I am buying an old home (~130 years). I had the home inspection yesterday and the chimney is essentially a death trap. It is the victim of both poor maintenance and bad DIY work.
- The chimney on the roof needs to be removed and rebuilt.
- The water heater and boiler in the basement vent into the chimney entirely incorrectly, exhausting in the the home.
To maintain it, I need to pay an expert to rebuild the chimney, and a plumber to fix the hot water situation.
Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, I am wondering if I can or should just remove the chimney outright.
First, I'd move the water heater and boiler away from the chimney in the center of the house and power vent them straight outside. This has the added advantage of opening up the center of the basement a bit, where they are currently located.
Then we'd simply remove the chimney. That would also leave us with a shaft through the center of the home to run central air in the future.
The only complication is that my wife likes the current fireplace in the living room. Can we attach some form of smaller, non-brick chimney to the existing fire box? We'd be willing to change it to a gas fire place in the process.
As a follow on, the bricks for the chimney extends all the way to the basement currently. If I want to leave the first floor fireplace in place, do I need to leave the bricks under it in place, or can I support them some other way?