future.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:17AM
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justine7700
Thanks for the input so far. We plan for this to be our forever home.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:23AM
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
If you have natural gas or propane, a direct vent fireplace could take the place of the existing fireplace since it only requires installation of a double lined metal duct for venting and not an entire chimney. That being said, it has its own issues. The face of the fireplace is not open. It has a glass cover which can be camouflaged by using a black mesh flat fire screen placed in front of the glass. It only uses gas, not wood. The positioning on the exterior wall of the large vent cap needs scrutiny.

There is also another possibility. You may be able to retrofit a double-lined metal duct into the existing chimney along with a firebox insert. That way you can continue the duct framed in wood up and out through your roof. The exposed section would have stone or brick veneer. This approach eliminates the costly structural masonry but may bring up other concerns about matching existing chimney finish material.

I would keep a fireplace. It's a wonderful design element because it not only provides a good looking no-nonsense focal point but it elicits comfortable and warm feelings from family and guests. It seems to be one of the very few aesthetic features real estate brokers put in the listing that adds value to the home.

In any event, ask your architect to look into Town & Country fireplaces. http://www.townandcountryfireplaces.net/drc/handbooks.html
1 Like   June 25, 2013 at 10:39AM
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bluenan
Chilly, rainy weather is perfect for a fire, keep the fireplace, plans can change.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 10:40AM
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pcmom1
Keep it for the charm. It can hold candles during the winter and a large fern in the summer.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Warren Mullins
Just keep it and do a makeover. That will add more appeal to your house.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 1:13PM
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minimumjoe
Justine, we went through the same conversation, many times! The argument which finally convinced us to keep the fireplace was the impact of removal on resale -- most people find added value in a fireplace. The biggest problem with keeping it is the IMMENSE heat loss/gain in winter/summer it represented. When I closed the damper with foamboard and duct tape ($4) my A/C bill went down $15 the next month. I panted the firebox with a high-heat matte black and loaded the wood crib in the opening with white birch logs. It looks great, but we don't have to put up with its down sides.
1 Like   June 25, 2013 at 1:19PM
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pcmom1
Firebox could be a great out of the way spot for a pet bed :)
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 1:40PM
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justine7700
Thanks everyone! I was leaning towards keeping it, but it is a hard thing to spend money on when I won't use it. Majority rules - it shall stay.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 2:25PM
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joanbllt
I removed all the rock - used knockdown to cover around the metal box, then painted the wall. The fireplace is closed - my sofa is on that wall. The fireplace may be easily re opened by the next owner.
0 Likes   June 25, 2013 at 9:21PM
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pcmom1
Great idea!
0 Likes   June 26, 2013 at 2:45PM
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