MyMason's Case Studies

 Fireplace Case Studies

    Nakkertok Fireplace Surrounds

    Two-Ton Chimney Supported, Fireplace Rebuild

    Fireplace Surround - Wood Burning Insert Installed

    Fireplace Fire Brick Replacement

    Fireplace Surround - Natural Stone

    Electric, Natural Stone Fireplace

    Fireplace Hearth Replacement

    Stone Fireplace

    Cultured Stone Fireplace & New Framing

    Cultured Stone Fireplace Surround

    TV Mounted on Stone Fireplace

    Restructuring Fireplace: Wood to Gas

    Drywall to Stone Fireplace

    3-sided fireplace: Cultured Stone

    Fireplace Removal, Damper Removal

 Chimneys and Brickwork Case Studies

    Chimney Repair

    Chimney Repair, Articulated Boom

    Custom Scaffold, Chimney Repair

    Lower-Chimney's Removal, Wall Restructuring

    Chimney Flue Replacement

    Concrete Chimney Cap as per Building Code

    Chimney - Sloped Side, Repair

    Chimney - Wobbly Chimney

    Brick Pillar

    Brick Garage Pillar Repair

    Window's Lintel Installation

    Brick Sill Creates Wall Damage

    Brick-to-Stone Window Sill Replacement

    Brick Retaining Wall Rebuild

 Stone Work Case Studies

    Stone Wall Rebuild

    Granite Resurfacing of Concrete Stairs

    Stone Step Rebuild

    Stone Stair Rebuild - in Winter

    Stone replaces Brick Door Sill

    Stone Retaining Wall Rebuild

    Dry-Stack Retaining Wall Rebuild

    Dry-Stack Stone Retaining Wall

    Flagstone Patio Rebuild, Expansion

    FlagStone Step Repair

    Stone Replacement

    New Interlocking Stone Walkway

    Re-setting Interlocking Walkway

    Tile Installation

 Algonquin College/MyMason Case Studies

    Cold Weather Masonry Rules

    3 New Cases Studies in 2015

    Salt and Concrete Testing

    Concrete Curing Stress Tests

    Concrete and Rebar Stress Tests

 Parging Case Studies

    Parging, Cement Board

    Parging Examples & Techniques

 Concrete Case Studies

    Broken Concrete Step

    Basement Window, Concrete Cut

    Basement Window, Concrete cut-out

    Concrete Walkway, Landing

    Concrete Stairs and Landing

    Concrete Stairs and Landing

    Concrete Countertop




    Case Study: Restructuring Fireplace: Wood to Wood Insert

        Before and After


    The Assignment:
        Rebuild the basement supporting structure.
        Rebuild the main floor fireplace structure.
        Create the conditions for a wood fireplace insert, WETT certification.
        Support a two-ton chimney while removing all the structure below.
        This 100 year old home, by the river, has a rustic feel to it.

Before Renovation
The chimney is painted and rises through the second floor, then the attic, and then several feet above the roof.
This existing fireplace was built without firebrick, just regular brick.
We're going to make it possible to install a new wood burning fireplace insert, with venting through the chimney.

Removing Brick
Chiseling removes the bricks one at a time.
This old fireplace held about a ton of brick and cement, all taken to the dump.
We're being careful to continue supporting the chimney at this time.

The Basement Structure
Here we have something very unusual.
The base of the chimney sits on a large block of cement covering a big stone or bedrock.
The bottom of the chimney structure narrows slightly rather than going straight down, or flaring out.
The bottom part of the chimney is made of regular brick, which isn't meant to be load-bearing.
This wouldn't pass a building code inspection now, but it is grandfathered as ok.
It did work for 100 years! But the bricks were beginning to crack and fail.

Removing the basement structure
We began to remove the basement's bricks, one side at a time, creating an opening to the main floor.

Basement Supports Built
After removing as much brick as possible we created concrete supports on both sides of the base.
These concrete block supports were under holes in the floor on either side of the fireplace.

Blocks and a Lintel
With most of the main floor's fireplace bricks removed, we begin installing supports for the chimney.
A steel lintel is slipped through a space we've created along the back.
Concrete blocks on one side and in the hearth are ready to carry loads.
Lintels Front, Sides and Back
We now have lintels tucked into mortar joints all around the chimney.
The concrete blocks have had a chance to cure and are ready to carry load.

Lintels, Side-View
Here we have lintels front and back, with side pieces welded for extra support, all bolted together.
Ready, we hope, to support two tons without shifting.
Old Fireplace Removed
The chimney is now sitting on our lintels and concrete blocks stacked on new supports in the basement.

In another view of why this fireplace violated modern code, you can see wood behind the fireplace which had been made without firebricks, using only normal bricks.
We installed cement board as a buffer and put in a concrete base for the firebox.

The New Build
Here we have a new base for the fireplace to suuport the wood fireplace insert
Firebrick now begin surrounding the inside of the firebox.
Rebuilding Progress
The firebrick now reaches up to connect with the chimney, and begins curing.

The brick facade is now being built.

Nearly Done
The bricks continue to rise.
The metal wood-burning fireplace insert will be installed, although this fireplace could be used without one.
Hearth Preparation
The old hearth was removed, and a new proper concrete base is installed.
The insert has been installed.

The slate hearth is installed.
The homeowner asked for some rustic elements, so some bricks were slightly chipped to give an aged look, as before.
The fireplace is to be painted as it isn't intended to be the focal point of the room.
One of the homeowners has had a very unusual and interesting career which led to many of the decorations in the home, which is why the fireplace is meant to blend in.

The Best Part!!!
Looking at where the painted chimney meets the wall you can see that despite removing and changing the supporting structure for this two-ton chimney, it didn't budge at all. The paint didn't crack. A perfect outcome!

The client was happy, and even offered a parting gift.


This page last modified: July 30 2011