All right, back to the chimney. In Part 1 I got up on the roof on a particularly stormy and unseasonably warm day (at least is started that way), took the top of the chimney off, and patched the roof. This was followed up later in the week with removing the portion of the chimney in the attic. A couple Saturdays ago we took out the second floor portion, which has the added wrinkle of us living there. To prevent dust and debris from coating all our stuff, we started by taping up some plastic sheeting.

With that in place I started work up in the attic, taking out a few feet of bricks before finally breaking through the plaster. At that point I switched to the second floor and a step ladder. Sarah spent most of the day on brick duty, where I lowered buckets of bricks down using our pulley system and she emptied them into the first floor, though she did try her hand at brick removal. I wound up doing most of it with a pry bar, forgoing the air hammer and the accompanying dust and noise.

We needed to get the whole thing done and patched in a day because it’s gotten cold outside and a giant hole into an uninsulated attic when you’re already relying on electric heaters because you don’t have heat is a really bad idea, mmkay? We finally broke through into the first floor around 7 pm. With that milestone reached it was on to framing and drywalling, which I think we wrapped up around 10. Sarah’s in charge of getting it mudded and painted. So far we’ve got the first coat on. I picked up the flexible paper corner bead and we like it better than the metal corners.

From there it was on to the first floor, where I took down another eight feet of bricks early last week while Sarah broke mortar off of bricks we’d already taken out. Will was over this past Saturday and finished it off, getting the top of the chimney down into the basement. Along the way we found that the best process was to knock the mortar off the bricks straight into the chimney. It’s bad enough hauling down buckets of bricks without having to also deal with the heavy, dusty, crumbly mortar. There’s an opening at the base of the chimney in the basement where we can just shovel the mortar out and take it into the back yard in a wheel barrow.

Chimney gone

Chimney gone

Our back yard has gotten even more attractive as of late. Now in addition to the giant mound of clay from the footings that’s been gradually melting (currently covered in leaves), the paint bucket planters, the garbage cans full of compost, and the scrap metal, we’ve added a tarp-covered stack of OSB, both a pile and a giant stack of bricks, and a pile of mortar. It’s quite the beautification program we’ve got going.

Beautiful back yard

Beautiful back yard

Oh well, that can wait for another day. We still have impressive piles of bricks and mortar in the first floor that need to be hauled out, along with the rest of the mudding, sanding, and painting to get the second floor looking respectable again. We’re planning to use some of the bricks to make the base of the columns under the front porch. The rest we’ll probably sell.

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2 Responses to Chimney Removal, Part 2

  1. Reuben says:

    I’m not sure I understand. Maybe you’ve addressed this in a previous post. It looks like when you reframed the wall, you boxed in the same area that used to be the chimney. What is the motivation for removing the chimney if you didn’t intend to reclaim the space it once occupied? Just curious.

  2. Matt says:

    At some point we’ll remodel the second floor and reclaim that space. For now, reframing it the way the chimney had been was a lot easier than having to frame the floor and ceiling in addition to the wall. It wouldn’t really be usable space anyway, so it wasn’t a tough choice. Our motivation for removing the chimney right now is entirely to reclaim the space on the first floor, but obviously we couldn’t take out just that floor. °_^

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