Taking out insert and hearth for a freestanding woodstove

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
I sold my bricks (250) for $1.50 each.
Really? No chance of that happening here. Even if you clean them completely you no one wants used brick. Especially not at more than the cost of new
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Really? No chance of that happening here. Even if you clean them completely you no one wants used brick. Especially not at more than the cost of new
My house is a 1895 Sears Craftsman home. The bricks were made by a long gone mfg in Weston Oregon. A guy in Walla Walla was re doing his house and already had Weston brick facade. I probably could got $3! But heck, away they went....
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I sold my bricks (250) for $1.50 each.
It was a shame to see the sandstone bricks from our local quarry go away but I had high performance wood burning on my mind. Well, also we liked the idea of not having a pile of bricks land on our head!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
It was a shame to see the sandstone bricks from our local quarry go away but I had high performance wood burning on my mind. Well, also we liked the idea of not having a pile of bricks land on our head!
If they were cut sandstone those you could easily sell here. We just have so many brick yards that used bricks are pretty much worthless. You can just about always find something that will match.
 

Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
367
Southern WI
How big is your house? Using stove for main or zone type heating? There are some nice stoves with rear flues so you wouldn't need to do any demo. Worst case, you may have to remove part of the hearth if you need more height.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,683
South Puget Sound, WA
This is what tearing out a fireplace and 2 story chimney looks like. I tented the living room to create a corridor to the side bay window where we dumped out the bricks. I had a fan in the adjacent window blowing out dust and keeping negative pressure in the tented space so that dust and dirt didn't spread to the house. The first day was the disassembly of the chimney down through the 2nd floor, then putting a temporary patch over the hole in the roof. The next day we tackled the main fireplace and on the third, the hearth. At the end of each day, we cleaned up the space to stop dirt from getting tracked through the house. Me being no spring chicken, my son was a big help with this job. The big black slab is the hearth covering (a slab of chem lab countertop). Once this job was done we tackled the abandoned furnace chimney in my office and removed that as well. All of this was in preparation for the house to get lifted and a new foundation put in place... Then the real work began.

fireplace-gone2_web.jpg Dillon_Chimney_web.jpg fireplace_gone_web.jpg

Does tearing out the fireplace you have now reduce home resale value? Does it matter? Ask these questions too as you move forward.
The old fireplace chimney was unlined and not the safest, especially after the last earthquake. There was an old Majestic insert in there when we bought the house that ate wood like candy. After a season I put in a Quad 1200 pellet insert, which worked quite well, but I didn't like the noise in the living room. Raising the house made removal of the fireplace a priority. Overall, this has added a lot to the value and safety of the house. The fireplace was odd with the chimney on the side to clear the ridgeline and decaying with an alarming couple of take-offs hidden behind just plaster.

quadrafire.jpg House_raising 020.jpg
 
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Lasagnafordinner

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
18
Virginia
Update:
Yes, home value is super important, we were hoping to modernize the fireplace.

After talking to multiple stores in our area, we feel we're a little stuck. We were quoted $15k for tear down and rebuild with new freestanding woodstove. Ha! So, we're now asking them about inserts and freestandings that would fit in our firebox, leaving everything as is and no demo or rebuild.. I can't imagine a freestanding would be pretty with the metal firebox in the backdrop though. The new EPA standards are making inserts pretty steep for our price range-we're looking at the hearthstone GMI 70 and the BK princess insert, both in the mid-upper 3k range and then install costing over 1k. I had no idea the new epa standards would eliminate the majority of affordable inserts from being options...

--> What does everyone think about an insert vs a freestanding? The height of the opening is 29.5", which makes it a little tricky, but I've found some freestanding stoves in the 27'' range that could fit.

Another shop we consulted about inserts and freestanding stove won't sell or install anything for us. They say that our home insurance would be voided if we cut into the pipe vents that sit in the top vent, and that any woodstove insert or freestanding must be specifically tested and approved for home insurances to not be voided. We'll obviously need to cut the pipes no matter what to get a 6 inch liner up the chimney. Our previous insert had no liner, just slid into the firebox. Somehow we must have had a bad home inspector, he didn't do anything with the chimney/fireplace. It would be horrible for something like cutting the pipes for a liner void our insurance in case of a fire...

--> Does anyone know about home insurances voiding coverage because of these heatform fireboxes being retrofitted with newer stoves?

Much of the metal in the box -the pipes in the vent above, is rusted out, flaking away. It appears to be masonry/mortar behind it. Could this also be a fire hazard/void home insurance?
IMG_20200805_180727.jpg

Lastly, check this out. What is that patch on the cinderblock?!
IMG_20200806_191428.jpg
 

Lasagnafordinner

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
18
Virginia
How big is your house? Using stove for main or zone type heating? There are some nice stoves with rear flues so you wouldn't need to do any demo. Worst case, you may have to remove part of the hearth if you need more height.
It's about 1800 sq ft. We use the stove for our main heat, but Virginia winters aren't as cold as up north.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
Sorry I missed this thread earlier. I work in the medical fields and have been a bit overwhelmed with the plague lately.

I had a healtilator, it was part of the new build at my house in +/- 1980. Rafters and ceiling joists were planned around the "fireplace" so the old chimney was a straight shot. No flash light required, jut stick my head in the burn box, look up, and see out doors.

My local wood stove emporium agreed to remove my old Healtilator as part of the chimney install for free, as long as I did all the demolition between the existing paint on the living room wall and the offending specimen. Took about 45 minutes with an 8# sledge.

