removing a fireplace inside a home

I have a fireplace in my family room that I would like to remove. I have removed half (top) to build in a TV shelf but find that without any insulation behind it it is just too cold for me. Removing the fireplace will allow me to frame and insulate the wall. I would then build in shelves and a zero-clearance fireplace. I wish to keep the exterior brick of the fireplace in place. I don't see any big concerns with this part of the project. My question concerns the concrete pad that the fireplace sits on. Is it connected in any way to the foundation wall? How difficult will it be to take it out? Are there any concerns you can think of?
Also, there is no need for the flues. I have direct vent furnace and water heater and will be going to a direct-vent fireplace.
Thanks
Edee Em I know the truth is out there, but I like to stay in....
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Can't say for sure without seeing it. I'm thinking of a fireplace in a house I helped build about 15 years ago. The concrete pad was massive and would have to be jackhammered out. So would some of the stone wall. It would be a rather large project. Yours may be much simpler, but be sure before you get in to it too far.
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shelves
on.
be
water
Any concerns I can think of? Yeah, gravity. Unless you know what you are doing, blithely stripping the interior brick and hollowing out the stack <could> cause the whole damn thing to collapse in a stiff wind, depending how the chimney stack is structured. No way to tell from here. Get a competent mason, experienced in fireplace construction in there, to look at what you have done so far, and discuss how to proceed. While the interior brick may be simple veneer, removing the firebox and damper to get room for a zero-clearance is right in the guts of the stack itself. Why you want to remove a real fireplace for a pale imitation is beyond me- if it burns wood, you still can't put shelves right around the interior opening. Zero Clearance are designed for cheap houses with wood chimney chases. If you have an existing brick chimney, you haven't gained anything. As to the pad the fireplace sits on- yeah, if properly constructed, it is part of the house foundation. You can't get rid of it and keep the outside brick. Or did you mean just the inside part the hearth sits on? Look in basement, and see if it is on full foundation, or just a pocket for a mudbed attached to chimney stack. Sometimes, those can be removed, or at least the top layer down to joist level so subfloor can be patched in.
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