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Chimneys & Fireplaces Questions

Our chimney and fireplace specialists have kindly agreed to share their wisdom on such topics as removing chimney stacks, constructing a chimney, ventilation, chimney breast brickwork, liners and flues, chimney restoration, fireplace styles and much more.

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682 Questions: Chimneys & Fireplaces


How do I make a decorative hole in the wall fireplace?

I have recently had a combi boiler and all new pipe work put throughout my house, in the downstairs living room we have a chimney breast and have had the pipework put in should we want a gas fire. At the moment there is a large square hole in the wall where the fire can be connected, currently this is hidden by a fake electric fireplace.

Since having the central heating installed, our house is too warm for a fire so I'd like to plaster the current square hole in the wall, and just make it a decorative feature with a surround, where I could maybe put flowers etc.

How do I go about doing this?

I realise I've probably not explained that very well so please see the link below for what I'd ulitimately like to do!



Ybethhudson85 29th May, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
1 Answer u2

White misty patches on old blocked chimney breast walls?

I'm really hoping someone can help me!
I live in a 100 year old house, and in my bedroom I have an old chimney breast, which just looks like normal walls now. I've only lived here for 2.5 years, but since I've been here a large, white misty patch has appeared at the top of the walls. I wiped it over with some tissue around a year ago to see what it was, and the tissue was wet, so it seems to be tiny water droplets. It's since come back again, worse than before.
I'm concerned because I'm having a sore throat and bad chest when I'm in my room at night, and I'm wandering if this could be the cause?
Could anyone tell me what these white patches could be? I can supply photos by email if needed. :o)

Reply to mdp gas services..........

Thanks for your answer! Yes, it is fully bricked up and plastered over. It goes down into my living room too, and it's bricked up in there as well.
I live in a rented property, it's Bournville village trust in Birmingham, so they have to fix it don't they? What sort of work will need to be done? I don't want to contact them until I'm armed with all the info I need, as i think they'll try to fob me off with just painting something on the wall.

We have patches of damp on joining walls of 2 rooms upstairs by the ceiling, and rather than go in the loft to see if there's a problem, they just painted stuff over it. I'm sure this house is full of some sort of damp or mould!!!

Ypeachypoo_46 20th May, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
1 Answer u2

Chimney needs widening and made deeper, what do I do?

We have a real chimney breast that we want to put a range in but it is neither wide nor deep enough for a cooker.

How do we go about making it bigger? Do we need a structural engineer for the job and one of those steel lintel things?

For info the chimney breast is plastered and artex, I don't know if it is brick or block work behind.

Also how does one go about putting an extractor in the chimney? As it's a real chimney what sort of extractor is needed?

Ymare_85 17th Jan, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
1 Answer u2

how do I make sure my chimney is safe to use as a coal/wood fireplace? what else do I need to do other than fit the fireplace?

A chimney sweep already took a look and said no need to sweep it yet, no need for liner unless we go for a wood burning stove (which we are not doing). What about ventilation and checking the state of the flue higher up?

Ysburrs 5th Jan, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
1 Answer u2

Fireplace and chimney removal - do I need planning permission

I had a fireplace removed from downstairs plus the breast which went to the room above (no fireplace) and the chimney removed. Would I have had to get planning permission for this and any special joists put in?

Ydebbid01 20th Oct, 2011 Chimneys & Fireplaces
1 Answer u2

Shared chimney stack help

I live in the upstairs flat of a house conversion. My lounge fireplace was bricked up flush and completely hidden. I have had a tradesman to knock it out but he has discovered that the chimney is shared with downstairs. To knock out my section would only give me a small hole which is off centre within the chimney breast and and obviously would not look right at all! The people downstairs do not use their chimney. Can I block their part of the flue up or make it smaller to expand my fireplace or will this cause problems??

Any advice appreciated.



Hi, thank you for the comments. I think the removal of the stack below will be too much hassle and cost to be honest. As you say -I could expand breast out to make it even. It seems so silly that when the house was built the fireplace was not centre in the chimney breast but logical that the downstairs flu needs to go somewhere too. Are all first floor fireplaces like this then?!

Ymel0812 7th Jul, 2014 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Using pepper pot chimney cowls on a gas fire?

Is it ever possible to use a pepper pot style chimney cowl on a gas fire that is in use and would it be dangerous to do so? i don't want to have to get another chimney cowl if the pepper pot will suffice.

Thanks for the response.

Yreservoircat 25th Apr, 2014 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Damp internal chimney breast wall...even though chimney removed


Any help on this greatly appreciated. For three years we have had problems with a damp internal chimney breast wall on the first floor of our two-floor Victorian house. To cut a very long story short, a couple of months ago we eventually decided to remove the chimney as we had so many conflicting suggestions for the cause of the damp - the condition of the chimney itself, flashing, chimney tray etc.

Despite having the chimney removed we are still having problems with internal damp, particularly when it rains. I was hoping the chimney going would be the end of this saga, but obviously not.

Any ideas as to what the cause could be?

Many thanks

Ydavidsanders 2nd Jan, 2014 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Chimney sealed, is it safe?

We live in a rental property with a condemned gas fake fire stone thing in the fireplace. We recently had a pigeon come down the chimney and sit on top of the bit of cardboard that was blocking the chimney and asked if the landlord would consider putting a cap on the chimney to stop this happening again. A contractor came and rather than putting a cap on, took the chimney pots off (threw them down the chimney where they smashed on the fireplace and made a huge mess) and sealed the chimney completely at the top with cement. I thought this was a bit weird and am wondering if this is usual? So we now have an open fireplace with a broken gas fire and a chimney breast that is open at the bottom but sealed at the top - does that make sense?

Yfrodolives 3rd Dec, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2

Flu lining

Does a 100 odd year old chimney have to be lined before I fit a log burner? Its been an open fire in constant use until last week when I took it out.

Yfiremantim 26th Sep, 2012 Chimneys & Fireplaces
2 Answers u2
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