Can You Remove a Chimney Breast Wall?
The chimney breast wall may not be a familiar term, but it’s easily recognizable as the “case” that encompasses the chimney that juts out from the wall, typically on the house’s ground floor. Most breast walls are made from bricks, stones, or concrete, and they’re responsible for ensuring proper ventilation of toxic gases and smoke when using your fireplace. The breast wall also supports the chimney and is crucial to maintain its structural integrity. So, can you remove this wall, and why would you want to?
Why Remove the Chimney Breast Wall?
As shown, the chimney breast wall is a crucial structure, so why would anyone want to remove it? Well, for several reasons.
Create More Room
Because the breast wall juts out from the main wall, it takes up significant floor and wall space. If you have a small home or apartment with limited space, reclaiming it by removing the wall can really open things up and make the place feel larger.
Chimney breast walls stick out, and some people find that it disrupts the room’s aesthetics or visual flow. Removing the wall can make the room look more natural and make it easier to decorate.
Install a New Fireplace or Stove
Another reason to remove the breast wall is if you want to install a fireplace or wood stove in a different location.
Sometimes, a breast wall may be worn out or damaged, requiring removal or replacement.
Improve Fireplace Efficiency
Removing the chimney breast wall can potentially improve your fireplace’s heating efficiency by reducing the draft that could circulate and draw heat from the room.
Concerns Over Removing a Chimney Breast Wall
Removing a chimney breast wall can be done, but it doesn’t come without challenges. Before you go down this road, here are a few things to consider.
Chimney breast walls are often load-bearing, meaning they support the weight of the chimney stack above them. Removing a load-bearing wall without proper support can compromise the structural integrity of the building and put the safety of the occupants at risk. It’s essential to consult with a structural engineer or another qualified professional before removing a chimney breast wall.
Removing a chimney breast wall can be costly, particularly if it is load-bearing and requires additional support. Additionally, removing a chimney breast wall can impact the value of a property, either positively or negatively, depending on the specific circumstances.
Sometimes, removing a significant wall like a chimney breast wall means needing additional renovations or upgrades like rerouting plumbing and electrical systems, which can add to the overall project’s cost.
In some cases, removing a chimney breast wall may require permits and approvals from local building authorities. Failing to get the proper permissions could end up costing you more in extra work and possible legal issues down the road.
Age & Condition of Your Property
Finally, consider how old your property is and in what shape it’s in. Older properties may have underlying structural issues that make removing a load-bearing wall like a chimney breast wall riskier. Another thing to consider is whether your property has any architectural or historical significance that could be harmed by removing the wall.
Removing a chimney breast wall is possible, but it’s not a decision you should take lightly. Consult with a chimney professional and a surveyor to determine if it’s safe and worth the effort and expense.
Call Mercer County Chimney Service Today
Whether you’re interested in removing a chimney breast wall or need a full-service chimney and fireplace contractor, you’ve come to the right place. Mercer County Chimney Service is the go-to chimney sweep in Hamilton, NJ, and Mercer County.
We’re fully licensed, insured, and certified by the National Fireplace Institute and the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Book your appointment today by calling 609-802-5288 or online.