Monday, April 8, 2013

Help! There's a flue in my dinging room!

Our house is old and we've discovered lots of quirks that were the result of 100 + years of renovations.

A past owner was kind enough to stuff some newspaper into the wall in the kitchen which gives us an idea that the house went through a big renovation/remodel in the late 1960s. While the dates were missing off the papers, the job listings were for males and women (who apparently had to be single to work) and the big controversy was over pope Paul's stance on birth control in the Catholic church. That gave us a pretty good idea about when the papers were stuffed in the wall.

We also have a false wall in the dining room. D demolished the portion in the hallway in order to build some shelving. Behind the wall in the dining room is presumably the lower part of the chimney that goes to the fireplace in Leelee's room.

As I was watching Rehab Addict, and the hostess uncovered a chimney covered in plaster. She made the brickwork a gorgeous feature in the room. This, of course, got me thinking about the chimney in the dining room. How awesome would that feature be if I could make it shine?

I started poking around and up near the top is this:

I had to stick my camera up under part of the wall to get  this view. I also poked it with a stick and all sorts of soot came out!

Uhhh that's not good right?

Time to turn to google and after a quick search determined this was in fact a flue cover. I even found this exact cover for sale on etsy, so it wasn't all that rare.

But, it leaves me wondering (and asking for help!) as to why there would be a flue opening 10 feet up in what was then the kitchen? Why is it still filled with soot and debris? Shouldn't that have gone to a clean-out under the house?

Am I safe to assume the entire thing is bricked and I can expose it by chipping off the plaster?

I have a feeling D will be asked to crawl under the house very soon to examine the chimney clean-out issue and to see if the brick chimney even extends that far down!

Until I can get good answers to these questions, nothings going to be happening on this potential project.


linked up at:

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  1. Yeah, the things you find during a reno with an old house..... That flue cover is pretty cool looking! I would deff turn it into a decor somewhere in the house. Tells a story.....

    Shelly at

  2. It all sounds really interesting! I think the flue cover is pretty!

  3. There was probably a wood stove there at one time, maybe even for cooking. I grew up in a house that had a wood cook stove in the kitchen. we had an electric stove too of course but my mom loved using the wood cook stove in the winter. When there were power outages everyone came to our house to eat & stay warm.

    If there was a stove, there would have been a stovepipe in the kitchen running up to the flu hole you've uncovered. The chimney flu(hole) only opens up through the roof, not down, because it's only there to carry the smoke outside. The soot is just left over from the smoke. There really wouldn't be a reason to clean it out if you're covering up - only if you're actually using it does it need to be cleaned once a year. The soot doesn't go anywhere, it just sticks to the insides of the chimney. That's why you clean out your chimney once a year, to get rid of that build up & prevent chimney fires.

  4. I agree with Jenny that this was a site of a former wood stove. I have one just like it in a master dining room that has a large photo covering it. The soot can be cleaned by a chimney sweep.

  5. oooooooo, so what'cha gonna do? inquiring minds want to know!


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