I'm a DIY novice, so please forgive my ignorance. The fireplace and chimney breast in my Victorian cottage are currently plastered over. I would like to remove the plaster and expose the original brickwork. Based on neighbouring properties, I expect that there is a brick arch present, and I would like to make a feature of this by opening out the space beneath - there is a fireplace recess at the moment, but I suspect this is smaller than the original opening.
I would ideally like to do the work myself, but am a bit nervous that I will cause my house to fall down! Before I begin, I have a few questions:
1. Am I biting off more than I can chew given my limited (non-existent) DIY skills?
2. So far I have a bolster chisel, club hammer, wire brush and dust sheets. Are there any other tools/equipment I'm likely to need?
3. The neighboring houses have just a brick arch and no lintel - is it likely that there will be a lintel or does the arch provide enough support on its own? I've read something somewhere about steel bars being used to support the arch.
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