Ashburn, VA

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Fireplace or Chimney?

$500 – $2,500 Partial Removal
$3,000 – $6,000 Full Demolition

Fireplace and chimney removal costs $3,000 to $6,000 for an entire demolition with structural support and home repairs. A partial removal costs $500 to $2,500 for a wood-burning stove, gas fireplace insert, chimney stack, or breast. A large brick or stone chimney can cost $4,000 to $10,000 to remove.

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Chimney and Fireplace Removal Costs

The cost to remove a fireplace and chimney is $3,000 to $6,000, which includes demolishing the stack and breast, installing structural support, and repairing the walls, floor, and roof. A partial fireplace or chimney demolition costs $500 to $2,500 to remove everything below or above the roof-line.

Chimney and Fireplace Removal Costs Chart

Chimney and Fireplace Removal Costs
Type Average Cost
Partial Removal $500 – $2,500
Full Demolition $2,000 – $4,000
Repair Walls, Floor, Roof, Siding $1,000 – $2,000
Chimney Stack Removal (Above Roof Line) $800 – $2,000
Chimney Breast Removal (Below Roof Line) $1,500 – $2,500
Remove Wood-Burning Fireplace $500 – $1,000
Remove Electric / Gas Fireplace Insert $500 – $2,500

Instead of a full demolition, a fireplace and chimney breast can be removed below the roof-line, while leaving the stack and blocking off the chimney flue.

A site-built stone, masonry, or brick fireplace demolition costs $25 to $50 per vertical linear foot, not including structural support, debris removal, or home repairs. Repairs for walls, flooring, siding, painting, and roofing costs $1,000 to $2,000 to fix where the fireplace or hearth was.

Average Cost To Remove Fireplace and Chimney Chart

Average Cost To Remove Chimney & Fireplace
National Average Cost $4,500
Minimum Cost $500
Maximum Cost $10,000
Average Range $3,000 to $6,000
  • A fireplace insert can be removed in a few hours, while a complete demolition takes about two to five days.
  • Removing a fireplace can decrease a home's value. Fireplaces are a top amenity for homebuyers in colder regions. Consider installing a new energy-efficient fireplace first.
  • On the plus side, removing a fireplace saves $100 to $200 per year on property taxes.

Table of Contents

  1. Chimney and Fireplace Removal Costs
  2. Chimney Removal Cost
  3. Cost To Remove Fireplace
  4. Cost Factors For Chimney & Fireplace Removal
  5. Reasons To Remove A Chimney
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. How To Remove A Chimney
  8. Hiring A Chimney or Fireplace Removal Company
  9. Demolition Contractors Near Me

Chimney Removal Cost

A chimney removal costs between $800 to $7,500, depending on the size, height, location, if it's a full or partial demolition, and the amount of structural support needed. A partial removal may be all that's necessary to fix a leaking or leaning chimney stack, or to free up more space in the home.

Chimney Removal Cost - Stack and Breast

Chimney Removal Cost
Type Average Cost
Full Demolition $2,500 – $7,500
Chimney Stack (Above Roof Line) $800 – $2,000
Chimney Breast (Below Roof Line) $1,500 – $2,500
Flue / Liner Replacement $2,000 – $5,000

Chimneys are constructed of a variety of materials, including brick, mortar, concrete, cinder blocks, clay flue tile, stone, stainless steel, and cast iron, which determines the overall demolition costs.

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Chimney Full Demolition Cost

A full chimney demolition costs $2,500 to $7,500, to remove everything above and below the roof-line. A complete removal includes removing the chimney stack, breast, flue or liner, and often the firebox and hearth, adding structural support, and repairing the roof, walls, and floor.

Chimney Demolition Cost
Item Average Cost
Structural Engineer $300 – $1,000
Demolition & Structural Support $1,000 – $4,000
Repair Walls, Floor, Roof, Siding & Paint $1,000 – $2,000
Debris Disposal $250 – $650

Prices depend on the size and location of the chimney within the house, how many floors the chimney passes through, the materials used in construction, and the amount of reinforcement a structural engineer recommends.

Cost To Remove A Chimney Stack Above Roof Line

The average cost to remove a chimney stack is $800 to $2,000, which includes everything above the roof-line. Stack removal includes scaffolding, chimney demolition, removing the flue liner and debris, sealing the chimney hole, and roof repairs.

