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Question DetailsAsked on 12/5/2016

I would like a brick fireplace turned into a free standing fireplace can it be done and how much

Corner fireplace brick - remove and make a corner for a free standing the house is a general homes built in the 70's

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If you want a free-standing fireplace in that same corner, while sometimes it is possible to trim back the mantle and fireplace facade and hearth to roughly the wall surface and conceal it with drywall or panelling or a shelf unit or such (which may be flush to wall but more commonly stocks out at least a few inches), to truly regain all the space and put in a free-standing unit (which will use metal flue ducting), you need to remove the chimney and fireplace at least down to the floor level - or if you want to reclaim all the space taken up by the fireplace on lower levels too, down to the ground including the chimney foundation (which is generally separate from the house foundation). Typically $1500-5000 range to do that and repair the walls and siding and such - VERY rough ballpark, because obviously every chimney and house is different. The higher end (above about $2000-3000 range) generally only occurs when the house was framed into the chimney for support (typically pre-1040's and usually only with large stone fireplaces), so taking the chimney out in that case means having to put in new framing to support the now-hanging free floor joists and walls and such. - can easily double or triple total job cost over a simple teardown of a "tacked-on" chimney.

Plus cost of installing the new fireplace of course - which is typically around $1000-2000 PLUS the cost of the chosen fireplace itself, which is typically $1000-4000 for the unit itself depending on model chosen - though can get up to $10,000 range for fancier and larger mid-room models. So - bottom line - I would expect (unless just trimming the hearth and mantle back as far as practical without actually removing the chimney and fireplace foundation), typically around $5,000 or more ballpark by the time all is said and done, and quite likely nearer $10,000 if taking chimney and fireplace totally out and replacing with an ordinary line freestanding fireplace unit.

If you go with this, a decision will have to be made whether you want a gravity-flue system (uses metal chimney through roof, which could go where existing chimney is after it is torn out), or a direct-vent high efficiency fireplace, which has ducted outside air feeding into it and direct vent exhaust out the wall without a chimney - much more energy efficient because it does not use indoor heated air for combustion, and typically has a blower unit that blows the hot air from around the firebox (double-wall firebox) out into the room. However - if a free-standing unit, it will have a couple of metal duct pipes for the unit through the wall.

Note - if you are looking at this for heating, be aware that normal "decorative" gravity flue units (open firebox, chimney exhaust) are commonly actually energy-negative - i.e.. they use up more heat from the house in consumption of "conditioned air" for combustion than they put into the house. Meaning they may heat the room they are in fine, but (especially if not on lowest floor) consume more household energy than they produce.

You did not say WHY you want to do this, and why a free-standing unit. It may be, depending on your space constraints and whether this is intended as a "conversation pit" centerpiece or to improve the fireplace efficiency, that an insert fireplace into the existing one might fill the bill - put a gas log fireplace intothe existing fireplace for instance - there are also models that go into the existing fireplace and use existing chimney flue (with metal duct lining) but are curved-face to stick out into the room further, basically giving you a half-round or quarter-round corner semi-freestanding fireplace.

If looking at doing this primarily for aesthetic purposes, an Architect mioght be a good resource to call on for design assistance and selecting a unit, because an architect will consider all alternatives, whereas a woodstove/gas fireplace vendor will only present the one or few brands he deals in.

You can also google this search phrase - corner wood stove insert image - to see thousands of images of corner wood stoves - pinterest also has at least a thousand images of decorative and architectural corner insert and wood stove concepts.

A Remodeling - General Contractor would be your Search the List category for this sort of job. OR if only doing an insert without taking out existing fireplace and chimney totally (so little or no framing or interior finish or siding rework), a specialty contractor from the Fireplaces category.

Here are links to a few similar previous (but not identical situation) questions with answers which might be of help too -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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