The Beginner's DIY Guide To Dismantling A Brick Chimney

Construction & Contractors Blog

If the brick fireplace in your home is crumbling, you will want to dismantle it not only for appearance, but for safety. Removing fireplace bricks sounds intimidating, but a beginning DIY person can do it. Here are some tips to dismantle a brick fireplace.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • leather gloves
  • long sleeves
  • pants
  • safety goggles
  • respirator with replaceable filters
  • tarp
  • plastic sheeting
  • ladder (optional)
  • wire brush
  • vacuum cleaner
  • plywood
  • steel pan
  • cement mix
  • hammer
  • air chisel or cold chisel

Open the window to ventilate and make a cross breeze, then spread tarp over the floor, even if you plan to remove the flooring during a remodel. Seal nearby prevent mortar dust from entering them with plastic sheeting. If your fireplace is tall, you will need to set a ladder in a sturdy place, or get someone to hold it for you.

Remove the Bricks

  1. Start removing bricks from the highest point of the chimney. A hammer and chisel can be used, but an air chisel makes the job easier. If you use an air chisel, it will be hard to hear anyone coming into the area, and you don't need anyone around falling bricks, so tell other people in the house before you start.  
  2. Set the flat blade of the chisel on the mortar joint below the top row of bricks, then activate the trigger. The vibration should loosen the bricks in several seconds. Place loose bricks on plywood.
  3. If you are using a hammer and cold chisel, place the chisel on the brick mortar, and tap it with the hammer. Set the claw end of the hammer to remove brick ties, if they are present. A brick tie is a thin, metal strap that protrudes from the wall once the bricks are loose.
  4. Mix cement in a steel pan, and cover the whole wall where you removed the bricks with it. This helps to make a flat surface to restore your fireplace.

Apply Finishing Touches

  1. Take down the mantle, if needed. You will need assistance with stone or concrete mantles.If there is a clay fireplace liner, remove it using light pressure with the air chisel.
  2. Vacuum the floor after you are done removing the fireplace, and brush loose dirt around the fireplace with a wire brush.

Removing a brick fireplace isn't too complicated, but it can take some time. It also requires following safety procedures.If you don't trust your skill, or want to update your fireplace, consider hiring a contractor at


19 April 2016

Pool House Parties: Building Your Backyard Escape

When I decided to turn my backyard into a pool and spa space, I wanted to have a pool house built. Adding a pool house would give me somewhere for everyone to shower and change without tracking pool water and dirt into the main house. I worked with a local contractor to construct a pool house with an outdoor kitchen, outdoor showers, and full indoor restroom facilities as well as a game room and changing rooms. I created this site to journal the process so that I could hopefully inspire others to do the same. I hope this site takes some of the mystery out of the construction process for you so you can build the backyard structure you've always wanted.