Removing A Chimney 101 – How To Guide!

The sight of a chimney gives any home this aesthetic and rustic look. However, it loses its value if it becomes the cause of problems in your home.

So, if you're planning on removing a chimney, don't fret. We gathered all the necessary information to bring you the answer on how to remove a chimney.

There are plenty of reasons why you'll want to remove the chimney in your home. So, here are the steps to guide you in your project:

  1. Make Necessary Preparations
  2. Remove Chimney Breast
  3. Remove Chimney Stack
  4. Evaluate Current Situation
  5. Clean And Recycle

In this article, you'll find out what you need to do for each step in the guide and learn important information that you need beforehand when removing a chimney. We'll also discuss why homeowners want to remove their chimneys and how much it costs. So, continue reading!

roof of a house. - Removing A Chimney 101 - How To Guide!

How To Remove A Chimney

Make some free time in your schedule because you'll learn what it takes to remove a chimney. So, use these steps as a guide when doing this project on your own:

A total brick chimney rebuild. A building contractor on asbestos roof is removing bricks of a damaged chimney before a complete chimney rebuild.

Make Necessary Preparations

First, find out whether you need a permit. Consult your local code enforcement office to find out what permits or documents you need to obtain before starting your project.

Next, it's best to consult a professional contractor or a masonry expert for advice on whether it's safe for you to remove the chimney at home. At this point, you need information on which parts of the house and the chimney needs support to prevent structural damage while doing the project.

Once you've gathered all the necessary paperwork and information, it's time to start stocking up on the equipment and safety gear that you will need.

Do note, though, that you can't do this project alone. Often, it's best to hire a local demolition team to avoid accidents when attempting this project.

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Remove Chimney Breast

Before working your way around the chimney breast, keeping the whole chimney secured and supported is essential. You can use a gallows bracket to help hold everything in place.

Once you have secured the chimney, you start chiseling away at each brick, starting from the top and making your way down to the bottom.

For this step, use a masonry chisel, a sledgehammer, and a hammer to get those bricks out of the chimney. Make sure not to pile them up on the scaffolding to prevent accidents.

Remove Chimney Stack

For this step, you repeat what you did with the chimney breast; only this time, you'll be working on the rooftop. Take your time, and don't rush as you remove the bricks one at a time.

Afterward, inspect the structure below the chimney. If you find any structural damage that may cause problems during the rest of the project, fix it immediately.

Evaluate Current Situation

After the chimney removal, it's time to inspect the current state of your home. The ceiling and walls need repairs unless you want a gaping hole in your home.

Additionally, you need to check for the structural integrity of your home. If the whole structure of your home is in a dangerous state, call a professional to remedy the issue.

Clean And Recycle

Last but not least, it's time to think about what you will do with those leftover bricks. With so many of them, you can recycle them into landscaping for your garden.

You can use them for other projects, like a brick wall oven or an open grill in the backyard.

If you don't have any space for those leftover bricks, consider giving them away for free to those who might be able to make something out of them.

What Are The Reasons For Removing A Chimney?

If you're wondering why people must remove the chimneys of their homes, look no further.

The list below details some of the most common issues homeowners face when having a chimney that has overstayed its welcome in their houses.

Damages The Fireplace

If the chimney starts crumbling or there are cracks in different places, these could further damage your fireplace. Also, crumbling and loose bricks can cause unwanted accidents.

So, if you don't want a stray brick to come loose and hit someone on the head, then you should start planning on removing your chimney.

This is also why it's imperative to do an annual maintenance check on your fireplace and chimney.

Out Of Fashion

Back then, owning a fireplace was a necessity to help a family get through a winter.

But now, with so many heating options available and the introduction of electric fireplaces, chimneys are becoming less attractive and ideal.

In today's standard, they serve as an antique or decorations in some homes. But with how hard it is to maintain them and the risk of owning one, many homeowners are choosing to remove their chimneys and opt for a more modern heating solution.


As everyone knows, a traditional fireplace takes up quite a lot of space inside a house. That's because the chimney breast and the chimney stacks take up large portions.

So, for those planning on refurbishing their home or wanting to renovate it, removing the chimney is an ideal solution to create more space.

That way, homeowners can use that space for other projects and make the house more spacious.

Source Of Energy Loss

Fireplaces help generate enough heat to keep a house warm throughout the winter. However, if the fireplace doesn't serve this purpose and merely acts as a decoration, you're wasting valuable space, money, and energy.

An unused chimney will provide ample space for warm air to escape. This means that the heating system inside your house will have to work harder to provide you and your family with enough warmth.

If that's the case, removing the chimney is better than having it drain your finances by providing ample space for warm air to dissipate.


Lastly, chimneys can be a source of moisture problems. So, moisture will form within the chimney's wall when it starts raining heavily, or there's a high concentration of humidity outside.

From there, the inside of it will become a home to mold and mildew.

And the last thing you want your chimney to become is a breeding ground for allergens and bacteria that can cause you and your loved ones to get sick.

Is It Better To Fully Remove A Chimney Or Partially Remove It?

The old roof of the house. Shelter of slate. Broken chimney

We'll be discussing the two ways to remove a chimney, and you'll find out which is the better option for you:

Partial Chimney Removal

Partial chimney removal involves removing the visible part of the chimney, which is the chimney stack. This process leaves behind the chimney breast, allowing the house to remain stable.

The advantage of this process is that it leaves the wall structurally intact, thereby not weakening it. This is also faster and relatively cheaper.

Complete Chimney Removal

As the name suggests, a complete chimney removal will remove the entire chimney, stack, and breast.

However, it takes a lot of time and money since you will have to support and strengthen different portions of your home to prevent damage.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Chimney?

Chimney cap installed to prevent rodent entry to home/attic/building

Depending on whether you want a partial chimney removal or a complete chimney removal, the cost is somewhere between $1,000 to $10,000.

Just hiring an expert for consultation on the project will set your bucks around $500. And if you plan to hire a local demolition crew, that's $50 per hour for each person.

For a partial chimney removal, you'll spend around $1,000 to $5,000. And if you want a complete chimney removal, you will pay double that estimate.

Not to mention the additional costs for cleaning up after the project or the amount you will have to spend to renovate and repair certain parts of your house.

In short, removing a chimney doesn't come cheap. However, if it means making your home safer for you and your loved ones, then by all means.

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To Wrap Up

To summarize, there are five easy steps that you need to remember when removing the chimney.

Before starting your project, you must prepare and gather the necessary equipment, tools, and paperwork. Then, you remove the chimney breast first, followed by the chimney stack.

Afterward, you need to assess and evaluate the current situation, learning what repairs and renovations you need to do after.

Finally, you start cleaning out the area, deciding whether you want to give the chimney's old bricks away or recycle them to be a part of your garden or tool shed.

Did this article help you find out what you're looking for? If so, consider checking out these posts:

How To Decorate A Living Room With A Fireplace In The Middle

How To Decorate Walls On Either Side Of Fireplace?

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