Cost To Remove A Chimney Stack
Item Average Cost
Scaffolding Rental $15 – $50 per day
Demolition $25 – $50 per verticle linear foot
Roof Repairs Cost $200 – $500
Debris Disposal $250 – $650

For chimneys running along the exterior of a home, like a “bolt on,” the entire chimney must be demolished above and below the roof-line. In some cases, it is necessary to leave the chimney stack intact when removing the breast if:

  • Chimney stack is shared in a duplex or row house.
  • Appliances are using the chimney chase for ventilation, such as a furnace or water heater. One option is installing a chase cover or top pan flush with the roof.
  • Preserving the exterior architecture of the house is important.

Demolishing a chimney stack plus repairs and cleanup takes half a day to 3 days, depending on the size. Older chimneys, or chimneys located near the eaves rather than at the roof apex take less time to demolish.

Cost To Remove A Chimney Breast

The average cost to remove a chimney breast is $1,500 to $2,500, which includes hiring a structural engineer, demolition, structural support, and patching walls, ceilings, and floors. A chimney breast encases the fireplace from ceiling to floor, and can be removed without demolishing the chimney stack.

Any portion in the upper part of the chimney that's remaining after removing the breast needs support from gallows brackets or steel beams. Steel beams cost $100 to $400 per foot to install structural support.

Removing a chimney in the middle of the house is less expensive, as exterior walls do not need to be rebuilt. This partial chimney removal takes two to four days, depending on the size of the chimney.

Chimney Flue or Liner Removal Cost

Removing and replacing a chimney liner costs $1,200 to $4,600 or between $30 to $120 per linear foot, including materials and installation. Prices depend on the length, diameter, and condition of the liner, the type of liner being installed, and if the existing flue is an asbestos hazard.

Taller chimneys or chimneys with multiple offsets or bends cost more to line than shorter, straighter chimneys. A stainless steel liner is easier and cheaper to remove than cast-in-place concrete liners or a clay tile flue, which requires using a spinning, weighted tile breaker.

A flue is a duct within the chimney housing through which smoke and combustion gasses are vented outdoors. All modern chimneys have a more efficient flue liner made of clay, concrete, or stainless steel, but old masonry chimneys may be unlined. Old flues that are not lined pose a severe fire risk and needs replacing as soon as possible.

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Cost To Remove Fireplace

The average cost to remove a fireplace is $500 to $2,500, depending on the size, fuel type, placement, and material. A site-built stone, masonry, or brick fireplace costs more to demolish than a pre-fab fireplace insert.

A partial fireplace removal leaves the stack or chimney flue in place, which may require structural support for the chimney breast. Gas or electric fireplace inserts need a plumber or electrician to disconnect the pipes or wires before removal.

Cost To Remove Fireplace - Wood Burning Stove, Electric, Gas Insert

Cost To Remove Fireplace
Type Average Cost
Wood-Burning Stove $500 – $1,000
Gas Insert $500 – $2,500
Electric Insert $500 – $1,000
Outdoor $500 – $2,000
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Cost to Remove a Wood-Burning Stove

The average cost to remove a wood-burning fireplace or stove is $500 to $1,000, for demolition labor, debris disposal, chimney capping, and patching the walls, ceiling, and roof. Extra costs may apply for removing or covering the ventilation system.

Old wood-burning stoves are hazardous and increase indoor air pollution, and poses a higher risk of smoke emission. Upgrading to a new EPA-certified wood-burning stove is safer, burns more efficiently, and reduces creosote and smoke buildup.

Masonry / Brick Fireplace Demolition and Removal

Cost To Remove Electric or Gas Fireplace Insert

Removing an electric or gas fireplace insert costs $500 to $2,500, depending on the size, fuel source, type of ventilation system, and if the chimney breast needs demolishing. Removing the fireplace insert is only part of the cost.

Cost To Remove Fireplace Insert
Type Average Cost
Disconnect Gas or Electric Line $100 – $300
Remove Insert $250 – $600
Remove Flue, Pipes, Vents $100 – $300
Repair Wall Surfaces $250 – $800
Demolish Mantle and Hearth $25 – $50 per linear foot
Structural Support Varies based on project
  • Gas fireplace inserts are more expensive to remove, and the chimney needs capping or the entire chimney breast removed.
  • An electric fireplace without a flue or chimney is reasonably simple to remove yourself or with the help of an electrician to disconnect the wiring.

Other costs may include capping the chimney, blocking off or removing pipes and vents, trim and flashing removal, drywall repair (if directly vented through a wall), and adding brackets or adjacent joists to continue supporting the breast.

When leaving the chimney intact, installing structural support such as gallows brackets or steel beams may be required. Although, it's safer and more cost-effective to remove the entire chimney.

Ventless Fireplace Removal

Removing a ventless fireplace involves disconnecting the gas or propane line and electrical hard wiring. Costs depend on whether the unit is an insert, installed with a pre-fab mantle, or wall-mounted. Extra charges apply for patching the wall where the unit and surround were installed.

