Should You Keep or Ditch That Chimney?

Jun 22 2020
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As far as chimneys go, and whether or not to ditch or keep, the answer for us will, eventually be, to ditch it. We won’t be using it again and really its just taking up valuable real estate. I did paint ours to make it a little less painful to look at but I really look forward to getting rid of it! For other homes though that might not be the case. Homes where the chimney isn’t in the direct center of the home but on an outside wall may not find a very good reason to get rid of it unless, of course, it needs to be repaired or is somehow causing structure damage to the wall.

Painting out a faux stone chimney in white so I hate it a lot less now. Beginning the big remodel of my living room with a brand new sofa and paint!
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Unless it’s always the holiday season you live in, chances are your chimney goes unused most of the year. As more and more people move towards electric log fires instead of potentially dangerous gas fires, they are nearly becoming obsolete. The question that remains, then, is whether you should keep your chimney or not.

First, let’s talk a little bit about the anatomy of a chimney. There are two pieces: the stack and the breast. The stack is what probably comes to mind when you think of chimneys: the long, tall tube-like structure that spews plumes of smoke.

The most common problems stacks face are leaks and structural damage, which could be valid cases for removal. However, there are some ways to get around these problems without ripping the whole thing out, but we’ll get into this a little later.

On the other hand, the breast is the part of the chimney that is both the most visible and important. The breast contains the flu, provides structural support and extra insulation and happens to protrude in every room through which it passes. If you’re looking to expand a room, it’s possible to remove individual sections of the breast without removing the breast altogether.

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the different parts, let’s talk about the pros and cons of removal.

The pros

Damp is one of your home’s worst enemies. Not only does it suck the heat out of your home and jacks up energy bills, but it also creates a perfect environment for unwanted guests like mold and fungi.

Removing your chimney outright will eliminate these problems, but you’ll most likely need a roofer to help you patch up any holes near the top. From a financial standpoint, removing it may be more cost-effective than repairing it, without considering maintenance fees. If you’re looking to reduce your energy and chimney repair costs, removal might be the way to go.

If its nothing more than an eyesore to you, though, then it might not be worth it to remove it. Granted, houses without chimneys are generally regarded as more aesthetically-pleasing nowadays. Still, if it does not cost you extra money or the health of anyone living in your home, it’s best to leave it right. Of course, if you have the money, though, the sky’s the limit.

The cons

Not all areas will allow you to remove your chimney, especially in a listed area or conservation area. If you live in one of these areas and are considering getting rid of it, check in with local authorities first to see if you’re able to do so. Moreover, some help the house by funneling carbon monoxide outside.

If you don’t understand how it works correctly, you may be putting others in the house at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by removing it. Consult a chimney expert before doing any significant removal work; it might save a life or two.

Personally we will be removing our chimney - all three stories of our chimney. I hate the rock my ex put on it and, quite frankly, we'll never be using it
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Comments

  1. June 22, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Your work seems to be great. Continue the great effort!!

  2. June 22, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Personally I’d keep it it has a lot of character. Personally I’d buy a small white gorgeous Swedish wood stove and pop one in that small space. Jutol make some gorgeous ones

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