For the "chimney install" I paid for, they disassembled the heatilator, and loaded it in my truck, as well as installing the new chimney. After they were done I drove my truck to the dump, pushed the heatilator bits out, and had to fix the drywall in the stove room, then demoilish the old heatilator platform and build a hearth for my incoming stove.

The worst part (for me) was mudding the drywall patches.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
Sorry I missed this thread earlier. I work in the medical fields and have been a bit overwhelmed with the plague lately.

I had a healtilator, it was part of the new build at my house in +/- 1980. Rafters and ceiling joists were planned around the "fireplace" so the old chimney was a straight shot. No flash light required, jut stick my head in the burn box, look up, and see out doors.

My local wood stove emporium agreed to remove my old Healtilator as part of the chimney install for free, as long as I did all the demolition between the existing paint on the living room wall and the offending specimen. Took about 45 minutes with an 8# sledge.

For the "chimney install" I paid for, they disassembled the heatilator, and loaded it in my truck, as well as installing the new chimney. After they were done I drove my truck to the dump, pushed the heatilator bits out, and had to fix the drywall in the stove room, then demoilish the old heatilator platform and build a hearth for my incoming stove.

The worst part (for me) was mudding the drywall patches.
Was that a metal box in a masonry chimney like the op has? If so 45 mins is amazing
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
The fireplace opening height is about 27" high, so not very large. We are anticipating needing to rent an angle grinder, maybe a hammer drill, and ripping out the fireplace. Kodi nox
How much of the fireplace are you planning on removing?
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
Was that a metal box in a masonry chimney like the op has? If so 45 mins is amazing
Oops. Mine look the OPs in the first picture. I had one layer of stone veneer against plywood on studs around the firebox opening, and drywall on studs above the mantle. Once I was down to studs I had bare naked heatilator in the stud cage.

I did miss the cinderblock in post #32 is partial demo of the orginal pictured in post one.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
Oops. Mine look the OPs in the first picture. I had one layer of stone veneer against plywood on studs around the firebox opening, and drywall on studs above the mantle. Once I was down to studs I had bare naked heatilator in the stud cage.

I did miss the cinderblock in post #32 is partial demo of the orginal pictured in post one.
No big deal.
 

Lasagnafordinner

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
18
Virginia
Ok, so we've decided to not to do the demo, and are just going to go with a freestanding.
The shops we're talking to are both highly recommending the Jotul F500 V3 Oslo. The Hearthstones aren't quite utilitarian enough for us, as we heat as much as we can on wood. Thoughts? Just read some mixed stuff about the new cat setup on it. But it sounds more durable, being steel, than the ceramic ones at least?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
Ok, so we've decided to not to do the demo, and are just going to go with a freestanding.
The shops we're talking to are both highly recommending the Jotul F500 V3 Oslo. The Hearthstones aren't quite utilitarian enough for us, as we heat as much as we can on wood. Thoughts? Just read some mixed stuff about the new cat setup on it. But it sounds more durable, being steel, than the ceramic ones at least?
The design of that stove raises some serious red flags for me. No one has ever tried running a cat with no bypass before. It may end up working out but I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig.
 

Lasagnafordinner

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
18
Virginia
The design of that stove raises some serious red flags for me. No one has ever tried running a cat with no bypass before. It may end up working out but I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig.
Interesting. I had to read up on that some, but essentially, it could potentially makes it hard to get it started and hot since you can't open it up? Is there anything you could recommend similar to that? We're not partial to a catalytic or non cat or any specific brands. Although I suppose we might slightly prefer catalytic due to longer burn times.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,908
central pa
Interesting. I had to read up on that some, but essentially, it could potentially makes it hard to get it started and hot since you can't open it up? Is there anything you could recommend similar to that? We're not partial to a catalytic or non cat or any specific brands. Although I suppose we might slightly prefer catalytic due to longer burn times.
Yes it also can lead to clogging warping etc. Reports I have gotten from some in the industry that I trust have not been good so far.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
645
Texas
Have you looked at the Woodstock Soapstone company's website? They have a great and proven reputation. If you like the style, I wonder if an Ideal Steel would suit your needs.
 

Lasagnafordinner

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
18
Virginia
Have you looked at the Woodstock Soapstone company's website? They have a great and proven reputation. If you like the style, I wonder if an Ideal Steel would suit your needs.
Thanks for the input. I'm not crazy about the look, but some of the more modest styles that are black arent' too bad.
Have you looked at the Woodstock Soapstone company's website? They have a great and proven reputation. If you like the style, I wonder if an Ideal Steel would suit your needs.

Thanks for the suggestion! I'm not crazy about the woodstock look, but it's for function and I am reading that a lot of people love theirs. I suppose the more muted color ( or black) arent' too bad. I'll look into them more.. (and entered their drawing!)
 

Lasagnafordinner

New Member
Apr 28, 2020
18
Virginia
Have you looked at the Woodstock Soapstone company's website? They have a great and proven reputation. If you like the style, I wonder if an Ideal Steel would suit your needs.

Thanks for the suggestion! I think we might be limited by height with those. We have to find something under 29.5" to fit in our opening. I'm not crazy about the woodstock look, but it's for function and I am reading that a lot of people love theirs. I suppose the more muted color ( or black) arent' too bad. I'll look into them more.. (and entered their drawing just in case!)
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
Could it be the smear of mortar on the cinderblock face fills a hole big enough to plug a stove pipe into?

I don't know if that is a smart thing to do, or a legal thing to do...