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Question DetailsAsked on 1/2/2015

What's the cost to replace a brick fireplace?

I have a brick fireplace that I'd like to replace to make more modern. Also would like to move the fire box closer to the floor.

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1 Answer


So as I read it, you want to rebuild a fireplace closer to the floor ? So tear fireplace and hearth and mantle out, presumably saving bricks as possible, then rebuild in same place but lower. For this you will need a Remodeling - General Contractor, who will have a significant portion of the work subcontracted out to a Mason for the actual fireplace reconstruction.

You can find some prior questions with responses on typical chimney/fireplace tearout and construction costs in the Home > Chimney link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Note this project is very unusual for several reasons:

1) fireplaces are usually put a standard height above the floor, to provide unblocked heat access to the room or with a hearth people can sit on at a comfortable height, and also so the heat comes out at your main body level. There are basically four hearth levels - "flush", "cabin", "lodge" or "open firebox" type with the hearth basically at floor level and typically with a very wide firebox (called standard if built above floor level by the thickness of the hearth stones - so 2-4 inches); "residential" or "raised" which is typically a narrower firebox with raised hearth 8-12 inches high. The other type is a "sit-on" hearth, at 12-18 inches above the floor. To change from your presumably "residential" or "raised' to lodge or flush depending on your specific firebox construction, may well involve changes in the flooring support and dropping the ash chute flare down through the floor, which might impact the area below the hearth. Basically, it means dropping the hearth and bottom of firebox level down, so dropping the entire firebox and mantle and hearth down (which undoubtedly requires removal and reconstruction) then adding to the flue to connect the lower firebox. With a brick fireplace this is a significant endeavour, because the chimney has to be provided with a lower smokebox (above the firebox) then piece by piece rebuilt above that into the prior smokebox to provide a flue.

2) you are talking most likely $5,000 or more for this project, all costs included, which is an awful lot to just put the fireplace where you want it. Most people would not do this sort of project unless they have money to throw around.

3) "Modernizing" the hearth and mantle can be done with an overlay rather than a rebuild, if that is your primary interest - if not adjusting height, more likely in the few thousand $ range.

4) what I would suggest in your case, assuming economics comes into your decision, is consider an overlay veneer facade on the exposed part of the hearth and chimney, redoing the mantle as desired, and perhaps putting a forced-air fireplace insert in to provide a modern firebox front appearance and also provide you with a lot more hot air fromthe fireplace, especially when the fire has burned down.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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