Wednesday 22 August 2018

Building A New Fireplace

Last week was another hard one, made worse by the fact I broke my toe! I just limped a bit - it was only my little one thankfully!

It was finally time to tackle the fireplace!

A little bit of me has always hated this old open fireplace. We used to hide it with an old bookcase I made my wife for Christmas years ago.

Trouble was it was built with the same iron hard bricks and mortar as the rest of the house - not easy to take down I can tell you!

See the concrete slab in the ceiling
The other problem was how it was constructed. Who ever built it knew what they were doing and had built this one on an angle to save space then a full sized one above but with a concrete slab cast in the floor joists to take the weight.

It's been like this for 70 years but I was worried when I started hammering who knows what would happen! Time for some props and beams!
Where I want the new fireplace
I propped the slab in the ceiling and set about putting in a beam so I could remove what was below it.

This turned out to be much harder than I would have liked. It took me the best part of a day to knock it out then add in the new beam!

I could then set about removing the rest of the fireplace. This again took a day just because it was all so hard! If I could get half a brick out with the big breaker at a time I was doing well!

I then had some reinforcements for the day. Dill, the bricklayer who built the brick and block work on our extension and patio, came with his friend Alex for the day.

There was no way I'd be able to put the beams in on my own and no way I could get the fireplace up as fast as Dill. I think without them it would have taken me a week in all honesty!

Dusty work! 
They worked tirelessly all day and although at one point the house was pretty much held up with six props we got the beams in where they needed to be and the fireplace built up around them. Not a single crack anywhere either which was great news!

I was so relieved that night, it was a job I'd been worrying about and having the right people help made it go perfectly.

Ready to put the first beam in! 

Beam in 

By the end of the day the new fireplace was in. Tied into the old walls with concrete block now taking the weight of the fireplace above and some hefty concrete lintels taking the weight of the brick work.

Both beams in and brick work removed

Back of the fireplace
It's made the old dinning room feel much smaller, but as I intend to build floor to ceiling storage in there anyway so it won't matter. But it's made the main bit of the new kitchen feel so much bigger though, it's going to be a real focal point of the house. I can imagine standing there warming my bum after being out in the cold!

We've just chosen the range that's going in there as well! I can't wait now! Still so much to do, but this is the last "backwards" step that we need to take for a while until I get into the pantry. 


  1. It's going to look great. Have you chosen a stove yet?

    1. Yes and it's awesome! Hopefully paying for it today and it will come in a month or so! I'll do a post on it soon.

  2. Another step closer Kev, well done.

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  4. Exhausting work Kev, but well done, it'll look fantastic when it's done. Can't wait to see the finished job!

  5. Hard going there Kev. When it is all done and the aches are gone you will enjoy it.

  6. More progress!! You're getting there! So lucky to have such willing friends to help you.

  7. It's taking shape,bit eill be worth the wait.

  8. It's looking good! It will be exciting to see it when it's finished.

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  11. Very interesting post, Kev. I know you must be both pleased and relieved with the progress. Sounds like the new stove will get there in time for winter!

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  13. Well done Kev!
    Your energy level and ambition is amazing. Be sure and post lots of the AFTER pics when it's all done, especially want to see your stove.

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