How can I tell if it's safe to demolish a bumpout??

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My 1926 house originally had a floor furnace in the center hall, which is now gone. Its chimney necessitated a bumpout in the kitchen. When my new roof was installed a few months ago, I had them remove the exterior part of that chimney, since it was no longer used. Now, I would like to remove the bumpout, to make more space in the kitchen. What do I need to know to know if that's safe, and how do I find it out?


  12 answers
  • I would contact a contractor and get a professional opinion

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 28, 2021

    Hi! So the chimney is still in the wall of the house? They removed from the roof up? You will need to remove from the top down, from the attic down, if I understand your question. You can't remove just the lower part that comes into the kitchen. It's tedious and messy, but, the only safe way I know of. We took our old brick chimney down to the attic floor, but, since it was still structurally sound, left it where it went down through the entry to the attic, a corner of the dining room, and to the floor of the basement. The small area it takes up wasn't worth the time and effort and expense, for us. Good luck!

  • And who did you use for your roof? A licensed roofing contractor, I hope? Same principle applies. You need a licensed contractor to come in and take a look. I own a home also built in 1926. Luckily when my parents bought the house in the early 60's my dad went down to City Hall, Building and Permit Department, and requested a copy of the original blueprints filed by the builder. However, that may not always be the case. And why you need to hire a contractor. Some preliminary demo may need to take place to make sure no load bearing walls are affected. Here is how to hire any contractor you will ever need:


    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0242-hiring-contractor

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Mar 01, 2021

    Here's a post that might help https://homereference.net/removing-a-chimney/

  • I would hire a licensed contractor for this job. You don't want to compromise the structure.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 01, 2021

    Hire a licensed contractor for this job. They have the skill set to evaluate and repair, also the team to do the work and keep it in code.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 01, 2021

    Definitely hire an engineer to look at it. If you aren't going to DIY, make sure the contractor you hire has an engineer look at it.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 01, 2021

    Hi Teri, definitely look into it with a tradesman that know more about these. Better safe than sorry

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 01, 2021

    I have learned the hard way that is pays in the long run to hire someone who is licensed and bonded. They know what they are doing and if for some reason they mess up you have something to fall back on.

    Perhaps a phone call to your local planning department would steer you in the right direction.

  • William William on Mar 01, 2021

    The bump out is just there to cover the chimney. It can be removed but there will be the brick chimney also to remove. The surface wall, whether plaster or drywall, will need to be removed. Then the studs. The brick chimney is next. Start from the top down. You may want to hire someone to do it.

  • Sharon Sharon on Mar 03, 2021

    In a house that old, I would have a structural engineer have a look..... when they took my old chimney down, they found it was anchored to the roof plates and rafters, and some of the structural 2x4s had been eaten away by an old termite infestation..... luckily we were able to shore everything up under the roof plate with new 2x4s to support the roof plate and roof. Be prepared for the unexpected in old houses.

  • I too would have a structural engineer out or at the very least, a very qualified contractor to take a look first. You just never know with an old house.

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