How is Santa Going to Visit? Removing Our Chimney

Remember this science experiment happening in the guest room?

Well, after our adventure removing the old and installing the new water heater and furnace, we were free to remove the chimney.  We plan on doing it stages:

1.) Remove from roof.
2.) Remove from attic.
3.) Tear out from upstairs bathroom, (during bathroom renovation)
4.) Tear out in kitchen, (during kitchen renovation)
5.) Remove remaining from basement.

This is also the order in which we'll do the major interior renovations, upstairs bathroom first, kitchen, then basement bathroom and family room.

Some of us were a little more excited than others to start the roof removal part.  I woke up Saturday morning to loud pounding and found this when I went outside in the front yard:

And found this in the back yard:

Mike made short work of removing the brick from the chimney that extended above the roof.  My yard too soon looked like this:

And I'm glad my new car was in the garage, because we had some jumpers:

 After removing the bricks we were left with this:

A giant hole kind of defeats fixing the water leaking through the bad flashing.  After the brick line made it past the roof, Mike used the brick flinging method to remove more of the chimney that's in the attic.  While I preferred to travel through the attic access inside, Mike opted for a more unconventional method:

Yes, there were many times during this project that I held my breath. 

The following photo has two purposes, one showing how low the chimney was removed into the attic, and two because I try to find any excuse to show off Mike's backside.

Okay, back to PG rating.  After the brick was removed, the hole in the decking was cut to the rafters on either side of the hole.  This is done so that load of the new decking will be distributed equally to the rafters.  As I tried to generally keep my visits up the attic to a minimum, I only have a photo of the cut hole from the safety of the ground outside.

A piece of plywood was cut to fit the hole and put into place, not sure how Mike got it up there since he definitely didn't come inside to do it.  It's probably best I wasn't watching.  Not only did he magically bring the plywood up, he also carried up these cut 2x6's, which were added to the cut rafter that used to sit against the chimney.

At this point Mike felt like a little photo shoot.  I let him pick the poses, his inspiration being the Sword in the Stone with a construction interpretation.  First up, crowbar in the chimney:

Next, King Michael pulling the crowbar from the chimney. 

Umm, we're kinda dorky.  Maybe it was the confined space getting to our heads.

After putting the plywood into place, Mike then added felt paper and shingles to completely erase any sign that a chimney used to be there.  I could have helped, I do know how to shingle, I just prefer to not do it 30 feet above the ground. 

Even with the few years difference and the expected fading, the patch is barely noticeable.

Plus, this means we can fix the water damage in the guest room and never have to worry about that again!


  1. Wow does this bring back memories! At my house in Dover the chimney was ripped out from the roof to the basement in about an hour and a half by me and three guys. I got to help (don't know if that was a good thing) toss bricks to the dumpster and luge bricks up the basement stairs out the bulk head to the dumpster. The chimney went thru the kitchen which had already been demo to the studs including the ceiling which was exposed to the attic so there wasn't a problem with the mess it created. One of these days you and Mike have to come over for dinner and I can show you photos! Patty A.

  2. Looks good. Grandma and Grandpa will be very happy that the roof in the guest room wont leak on them if it rains while we are there in June! Looking forward to seeing all of the improvements you've made since last summer. Love and miss you for 2 more months. Love, Auntie Lynn