I had always considered masonry in any house something that you would work with or around. Until John Gilmer showed me how removing them would dramatically improve the layout of the house, it never occurred to me that taking down the chimney and fireplace was an option!
Above you see the sitting room fireplace. It was at an angle obstructing the space of the would-be living room. By removing it and moving the fireplace into the now straight wall, we were able to create (with the addition of some structural steel) a fully open space that flows into the kitchen and new dining area.
So for those of you, like me, who had no idea about how this is done, you start at the top with the chimney and keep going, brick by brick, until you see the workmen’s feet poking out the bottom, Santa Claus style. According the lovely men who took it down, it was a VERY well built structure!
Having acquired the taste for total destruction, we decided to take down the enormous exterior chimney from the original living room to make room for the new addition housing the master bath and dressing room. The chimney created two problems; first, because of its size, it made finding an access point into the new addition tricky.
And second, because you cannot build a new wood-framed addition onto masonry, we would have to built a box around the already enormous chimney, diminishing further the available space in the dressing room. And I have been spoiled by my current dressing room….
Read more about the demolition next week!