Removing Outdoor Fireplaces Cost

Removing an outdoor fireplace costs $500 to $2,000 on average, depending on the size, framing, fuel source, accessibility, and if it's free-standing. Masonry and brick demolition costs $25 to $50 per verticle linear foot and hiring contractors to disconnect the gas line and wiring runs $200 to $500.

Extra costs apply for indoor-outdoor fireplaces attached to the house that require wall repair and structural support.

Cost To Remove Fireplace Hearth

The average cost to remove a brick or marble fireplace hearth is $25 to $50 per linear foot, which includes demolition and disposal of debris. Installing drywall after removing the hearth is necessary after removal. Drywall installation costs $1 to $3 per square foot for labor and materials.

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Cost Factors For Chimney & Fireplace Removal

The main cost factors to remove a chimney and fireplace is the location in the home, materials used, fuel source, wiring, damage, hazardous issues, hiring a structural engineer, and adding structural reinforcements after demolition.

Chimney Removal Regulations

Permission to remove a chimney is required when modifying the structure of the house, or if the home has historical value. Check with your contractor if permits are included in their quote, and if they will be responsible for acquiring them.

The first step is hiring a structural engineer for $300 to $1,000 to provide a detailed plan and report which is required to apply for permits. The plan provides the safest way to demolish and support the remaining structure after removal, and helps contractors follow all building codes.

A demolition permit to remove a chimney costs $20 to $150 on average. Permits from the local authority are typically required for:

  • A “material alteration” to the structure.
  • A shared chimney stack with a neighbor. Also, a neighbor's written permission is required to remove the chimney.
  • Living in a historic district – you may be obligated to leave an exterior chimney stack in place or replace it with a decorative duplicate.
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Location of Chimney In Home

Where the chimney is located within the home affects the overall cost:

  • Removing a “bolt on” chimney that's outside the framing is less expensive than a chimney inside the framing. The interior vs. exterior cost to remove a wall can vary depending on if it's load-bearing.
  • Removing a chimney stack near the eves of the roof instead of the apex is less expensive, as it is easier to access.
  • Removing a chimney and fireplace in the living room or between rooms is less expensive, as it doesn't require patching an exterior wall.
  • Removing a chimney from a basement incurs more labor costs and debris disposal.
  • For row houses or duplexes that share walls and chimney stacks, a structural engineer must ensure the removal of a chimney breast won't compromise the structure of the neighbor’s home.

Also, areas with a higher cost of living such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle, prices could be 50% to 100% more, especially if stairs or elevator access is required to access the fireplace.

Chimney Material

Labor costs to demolish a chimney increase and are more time-consuming for Portland cement mortar, a clay tile flue, and a brick fireplace, than for a metal chimney.

Fireplace Wiring

Electricians charge $40 to $100 per hour to disconnect and cap wiring on a fireplace insert. Ventless fireplaces with thermostats are hardwired into the home’s electrical system, and disconnecting is necessary to avoid an electrical or fire hazard.

Damage & Hazards

For fireplaces constructed before 1980, asbestos was commonly used to line chimney flues and needs to be removed. Asbestos removal costs $20 to $65 per square foot or $200 to $600 per hour for debris deposal.

Severely deteriorated or damaged chimneys are at risk of collapsing during demolition. Steel beams or gallows brackets that provide chimney stack support may need replacing. The average cost to install a steel beam is $100 to $400 per foot.

Cover & Block Up Fireplace

The average cost to cap, cover, and block up a fireplace is $200 to $800, depending on the material and size. Blocking up a fireplace includes removing the mantle and hearth, so the fireplace becomes flush with the chimney breast.

Before blocking off a fireplace, seal the damper opening against drafts to prevent heat loss, hire a chimney sweep to clean the firebox and chimney, and have the chimney stack sealed at the top to prevent drafts, moisture intrusion, and wild animals.

Cost To Move A Fireplace

The average cost to move a fireplace is $3,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the height, type of surround, and if it's a pre-fab wood or gas fireplace, or site-built masonry fireplace. Moving a masonry fireplace requires demolishing the old one, repairing the wall, then installing a new fireplace.

Shifting a fireplace only a few inches is an easier kind of work than moving it to another room. If shifting a site-built masonry chimney a few inches, the existing stack can be used by off-setting the flue. A flue may not be offset by more than 30 degrees from vertical.

