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How do you open up a closed fire place in an old house.

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Nov 29, 2013, 11:32 AM
The Tile Man
How do you open up a closed fire place in an old house.
My 1951 South Carolina home is a "mill" style house.
The fireplace has been closed up with a small piece of tin and appears old bricks were sent down the chimney to close off a majority of the air flow. The fireplace "mirrors" 2 rooms. (Living room, bedroom.) with a brick divider wall in between. I'd like to open this up if possible. Id like any input on anyone tackling a similar project or knowledge in this area. Some questions are: Is the dividing wall in the center of the fireplace common or built afterwards?(if its taken down you will see directly into the other rooms fireplace.) What should I look for as far as integrity issues?
Already checked: foundation footing is deep and solid. "Hearth" is solid and supported, mortar joints going through the attic and also the roof are hard and look good.
Nov 29, 2013, 12:22 PM
The back-to-back design in common. Even so, there should be separate internal chimneys - you could verify this by taking a look from the roof. Even in the 50's, there most likely are individual clay pipe liners used as the actual chimneys. Most common size is 8" x 12" but this can vary.

Since it has been out of commission for a long time and also appears that it was deliberately blocked up, it would be wise to get a chimney guy in to inspect and make any recommendations.