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Help - Which tradesman do I need?

(7 Posts)
ginberry4 Mon 16-Nov-20 22:30:50

We have opened up our fireplace (pic 1). Want it to ultimately look something like pic 2. We don’t want to install a fire at this stage
As far as I know we need to

1) dig up the fireplace floor, new hardcore, new damp membrane, re-screed
2) add new lintel to square off fireplace opening (it’s arched)
3) add air vent to external wall inside chimney cavity to allow airflow once closed off
4) have plate fitted at top of fireplace to close off chimney cavity
5) have fireplace cavity made good - including poss tanking
6) new non-protruding hearth laid
6) have front of chimney breast wall made good (surveyor friend recommended lining wall with DPM, batons & foil backed plasterboarded before skimming)

This will sound like a really stupid question but which type of tradesman do I need to approach to sort this out? Ideally I want someone who can come in & do the whole lot so it’s completely finished & ready to paint.

Builder?
Fireplace fitter? (Local to me they all seem to be heating engineers)
Joiner?
Plasterer?
Will I need a combination of the above? Any help gratefully received. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
ginberry4 Mon 16-Nov-20 22:49:56

Sorry had problems attaching pics

OP’s posts: |
Loofah01 Tue 17-Nov-20 09:25:41

Will you ever want to install a fire? It will take a different appraoch if you do. Personally I like the xposed brick look but if you want the 'pic2' version then I can't see why a builder can't do that for you. He'll sub out the plastering probably and you might want to sweep the chimney before doing the work, just to get rid of any accumulated crud up there.

ginberry4 Tue 17-Nov-20 22:04:01

Thankyou for the reply. It’s unlikely we will install a fire - if we ever did it would be an electric stove, definitely not solid fuel. The adjoining room has an open fire, max 4 metres away from this one.

I feel so silly for having asked this question!

I asked a builder & he said he could do the floor & the lintel but I’d need to have a plate made for the top but he didn’t know where to get one from, & I’d need to get someone else to do the walls.

I also tried 2 fireplace fitters - one said he could do it but never sent us his quote and the other didn’t turn up 🙄

I thought perhaps I’d asked the wrong tradespeople hence the reason for my question confused

Perhaps I just need to try a different builder!

OP’s posts: |
Loofah01 Wed 18-Nov-20 10:25:14

Wow, you've picked a rubbish bunch lol The plate is a very simple job. Quick question - does the back of the chimney go outside or next door? If outside then take out a brick and fit an air brick for the vent, or one with some weather proofing. Locate this above where you will seal up the chimney. For the plate you can use sheet steel or basically anything durable, cut to size (it won't be big, can use angle grinder or jigsaw with metal cutter blade) and hold in place with screws before mortaring over the joints. Then you have a vented chimney stack which shouldn't cause any issues assuming you have a cowl over the pot.
It doesn't need a new lintel, the one already in place is sufficient. Just board down to the level you want and plaster over. Or you can use block work but why complicate things.
I'm pondering if you need to dig up the base too. It does look damp which frankly it shouldn't so is there anything the other side of that wall? Build up of soil perhaps over the existing DPC?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Wed 18-Nov-20 10:27:49

Our general purpose builder would do that.

ginberry4 Sat 21-Nov-20 10:07:23

Loofah01

Wow, you've picked a rubbish bunch lol The plate is a very simple job. Quick question - does the back of the chimney go outside or next door? If outside then take out a brick and fit an air brick for the vent, or one with some weather proofing. Locate this above where you will seal up the chimney. For the plate you can use sheet steel or basically anything durable, cut to size (it won't be big, can use angle grinder or jigsaw with metal cutter blade) and hold in place with screws before mortaring over the joints. Then you have a vented chimney stack which shouldn't cause any issues assuming you have a cowl over the pot.
It doesn't need a new lintel, the one already in place is sufficient. Just board down to the level you want and plaster over. Or you can use block work but why complicate things.
I'm pondering if you need to dig up the base too. It does look damp which frankly it shouldn't so is there anything the other side of that wall? Build up of soil perhaps over the existing DPC?

Thanks for your help & advice.

The back of the fireplace is an external wall, and yes we plan to put an air brick in above where we close off the chimney.

We opened it up because it was fully blocked up & damp up to over a metre high on the front of the chimney breast. It was filled to the top with soil, rubble, damp mortar, soot and sticks. We’ve had it looked at by an RICS surveyor & were told the fireplace was the root cause of the problems & was acting like a candle wick sucking it up out of the ground (old property, shallow foundations). There is no existing dpm in the fireplace cavity, so it’s been suggested that best course of action would be to put one in before making good to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Ground level the other side is well below the slate dpc, there is a chemical dpc as well and no other water source nearby. We’ve had the external brickwork all repaired & repointed with lime mortar too so shouldn’t have water penetrating through.

Just can’t find some one to do it! Don’t know if due to pandemic or that no-one wants to take on a job where damp is involved, but really struggling to find anyone willing. Time to make a few more calls I think.

OP’s posts: |

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