Sorry to sound a bit ignorant, but I've spent hours looking up info about fire bricks on the internet and I'm still not sure what I use them for!
I'm trying to restore 2 chimneys in a house I've just bought. At the moment they're both just holes in the wall, and both will need substantial parts of brickwork replacing as it's literally crumbling away.
One I'm hoping to get hooked up to a wood burner, and the other one I'd like to install a fireplace in and make back into a proper open fire.
So if I have to replace a large proportion of bricks in each of the fireplaces, do I have to use fire bricks or will normal clay bricks suffice?
Since 2002 work on chimneys has come under building control and you have to notify your local council before you do any work.
Working on chimneys requires technical skill and knowledge. What you do today may well lead to an accident tomorrow.
From the sound of it, your chimneys are old and uncared for, its quite likely that the parging is shot and the chimneys are dangerous to use.
Converting chimneys to current standards will be expensive.
I was going to get the flues inspected and lined professionally, it was just the brickwork in the fireplaces themselves. It doesn't look good at all, as the bricks are badly chipped and the mortar is crumbling away.
I was going to remove a few of the old bricks at a time and replace them with some reclaimed bricks using lime mortar until all of the damaged bricks had been replaced.
I most defintely wouldn't be lighting up the fireplace until the flues had been lined and professionally repaired. :)
Is this still notifiable work?
Also, just out of interest what is the difference between normal bricks and firebricks?
From what you write, you don't need to replace any of the crumbling brickwork.
The enclosed wood burner, will be kitted out and ready to go, once the flue is certified ok.
The other one, again if you buy a proper fireplace, cast iron etc, this will also be kitted out with made to measure fire bricks,
However, think carefully before you buy a wood burner, a multi fuel stove will burn hotter and give you more options.
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