Our plan for exterior work in the fall of 2015 included replacing all the upstairs windows and installing new exterior siding on the back of the house. Before we could get started on either of those things we had to deal with the old chimney that went up the back of the house. This post explains why we had to consider removing an old chimney and how we did it.
Background on the chimney
The row house has no fireplaces. I’m sure it did at one point in its life but there are none now and we don’t plan to install any. When we bought the row house in 2013 the old furnace was located at the back of the basement and vented out the chimney. After the basement demo we bought a new Goodman high efficiency furnace and relocated it to the front of the house so that it could be vented horizontally through the front wall as we were advised against venting a high efficiency furnace through the chimney as the gasses are too light to rise. At the same time we decided to remove the duct work that ran through the middle of the basement ceiling. That old chimney was essentially useless at this point and not in great condition (not to mention an eyesore). Additionally, our longer term plans involve removing a wall in the kitchen which the chimney currently runs up. So the top of it had to go.
Removing an old chimney
Our roof is pretty high and we don’t have any mason work experience so removing an old chimney is not something we thought we should DIY. We hired a contractor recommended by a family friend (who by chance was a mason) and had him come by to provide us an estimate on the job. He also included the disposal of the old chimney in his cost.
The contractor arrived in the morning, set up all his scaffolding and by noon half the chimney was gone. He finished removing the old chimney to the roof line of the first floor in one day then patched up the roof with plywood and shingles. There is a gap in the aluminum soffit and fascia on the second floor roof line that we will have to patch at some point in 2016.
This wasn’t a terribly interesting project but removing the old chimney was necessary in order to move forward on installing new windows and siding.