How valuable is a fireplace/ wood burning stove to a home in Salt Lake City Utah? Is it necessary to have a secondary heat source? (Furnace is only a few years old)
I’m under contract on a buy and hold single family home and the biggest problem is the chimney is falling off. It is loose from the building down to the base but still standing. I’ve read it can be around $10,000 to rebuild it. I’m not sure if there’s other methods of saving it because none of the contractors have gotten back to me yet. Do you think it’s worth the money to get it fixed? Do you think a wood burning stove adds enough value to a house to consider keeping it? Or should I remove it and think of an alternative like a gas log set?
I wouldn't worry about keeping a wood burning fireplace in a long term rental. Best case scenario, you are rewarded for your 10k cap ex with extra maintenance costs from getting a chimney swept and having a pile of wood next to your property which encourages termites and a bunch of other pests and rodents. I'd do a wall insert if you felt you needed it to be competitive and save yourself some worry and money.
I dont even think you are allowed to use wood stoves most of the time here in SLC. I wouldn't spend any extra money on saving this at all. I would go with the cheapest option for fixing or removing it.
Here is my two cents as a structural engineer.
Salt Lake City is considered a high seismic region. Meaning that there are very often small earthquakes, and high probability of a large earthquake. It has been observed across the nation in the last 30-50 years that most injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes are caused by things falling on people (not structural collapse). One of the most deadly things that have fallen on people during earthquakes, are old, un-reinforced, brick chimneys. They are very hazardous and are known to fall through roofs of all kinds. If the chimney is made of brick, I'd get rid of it in a heart beat. Especially if it extends above the roof more than 4'-0".
Also, @Scott Bowles is absolutely right.
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