How to Remove a Fireplace from your Home
A fireplace can add a lot of beauty and value to your home. However, sometimes because of the location of the fireplace, you might wish you could simply remove the fireplace. Especially if you don't use the fireplace, it might seem to simply be an area where heat can escape from your home. However, actually removing a fireplace can be quite difficult and messy, and ultimately, it could even reduce the value of your home if you decided to sell. If you live in a historic district, you might not even be allowed to remove a fireplace from your home. Because of these factors, removing a fireplace generally equates to either visually disguising it or simply using it as a decorative accent instead of a functional fireplace.
All text copyright Maria Harris. Photo from Flikr - "Dad fitting quarry tiles" courtesy of hannah_and_simon.
How to Deal with an Unused Fireplace Without Hiding it
If you like the overall look of the fireplace, but simply wish to remove it because you don't use it and feel that it allows heat to escape from your home, the best approach is to weatherproof it by opening the flue, stuffing the area with insulation, and then closing it tight, making sure the damper is closed. There are also inserts with weather stripping intended for this use. Of course, this technique will only work if you definitely plan on not burning a fire in your fireplace.
If you would like the look of a fire without the fuss, consider adding a gas or electric fireplace insert that simulates the look of a crackling fire. Another interesting approach to a fireplace, after it has been weatherproofed, is to create an arrangement of candles in the fireplace opening, which can add a nice glow. Be sure to keep the candles away from any flammable surfaces.
Weatherproofing an unused fireplace lets you keep it as part of the décor while also keeping it energy efficient. This way it can be used as a focal point to highlight your favorite accessories and iron wall art.
How to Deal with an Unused Fireplace by Hiding it
If you do not want a fireplace in a room at all, you should consider hiding it instead of physically removing it. First, weatherproof and insulate the fireplace as described above, so that heat will not escape. Then, there are various methods you can use to disguise an existing fireplace. Add a decorative room divider screen to the room in front of the fireplace, and place a sofa or loveseat in front of it. As an added bonus, you can use the hidden fireplace opening behind the screen as a storage area. Hang complementary wall art on the wall space beside the fireplace; from traditional oil paintings to tropical wall hangings, there is something for every taste and lifestyle.
There are also fireplace covers that you can buy that fit inside the fireplace opening, covering the fireplace but not the mantle. Or, try building your own cover by designing a box that can be covered in wood paneling or drywall. If drywall is used, simply paint it the same color as the surrounding wall, transforming an unused fireplace into a built-in shelving unit. Or, build the box the full height of the room to cover the fireplace mantle area as well. By using these methods, the fireplace will be hidden, but if you change your mind, or sell your house, you can easily uncover the fireplace.
This article is written by Maria Harris, who writes for Metal Wall Art.
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