My wife and I have been working with an interior designer on a home addition that involves expanding our family room. The designer suggests we move the fireplace. We know this is not an easy undertaking. How much should we expect for this project?
Chip V. ~ Corvallis, Oregon
Hi Chip, This is one of those general questions that is nearly impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy without additional information. Moving a fireplace can range from moving a two story free standing masonry fireplace to moving a small pre-fab direct vent gas fireplace. Hopefully you are not considering moving a masonry fireplace. Twenty years ago I watched a superintendent move a two story free standing masonry fireplace that had just been completed about 20 feet to make his customer happy. The custom home was being built by a popular TV actress and her husband, and money was not an object.
Even just moving a pre-fab wood or gas fireplace can vary quite a bit based on the chimney height, or if there is a chimney, and what type of surround is on the front of the fireplace.
I am going to give you a ballpark price for moving a wood burning fireplace with a pre-fab fire box and a two story framed chimney chase. Inside the chimney chase is flue piping for the fireplace. I am assuming the fireplace is located on an exterior wall of your home, and that the existing chimney chase will remain on the outside of your home, but it will be unused. I am figuring the exterior siding material is vinyl siding.
I believe it should cost somewhere around $3,500 to move your fireplace during your home addition. I am not sure how labor prices are in Corvallis, Oregon right now, so that price may go up or down. I figured just patching the opening where the fireplace is now with sheetrock and paint. I did not figure any new floor covering where the existing hearth is due to new floor covering probably going into the family room while remodeling.
I figured framing a new two story fireplace chase, and installing vinyl siding on it. The estimated cost includes reusing the firebox, but installing new flue pipe. If the existing surround is slate, marble, or granite, it may not be able to be removed without breakage, so I figured a new slate or marble surround.
I would have a local fireplace company come out and take a look at it. If it is a pre-fab fireplace, a local company should have installed it, and they can probably give you an accurate price for moving the box and flue. The contractor doing your home addition should be able to build the chimney chase for not too much, if he does it while his crew is on site. The same should be true of the siding.