I'm hoping some Southern investors can chime in on this one...
I'm currently in the process of rehabbing a house with the intention of flipping it. The house has a wood burning fireplace and the chimney is leaking at the top near the cap. It's a wood frame chimney covered with stucco, so the water intrusion has caused the wood to rot on the inside. Basically the whole chimney needs to either be rebuilt or removed.
I'm having a hard time finding a contractor who will do the job. We don't have chimney-specific contractors in Florida and all the roofing contractors don't want to touch it. I did find one contractor but his quote was outrageous ($4,000 plus the cap).
My question is should I continue trying to repair the chimney or remove it and the fireplace completely? In Florida, we get maybe a handful of days every year that are cold enough to warrant having a fireplace. I personally don't see the point of having one but I'm not sure if buyers feel the same way.
Can't help you in your market, but the value should be shown in the market. I'd call an appraiser and just ask, what's a FP worth in this area?
You can get stucco board. Me, at your age, I'd get the sazall out and cut the wood off. If the liner is good keep it, or use chimney inserts above the firebox. I'm sure the code relating to height and distance from any roof ridge is on the internet, I did two and took them about a foot/foot and a half above the level of the level ridge, draft was fine, but you can get the calculations.
All that is is a box, nothing complicated to hide the flue pipe. Top it off with flashing and add the cap.
I'd keep it, you're further south but it still gets chilly and a FP is a nice feature, had one in LA near the Gulf and used it often.
You'd have as much work covering up the FP and roof as just building a new one I'd think. :)
Florida is coming out of a pretty cold winter as is the rest of the Country. It will be on peoples mind this and next year.
I would try to find an economical way to convert to a gas fireplace, and get a leg up on the competition. I don't think You'll regret it.
I would never rent wood burning, because sooner or later, someone is gonna try and light it with gasoline.
As someone who has lived in Florida for over 20 years I didn't think this winter was very cold at all, certainly not cold enough to cement in anyones mind the need or desire for a fireplace, and definitely not a wood burning one at that.
Anyway, fireplaces in Florida are worthless from a practical standpoint. They usually suck more heat out of the room then they add because of their design. As far as value goes I doubt a wood burning fireplace is going to add enough value to justify the cost to fix it.
Depending on the size I would recommend removing it. I removed one from my Grandmother's house when I was rehabbing it and it was very easy. I just removed everything on the inside and patched the sheetrock and on the roof I removed the chimney and then patched the hole with some plywood and then singled it. You couldn't even tell it was ever there, on the inside or outside. The demo took about 3-4 hours.
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