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Question DetailsAsked on 5/16/2016

what would it cost to change fireplace facing into one room to the one next to it?

We have a brick fireplace in our family room, with brick facing, and a brick hearth. We would like to have it face the opposite way into the Living room.

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2 Answers


Depends a whole lot on how the fireplace and chimney is designed - might get it for a couple thousand if a central firebox layout - centered under the chimney, in which case knocking out the back wall for a new firebox opening and hearth and bricking up the existing one might not be too tough.

If a "ready-set" type metal fireplace and chimney, I would say probably about at a minimum $2000-4000 range in most cases to remove the hearth and firebox and turn the firebox around to face the other way if central design - close to the cost of a new "fake" but functional fireplace and chimney.

Course, the dollars depend so much on your particular situation these ballparks could be way off - also depends on local costs. These sort of numbers will probably easily double if in a major (especially Northeast) urban area. Also likely quite a bit higher if stone rather than brick construction (as opposed to facade) because you cannot demolish to neat straight mortar lines.

If an offset firebox design (commonly is) - basically "back" side of chimney comes straight down the back wall of the firebox, with the main part of the firebox shoved out in front of the chimney on the hearth side in an unsymmetrical manner, then you can't just turn it around by opening up the back wall of the firebox. Then the supporting brick for the chimney needs to be redone without damaging the chimney - a major effort, especially if stone construction, which might well cost more in the $5000 or more range - more if the chimney/mantle supports the house in that area as was commonly the case in older (pre-about 1950 and especially pre-1900) homes, and particularly in turn of the century row houses and similar designs, as well as many chalet and log cabin design homes.

Also - can be much tougher if there is a fireplace on a floor above that one which may be bearing on and supported by this fireplace's mantle area and firebox "shoulder", as opposed to just a straight chimney going up through roof (and possibly another floor) above the existing firebox.

A Remodeling General Contractor may be able to give you a ballpark idea, but you almost certainly need an Architect to take measurements, who will then have a Structural Engineer check out support and framing around it, and will then work up plans and specs for the rework, which you will almost certainly need both for bidders to use to bid the job, and also to get a building permit. Thbis is typically another $500-1000 range depending on complexity of the change.

Then Masonry contractor or more likely a Remodeling - General Contractor with a masonry subcontractor for the work, because you will almost certainly have a fair amount of carpentry, drywall, painting, and flooring work to do after the chimney is done.

And bear in mind you will have an issue at the old hearth - unless you convert it to a non-window window seat or bench, may be tough to match the flooring to go where the old hearth was.

Note you will need an EXPERIENCED masonry contractor for the demo and rebuild - get an amateur in there who does not know how to do it and you can seriously damage the rest of the chimney and create a fire/smoke hazard and additional expense.

This would also be a good time - before or during the bidding phase say, BEFORE committing to the job, to have the overall chimney inspected both to see if any repairs should be lumped into the job scope, or potentially if the condition is such that doing this sort of a rework on it is not worth the money because the chimney's life is over, or it cannot reasonably be done without undue risk of damage to the upper parts of the chimney. Generally should not be a major issue in a chimney not over 40-50 yesars old (maybe less in very frequent rain area), but over that age a lot of chimney (though far from all) start deteriorating to the point where changing their load support below the chimney shaft gets iffy.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


BTW - might talk to your favorite realtor about this too - because I would expect this may detract slightly from resale desireability because while many people like a fireplace in the family room, they do not want the smoke staining and smell in their living room.

Also, I would expect your return on investment for this would be zero unless possibly you make it two fireplaces - one each side - because you will still have just one fireplace, just in the other room, so gaining probably nothing in house value for your investment, so this would likely be totally a personal preference expenditure, not an "investment".

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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