Chimney Rebuild Cost?

johnkozlo

New Member
May 15, 2020
3
Milwaukee, WI
Does anyone have an idea (ballpark figure) how much a chimney rebuild from the roof line up would be on this chimney? See the attached pictures. It's a lannon stone (limestone) chimney with 3 flues. There are two fire places, one in the basement and one on the first floor. The third flue is not used, but was for an old coal burning heater.
 

Attachments

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,967
South Puget Sound, WA
I have no opinion, but that is an interesting stone house.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,567
central pa
Does anyone have an idea (ballpark figure) how much a chimney rebuild from the roof line up would be on this chimney? See the attached pictures. It's a lannon stone (limestone) chimney with 3 flues. There are two fire places, one in the basement and one on the first floor. The third flue is not used, but was for an old coal burning heater.
Why do you think it needs rebuilt? It looks like just a crown and repointed to me. We would be $2000 to $3000
 

BigJ273

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2015
220
Maryland
I don’t know much about chimneys, but I just had mine repointed after all the mortar was ground out. Also has the top five rows rebuilt and a new crown put on. Cost me $2000. Also was sprayed with Siloxane since I have porous bricks. Guy was here for five days, took his time, and was very detailed. From my view, that chimney doesn’t look bad at all. I would agree w bholler, seems to just need the mortar pointed and a new crown.
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
Am I seeing the chimney accurately in the shot from the side? In the picture it looks like it's leaning in towards the house from above the roofline.

Questions regarding the build are difficult to see well enough for any remotely accurate price. The difference in cost between repointing and rebuild is big, and without scrutiny of what's really needed it's a little of a shot in the dark . Your best bet is to get a couple of quotes from qualified stonemasons.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,567
central pa
Am I seeing the chimney accurately in the shot from the side? In the picture it looks like it's leaning in towards the house from above the roofline.
Yeah but not to bad. A bit of a lean is very common and not really a call for a complete rebuild. A roofline up rebuild of that chimney could easily exceed $10000
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
If it was built with a lean in it the poor workmanship could possible explain the issues the op is looking to have addressed. If it developed a lean after the build it's a sign of issues causing a structural compromise that could be dangerous. Gravity will have it's way.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,567
central pa
If it was built with a lean in it the poor workmanship could possible explain the issues the op is looking to have addressed. If it developed a lean after the build it's a sign of issues causing a structural compromise that could be dangerous. Gravity will have it's way.
Or it is typical mortar erosion on one side of the chimney that we see all the time. I can't tell for sure just from pics but what I can see it doesn't look like it needs rebuilt
 

johnkozlo

New Member
May 15, 2020
3
Milwaukee, WI
Am I seeing the chimney accurately in the shot from the side? In the picture it looks like it's leaning in towards the house from above the roofline.

Questions regarding the build are difficult to see well enough for any remotely accurate price. The difference in cost between repointing and rebuild is big, and without scrutiny of what's really needed it's a little of a shot in the dark . Your best bet is to get a couple of quotes from qualified stonemasons.
Yes, it does have a lean toward the house. I also think there might be a slight leak on the inside. There is plaster crown molding that is disfigured because of a previous leak. I had the saddle/cricket flashing replaced about 5 years ago. There was a about an inch of various layers of roofing tar on top the old copper saddle/cricket. That stuff doesn't work on copper, and there were holes on both corners of the flashing where they met the chimney at the bottom. The new flashing definitely made a difference, but I believe there might still be a leak from water soaking into the chimney. Maybe a multi flue cap might help?

I have gotten 2 quotes so far. One for $15,600 to rebuild from the roof up. That doesn't include the $3,500 to take the tile down and put it back up. So $19,100 total. That does include a new crown and the whole thing sealed. The second quote is for tuck pointing and sealing. It was $6,200. I am having difficultly getting quotes because it seems everyone is deathly afraid of the tile roof. I had another company come out today, but it was two younger guys that just took pictures. They said they needed to sent the pictures to their mason to see what he thinks.

Any idea where I should look to find a good mason? So far, I've used google and Angie's list.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,567
central pa
Yes, it does have a lean toward the house. I also think there might be a slight leak on the inside. There is plaster crown molding that is disfigured because of a previous leak. I had the saddle/cricket flashing replaced about 5 years ago. There was a about an inch of various layers of roofing tar on top the old copper saddle/cricket. That stuff doesn't work on copper, and there were holes on both corners of the flashing where they met the chimney at the bottom. The new flashing definitely made a difference, but I believe there might still be a leak from water soaking into the chimney. Maybe a multi flue cap might help?

I have gotten 2 quotes so far. One for $15,600 to rebuild from the roof up. That doesn't include the $3,500 to take the tile down and put it back up. So $19,100 total. That does include a new crown and the whole thing sealed. The second quote is for tuck pointing and sealing. It was $6,200. I am having difficultly getting quotes because it seems everyone is deathly afraid of the tile roof. I had another company come out today, but it was two younger guys that just took pictures. They said they needed to sent the pictures to their mason to see what he thinks.

