You can rebuild your fireplace, either for decorative purposes or maintenance issues. A fireplace is a cost-effective, environment-friendly alternative to the expensive heating apparatus for many. With proper control and maintenance, you can enjoy the cosy warmth of a fireplace indoors.
There are many different styles you can attempt when rebuilding your fireplace. A successful rebuild can dramatically increase cost savings as well as transform the look and feel of the room its situated in.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fireplace grate
- Metal trowel
- Carbon monoxide detectors
Assess the present condition of the fireplace. Look for the chimney or flue vent or the remains of either. Often, sooty areas and sliced bricks indicate their presence. If you are going to use the fireplace as a decorative feature, the absence of a chimney isn’t going to hurt. But, for real fire, a chimney and flue vent need to be rebuilt, if not available.
Examine the area near the fireplace for the presence of a hearth. A solid flooring indicates the presence of a hearth.
Examine the fireplace opening for bricks or stones. Tap the chimney breast. If it sounds hollow, there may be a plaster board involved. Scrape the plaster with a trowel and cut a rectangle to examine the breast for stones or bricks used for filling the fireplace opening.
Check whether the fireplace grate is available or not. If not, purchase a new one. In case a grate is already available and if it is of a cast iron make, remove it and look for cracks in the cast iron frame, the mortar binding the cast iron to the brickwork, and the flue base.
Check whether the void separating the fireplace grate from the wall behind it is empty. Any unfilled void results in soot accumulation, which besides being smelly may even give rise to a chimney fire. Seal the grate to the wall using sand and rubble, and cap this void filling with sand, and lime or cement.
Sweep the chimney. Install carbon monoxide detectors near the fireplace.
Check the detectors constantly to evaluate whether your fireplace is working properly. Place them in nearby rooms as well as the room the fireplace is occupied in.
Tips and warnings
- You can use the salvaged lime and sand for grate sealing.
- Purchasing a reliable second-hand fireplace grate is cost-saving.
- Take care not to damage the underlying stones or bricks while examining the chimney breast.
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