Debris Disposal

Debris disposal for a complete chimney demolition costs $220 to $780 per week to rent a dumpster, plus the cost of labor at $25 to $50 per hour. A large masonry fireplace may require two roll-off dumpsters, or multiple dumps, due to weight limits imposed by container companies.

  • Save on disposal costs by keeping reusable bricks for other uses like paving, or donating to the Habitat for Humanity.
  • If excessive debris accumulates inside or outside the chimney's shaft, the weight of the debris can cause the shaft to collapse.

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Reasons To Remove A Chimney

A damaged chimney stack can be dangerous and lead to a higher risk of a chimney fire. Chimney moisture issues pose a health hazard due to mold and mildew. Plus, removing an unused chimney breast allows for a more open floor plan.

Here are the top reasons for removing a chimney:

  • Damage, leaks, moisture issues, or heat loss
  • Replacing or upgrading to a new fireplace
  • Repurposing or reclaiming space for storage or furniture
  • No longer used, abandoned, or earthquake hazard
  • Local restrictions and ordinances

Upgrading or Replacing A Fireplace

The average cost to install a fireplace is $1,000 to $4,000, depending on if it's gas, electric, or wood-burning. A new fireplace improves fuel efficiency, is cleaner to run, has less maintenance, and increases home value with up to a 90% return on investment.

Replacing a chimney also saves on energy costs. For wood-burning stoves, consider replacing an old masonry chimney with stainless steel to remove gaps in the home’s heat envelope.

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Damage to the Stack or Fireplace

Damage or deterioration of a fireplace or chimney stack can be dangerous, especially in an earthquake zone. A leaning stack or bricks crumbling (spalling) occurs after a significant deterioration of mortar joints. This leads to moisture damage and excessive creosote buildup that increases risk of a chimney fire.

Chimney repairs such as patching cracks and leaks or replacing the flue liner are possible, but fixing a spalling chimney requires removal, rebuilding, or replacing. Chimney repairs cost $200 to $3,500, and a chimney replacement costs $4,000 to $15,000.

Annual maintenance is essential to keep the chimney in safe working order. A chimney sweep costs $149 to $250, and needs sweeping at least once a year to prevent creosote buildup, according to The National Fire Protection Association.

Chimney Leaks and Moisture Issues

Leaks and moisture issues may be repaired by a partial demolition such as installing new roof flashing and sealant, replacing the chimney mortar, adding a chimney cap, repairing the chimney crown, or removing the stack and roofing over the entry point.

Signs of moisture damage include:

  • Water or condensation in the fireplace or chimney
  • Rust forming on the firebox, damper, or other metal components
  • Excessive “efflorescence” – a white, powdery mineral deposit that builds up when moisture passes through brick
  • Damp chimney breast and peeling wallpaper or paint near the chimney
  • Water stains on nearby ceilings or walls
  • Rotting wood near the chimney breast
  • Stained chimney exterior

If moisture condensation issues continue unaddressed, harmful mold and mildew may grow inside the chimney, posing a health hazard. Mold removal costs $1,500 to $3,000 on average.

Abandoned Chimney

An abandoned chimney is a partially removed fireplace or chimney breast, which can:

  • Collapse, damaging the support structure.
  • Contribute significantly to heat loss between floors.
  • Be a leaky part of an improperly vented appliance.
  • Be the source of unpleasant odors from mildew, dead animals, or old creosote buildup.

While modern chimneys are self-supporting, old homes may have a wooden “bracket chimney,” which are often poorly designed and can't support the chimney's weight, posing a collapse hazard. The wood framing is also subject to leaks, rot, and insects. Removing the remaining chimney is often more cost-effective than installing supports.

Other Considerations

  • Home Insulation & Air Leaks – Old damaged chimneys or chimneys that protrude through a roof or an exterior wall are a source of air leaks that results in heat loss and increased energy bills. One option is air sealing the chimney and insulating the brick with batts or mineral wool.
  • Local Ordinances & Restrictions – Some states restrict burning wood in a fireplace due to air pollution, and require removal of non-EPA-certified fireplaces when selling the home. To counteract this, install an EPA-certified fireplace insert, seal the flue, change the fuel type, or remove the fireplace and chimney.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Remove a Fireplace and Chimney?

A full fireplace and chimney removal is possible. Otherwise, a fireplace and chimney breast can be removed, while leaving the stack and blocking off the chimney flue. Consult with a structural engineer to confirm the frame is not resting on the masonry before demolition to ensure the home's structural integrity.

How Long Does It Take To Remove A Chimney and Fireplace?

Completely removing a chimney and fireplace takes two to five days, depending on the size and repairs required to floors, walls, ceiling, and roof. Demolishing a chimney stack takes half a day to two days, depending on the height and location of the stack and the masonry's condition.