Any idea where I should look to find a good mason? So far, I've used google and Angie's list.
Yes the tile roof would certainly add complications. For just pointing I would do the back side off of a lift. For a rebuild the tile would either have to be covered with 2 layers of plywood or be removed.
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
The roof tiles make it a little tricky, but no reason to send anybody that knows what they're doing running.
I'd advise against laying out that amount of investment on repointing a chimney with a lean in it when you might want to first direct that resource towards the structural issue causing the lean.
That said, in your picture labeled "Crack and buckle" I see the running joint crack, but it's difficult to see the buckle. That area looks to be the point of origin of the lean if not the cause, and if it's in fact buckling outward (if that's what you're referencing when you say buckle) that's a sizeable concern.
Of the two estimates you received the potential of expense is clear. In the absence of a qualified stonemason or brickmason, hiring a professional engineer that sepecializes in structural for a consult would go a long ways towards answering some critical questions and help you moving forward in weeding out the contractors willing to do repairs that won't address the issues you need fixed.
As far as finding a mason, I would think that an urban area like Milwakee would have more than a few. Searching the city wide database/phone listings of building contractors might help. Masons that specialize in restoration tend to be in higher demand, but are also often better qualified for a potential fix rather than a tear-down and rebuild.
 
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buc74

Member
Oct 16, 2012
90
Fort Atkinson, WI
I'm having Golden's Chimney Lining out of Princeton, WI rebuild mine from the roof line up. He is CSIA and NFI certified. Not sure if he reaches out to the Milwaukee area.
IMG_1238.JPG
 

johnkozlo

New Member
May 15, 2020
3
Milwaukee, WI
Update.. I received two quotes today. The one guy seemed more interested in tuck pointing the house than anything else. He quoted $2,500 to tuck point the chimney and the rest of the house, wherever needed. The second was a guys who spent about 20 minutes with me on the phone last week. He answered a lot of my questions, and I felt very comfortable with him possibly doing the work. So, I was looking forward to his quote. Just from our conversation, I was leaning toward going with whatever his recommendation was. I was surprised...He told me that I shouldn't do anything. He said the chimney has a lean, but is structurally sound. He said I shouldn't do anything with it at this point in time, and to call him back 5 years from now. I emailed the Milwaukee brick Layers Union that is actually up the road from my house. I figured it couldn't hurt to see if they could recommend someone. They did recommend a mason, that I left a voicemail with today. I'll update once I hear back from him. Thank you guys for all your 2 cents, it is helpful. @dvellone after this final quote, I might go the structural engineer route just for piece of mind.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,567
central pa
Update.. I received two quotes today. The one guy seemed more interested in tuck pointing the house than anything else. He quoted $2,500 to tuck point the chimney and the rest of the house, wherever needed. The second was a guys who spent about 20 minutes with me on the phone last week. He answered a lot of my questions, and I felt very comfortable with him possibly doing the work. So, I was looking forward to his quote. Just from our conversation, I was leaning toward going with whatever his recommendation was. I was surprised...He told me that I shouldn't do anything. He said the chimney has a lean, but is structurally sound. He said I shouldn't do anything with it at this point in time, and to call him back 5 years from now. I emailed the Milwaukee brick Layers Union that is actually up the road from my house. I figured it couldn't hurt to see if they could recommend someone. They did recommend a mason, that I left a voicemail with today. I'll update once I hear back from him. Thank you guys for all your 2 cents, it is helpful. @dvellone after this final quote, I might go the structural engineer route just for piece of mind.
From what I can see I agree I don't see a structural concern at all. I would do some touch up repointing though because those cracks will allow water in which will just make the problems worse
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
Good news to have someone qualified that srutinzed it in person to confirm it's structurally sound. It's impossible to properly assess from pictures, and leaning masonry has a habit of succumbing to gravity. Perhaps the masons that built it didn't use guidelines to lay the stone work plumb.

Since there doesn't appear to be any effloresence (white staining resulting from lime being leached by moisture intrusion) you're likely catching it early enough to prevent excess damage.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,567
central pa
Good news to have someone qualified that srutinzed it in person to confirm it's structurally sound. It's impossible to properly assess from pictures, and leaning masonry has a habit of succumbing to gravity. Perhaps the masons that built it didn't use guidelines to lay the stone work plumb.

Since there doesn't appear to be any effloresence (white staining resulting from lime being leached by moisture intrusion) you're likely catching it early enough to prevent excess damage.
It is possible it was laid like that but it is much more likely caused by the slow mortar erosion at the roof line. This is extremely common and as long as it is a minor lean and you don't see displacement or large open cracks in the area it is not a structural issue. I look at hundreds of chimneys a year this one doesn't look concerning to me in the least.

On a technical note efflorescence is salt not lime. If it was lime it would be easily cleaned with muriatic acid. It is an indicator of water infiltration but you can have lots of infiltration without efflorescence as well.