Q&A Remodeling front of masonry fireplace..Surprise!!!

QandA Posted By QandA, May 26, 2007 at 5:24 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    Hello, We were just going to paint the bricks on the front of our fireplace, but when we removed the 1970's paneling which covered the front we found quite a surprise!! There were 4 open vents, 2 on top and 2 directly below on the bottom. These had been covered by the paneling. Also, the brickwork is not finished evenly to the sides of the wall, so there are gapping holes from the fireplace to the wall. This is a wood burning fireplace.

    A friend suggested we sheetrock around and cut holes for the vents. Then build a mantle. We are going to gather ideas before we do anything. Our budget does not allow for a big investment, but we would like to explore our possibilities. Where do we look? Magazines? What do you suggest we do? Do you think we need to have the fireplace inspected before we do anything?? We had someone out 4 years ago to clean and fix it. I am not sure what I want to do and I live in a smaller town which does not have access to a lot of retail. ( It is about 45min-1 hour drive ) Any ideas would be very helpful!!


    Does not sound good. You must have this inspected by a knowledgeable stove or fireplace guy to determine the safety of it in it's current form. Vents usually serve two purposes - one to provide some heat output into the room, and the other to cool the chamber around the fireplace. It's wierd that the vents would be covered by paneling.

    Below are links to the National Fireplace Institute which certifies installation and service specialists and to the Chimney Safety Institute of America which is an organization that certifies chimney sweeps. Remember as well that friends and neighbors are great sources for reliable chimney sweeps as well!

    Link: National Fireplace Institute

    Link: Chimney Sweep Institute of America
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