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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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676 Chimneys & Fireplaces questions

Electric fireplace suite and ventilation

Hi ive bought a 1930's ex council house which has had the old gas fire removed and there is just a big hole.

Ive decided to fit an electric fire suite in its place so it will cover up the hole and create a surround as well, and from reading up i know there needs to be a vent by the chimney breast but im abit unsure where to put one, as once the electric fire is in place there is no hole, and i assume people dont mean to block up the chimney breast behind the fire and then use an air brick in that stack, as there need to be a recess for the fire?

Looking at the chimney breast it may be possible to vent into the floor as i know the room is suspended, or maybe i could add an air brick above the fire with a grill but i think that would look stupid and really it needs to be lower down.

Any help is appreciated thanks!

removing 2 chimney breast in an old house terraced house

I just purchased a new house. I'm intending to remove 2 chimney breast in lower floor as the upper floor ones been removed already been by prev owner and he had fitted gallows braket in loft.

Now I've been told in order to remove the lower chimney breast, the upper floor has a slab, which needs to be removed from upper floor and and whole ceiling of ground floor would slowly wear out, needing to replace the whole ceiling!

Don't know what to do.

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!!!

removing a chimney breast without removing the stack

I would like to remove the chimney breasts in my house to create more internal space.

The issue is, however, that the house is semi-detached and the chimney stack is shared with adjoining neighbour. The easiest course of action would be to remove the chimney stack on both sides, but despite the fact that the fireplaces are permanently unused and blocked in my neighbour's house she will not give permission for me to remove her side of the chimney stack (I'm willing to pay 100% of the cost), no matter how much I try to persuade her of the long-term maintenance benefits of getting rid of it.

I was wondering, therefore, is it a reasonably simple job to support a chimney stack where the breast beneath it has been removed? Or am I letting myself into a bit of a 'mare?

(I am aware I'll have to submit a party wall notice in any event).

UPDATE: thank you for the replies. Just to add, I am getting a loft conversion done at the same time, and would therefore like to remove the chimney breast in the loft as well. Would it still be possible to support the chimney stack in these circumstances?

Chimeny Stack repair and installing open fire

Hi there,

I moved into a 1930s semi-detached house last year, and we have done a fair bit of work on the property. We have had several workmen, and our buildings report flag up the need to repair our chimney stack. Currently the chimney is not in use, and when we moved in there was just a chest of drawers in front of the opening- no fire place.

We would like install a fireplace which will be an working open fire, but we are aware of the poor condition of the chimney stack.

Can anyone tell me the best way to go about it? Do I get the chimney repaired first, then the fire place fitted?
Or is there any other procedures that need carrying out too, before any fire place is fitted, as we do not know the last time that the fire place was used?



Does my chimney need sweeping if I am having a new flue installed for my wood burner?

I have purchased an old house. It has a wood burner but requires a new flue. My home insurance has stated that I need to have my chimney swept once a year but my builder has told me that, as he is installing a new flue, it will not be required this year. I cannot argue what I don't understand so would appreciate some guidance on this subject

I have no intention of using my chimney again, What do I need to do to block it up permanently?

We have a sixties house with the chimney breast built on the outside. We want to move the fireplace 6 foot over in the lounge as we are extending it.

We have an old fireplace to turn into display, what do we need to do to the chimney?

We are currently renovating our house. Its pretty old and we have done all the work ourselves to save on costs. However we have hit a mini road block…we have an empty fireplace in our house (just a dirty brick hole in the wall with a chimney (no surround). We already have a fireplace in that room: which we intend to use. So we want to turn the old hole in the wall fireplace into a display, maybe a drinks cabinet for fancy bottles or a candle display. We were wondering if there’s anything we need to do to the actual chimney, to prevent draft, or rainwater dripping in…etc. Can you help with any practical advise?
Many thanks. Julie And Jonny :)

can I install gas fire pls?

I have bought an old victorian house (ST1 area), and there is only electric fireplace in the living room. What options do I have to instal gas fire pls? I would like the fire place to be traditional and one that would heat the room as well. Any information/advice welcome. Thank you

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