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Chimney Rebuild

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Berner, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Berner

    Berner Member

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    Just wondering if you guys have any thoughts on a quote of $3800 for a chimney rebuild. It is roughly 9 feet or so above the ridge line which is where they are going to start taking it down and rebuilding it using the existing stone. I wonder how tall I could have him build it. IMG_0544.JPG

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  2. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    $3,800 seems a bit high - around here masons get $90 per hour. Could be more work to rebuild with the same stone as it will be like putting together a puzzle. Will they be taking out the permit or are they asking you to do the permit? Do they carry their own worker's comp insurance? If a sole proprietor, they do not need workers comp in this state. If he has a helper - that changes things. Check those things out and also check with your house insurance if he is unlicensed to see if they would cover an injury. Hate to be a Debbie downer, roof work is dangerous, you want to make sure they are legit.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Get a few quotes from certified masons and be sure to ask for some recent references that you can follow up on.

    PS: How bad off is the chimney? From a distance it looks ok.
  4. elmoleaf

    elmoleaf Feeling the Heat

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    1. What is the structure? Stone veneer on concrete block? Entirely stone? Any vertical rebar or other reinforcing?
    2. Why is it being rebuilt? Structure unsound and needs entire replacement? Or just veneer being taken down?
    3. Height...should be at least 2' higher at top of flue than anything within 10' horizontally from that point (the gable roof to the right). Looks like it is currently OK height code wise. May want to add height for better draft, but that does raise questions about keeping it structurally sound.
    4. Make sure there is a proper cricket installed on uproof side of the chimney. It can be challenging to properly flash the roof to rounded stones.
    5. You might want to add some kickout flashing or a gutter so roof runoff isn't splashing onto the flared out chimney base below roof edge.
    6. Consider demo'ing the entire thing and substituting a class A chimney through the roof. While it does add architectural character, the stone chimney is a big hole in your building's thermal envelope and can be a maintenance item long term, between mortar repairs and water infiltration.
    7. Is line with clay flue tile and are repairs to same needed below the roof line?
  5. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    Get several estimates with some comparisons. Wouldn't fool around with a faulty chimney.
  6. Berner

    Berner Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern, MA
    Yes I have had three guys and all are licensed and insured. They all got great reviews on Angie's List but two of them seemed like they weren't sure of whether they could rebuild it or not.

    All three guys I had in to take a look were licensed and insured. His estimate didn't say anything about the permit with the town but I have an email awaiting a response from him on that.
  7. Berner

    Berner Member

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    It's pretty bad I was up a couple of weekend removing the concrete cap on the top. While doing this I felt the whole chimney move. I've only brought in masons who were recommended on Angie's List. Out of the three I really only liked one however he was pretty expensive.
  8. Berner

    Berner Member

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    1) It's all stone all the way up. From what I can tell there is no rebar or other reinforcing.
    2) It's being rebuilt because it's unsound. I was able to feel it move when up there with a ladder a few weekends ago.
    3) The current height does meet the 2' 10' rule. His quote was to take down and rebuild with existing stone to existing dimensions. In my response to his quote was a question of how high can we go and how expensive is that.
    4) His quote said that he would use copper flashing.
    5) Since taking that picture I have installed gutters on both sides to prevent runoff on the flared out chimney base.
    6) How expensive is class A chimney? I really like the character of the chimney and my wife LOVES the character of the chimney. I don't think I could convince her of running class A all the way up but if it's significantly cheaper then it maybe I would reconsider. It's about a 16' run from where the stove's rear exhaust is going to sit.
    7) It is lined with terracotta tile and I don't think any repairs are needed below the roof line. Maybe some minor repointing but as a whole it looks pretty good.
  9. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    looks like you have what we call field stone - not sure there are many masons around that do this kind of work, especially in eastern mass. You may find someone in western mass in the hilltowns.
  10. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Actually I would bet you can find a lot of masons in eastern MA who know how to deal with it. Lot of antique houses around, and lots of folks who work on them. There is an outfit right in my town called masonry restoration that does this kind of work on all the 18th and 19th century homes in town.

    I'll cast another vote to keep the stone and maintain the character of the house.
  11. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    You might not even have a choice, depending on your local board and what statues they have for your area. In my area I didn't have a choice, had to be redone just like it was, so instead of about $1500 it cost $4k. I had to have the clay liner removed in order to get an Insulated 6" ss in there. Much safer now.
  12. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    Either method of repair, even with the most qualified who say they aren't too sure, It is always better to be safe even if it means replacement. You'll have years of peace and you are still saving on traditional heating methods.

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