The chimney demolition process is relatively straightforward, but there's more than one way to go about it. Learn more about chimney removal methods, how much it costs on average to remove a chimney, and how to find the right contractor for the job.
A majority of chimneys are independently supported and are not structural to the walls or roof. However, it isn't uncommon for chimneys to be in the middle of a home or stretch from the foundation, through multiple stories, and out the roof. Sometimes there are ties connecting the chimney to parts of the framing, too.
It's important to know how your chimney is installed. Seek out the help of a professional to gather this information if you are unsure if your chimney is freestanding or tied into the structure of your home or building.
How It's Done
The two main parts referred to when discussing a chimney removal are the chimney stack—which is the part of the chimney that extends above the roof—and the chimney breast—the part of the chimney within the home, below the roof.
All chimney removal projects involve the removal of the chimney stack, but that doesn't automatically mean that the chimney breast must be removed, too. It depends upon how your chimney is installed, as well as your budget for the project. The duration of the chimney demolition, complexity of the job, and other factors play a role in the total cost of the project.
In general, the chimney removal process can be done brick-by-brick with a hammer and chisel, but a mini-jack or impact hammer will help speed up the process.
Partial Chimney Removal
When it comes to a simple partial chimney removal, the process is as simple as removing the chimney until it's flush with the roof, then patching up the hole properly.
Complete Chimney Removal
Removing your entire chimney, including the chimney breast, will result in more than just a hole in your roof that needs to be patched. You also may have a hole in the floor that needs to be patched, as well as a hole in the wall to cover.
Chimney Removal Costs
Expect to pay around $2,000 - $4,000 to have a professional perform a complete chimney removal. If the chimney is on the large side or spans multiple stories (or is part of the structure or foundation), expect to pay closer to $6,000+.
The cost of chimney removal includes:
- removing the chimney stack
- removing the chimney breast
- rectifying the resulting space
Because chimney removal involves filling in the new hole in your home, costs can vary quite a bit.
If your chimney is a "bolt-on" style chimney that is attached to the face of the house, it will cost less to remove than a chimney that is inside your home. Of course, the materials needed to repair the space and match the rest of the room(s) will play a big role in cost, too.
If your chimney is used to support the structural framing of the house, expect to pay more in order to make the necessary framing adjustments.
DIY Chimney Removal
While it's possible to remove a chimney yourself, it isn't recommended, as it can lead to structural damage to the home or building and even serious injury if proper safety protocol is not followed.
However, if you're committed to going the DIY route, make sure you do your research and take the necessary safety precautions. Use safety equipment, like a dust mask, gloves, good eye protection, sturdy work boots, and a safety harness to keep you from slipping off the roof.
Cut down on dust and debris getting into the house by hanging floor-to-ceiling plastic around the area you'll be working.
More often than not, you'll need to obtain a permit before removing a chimney, just like with any demolition or construction work.
Typically, the contractor you hire will handle this, but if you're doing the work yourself, be sure to check with your local zoning laws to determine if you need a permit.
Hiring the Right Pro for the Job
Hiring a professional to handle your chimney removal is great option. Not only will the project be completed accurately and safely, but it will also ensure the job is done as quick as possible, so you can get back to your life.