How Much Does It Cost to Support a Chimney Stack?

Supporting a chimney stack costs $50 to $500 per square foot, depending on the size, weight, and materials. Steel beams or gallows brackets provide chimney stack support, but is typically not required in houses built after the 1930s.

Can You Move A Chimney?

Moving a free-standing chimney or gas fireplace is possible by relocating the vent pipe and repairing the roof, ceiling, wall, and floor where the chimney used to be. Moving a brick chimney requires demolishing the old stack and then building anew with the same or different bricks.

Moving a brick chimney requires obtaining building permits and consulting with a structural engineer.

How Much Does Uncapping A Chimney Cost?

Uncapping a chimney costs $50 to $2,000 for the cap and $100 to $200 for installation. Reinstating an old, capped chimney often requires installing a new chimney liner for $90 to $700. Once uncapped, it's vital to get a chimney sweep inspection to determine if it's safe to use.

Does Removing a Fireplace Decrease Home Value?

Removing a fireplace will decrease a home's value by $1,000 to $5,000. Sixty-three percent of homeowners look for a fireplace when purchasing a home, and fireplaces affect selling price by about 12 percent, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

An alternative is replacing a traditional fireplace with an energy-efficient wood-burning stove vented with a Class-A chimney. Additionally, replacing a deteriorated chimney stack with a purely decorative, lightweight one costs $170 to $800.

What's The Price For A Complete Chimney Stack Rebuild?

Completely rebuilding a chimney stack costs $1,000 to $3,500 and includes demolishing the old chimney stack, disposing of masonry debris, building a new chimney stack, and installing a new flue liner. The higher-end price reflects rebuilding a tall chimney stack.

How Much Does A Fireplace Remodel Cost?

A fireplace remodel costs $400 to $2,500 on average, depending on the extent. The options to remodel a fireplace include façade repairs, reframing, a new mantel or fireplace surround, installing a wood stove, and replacing the chimney, fuel source, firebox, and chimney liner.

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How To Remove A Chimney

Removing a chimney yourself is a messy and dangerous home improvement project that can cause major structural damage. It's not a feasible DIY project. Here's what to expect when hiring an experienced demolition contractor.

How To Remove A Chimney Stack Above The Roof Line

  1. A chimney stack should be removed brick by brick using a cold chisel and hammer or electric rotary hammer.
  2. Chisel away the mortar between the bricks until each becomes loose enough to remove.
  3. Collect the bricks in a five-gallon bucket to be lowered to the ground for disposal.
  4. Remove the roof flashing.
  5. Continue removing bricks down to at least one foot below the roofline.
  6. Seal the opening with a metal plate.
  7. Patch the roof decking and shingles to remediate the hole in the roof.

How To Remove A Brick Fireplace

  1. Consult with a structural engineer to make sure that the chimney breast supports no part of the framing.
  2. All furniture should be removed or covered in plastic sheeting, and the doors sealed off to protect from dust and soot. Proper ventilation, dust masks, eye protection, and protective clothing are required.
  3. Seal the fireplace above the damper with a chimney balloon or flue plug.
  4. If applicable, cut off the gas before disconnecting the gas pipe from the appliance. The gas pipe must then be properly capped. For an electric fireplace, remove the unit and disconnect the electrical wires. Make sure the exposed ends of the wires are properly capped.
  5. Tear out any interior wall necessary to access the chimney on at least one side. Use a chisel to break up the mortar until each brick is loose enough to remove by hand. Remove bricks and mortar from the house.
  6. Frame in the fireplace opening, then install drywall over the opening or, if necessary or desired, over the entire surrounding wall.
  7. Install new flooring planks, tile, or other floor covering.
  8. Install skirting along the bottom of the new wall.

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Hiring A Chimney or Fireplace Removal Company

Removing a chimney can compromise your home's stability and requires an inspection from an engineer before proceeding. Hiring licensed and insured demolition contractors ensures the job is done right and prevents damage to your home. Be sure to:

  • Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.
  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Ask for a full itemized contract in writing in case of a dispute.
  • Avoid making large payments upfront. Never pay in full or in cash, and come up with a payment schedule for work completed.

Questions To Ask A Chimney Demolition Contractor

  • Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
  • Who's the project manager, and will you use subcontractors?
  • Will you have a structural engineer’s report and pull the permits?
  • Is the scaffolding included in the quote?
  • How do you plan to dispose of the debris, and is that included in the quote?
  • What is your plan for dust control inside the house?
  • Will you arrange for any necessary permits?
  • Will you reconstruct the floor, walls, ceiling, and roof?

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