Prefabricated fireplaces are metal boxes lined with firebrick panels and inserted into the wall with a metal liner or flue that comes out of the top to allow for ventilation. You can remove a prefab fireplace through the front or the back. The exterior material on your home may determine which way you choose to remove the fireplace. A siding exterior is easier to work with than a brick exterior, as you will need to remove the bricks and then lay new ones after you install a new fireplace. Taking a prefab fireplace out through the interior of the home involves removing the facing around the unit, which may be simple or difficult, depending upon the type of facing.
Things You'll Need
Circular saw with a masonry blade
Inspect the facing around the fireplace to determine your course of action in removing the surrounding structure.
Pry three-board facing from the wall with a pry bar. Position the pry bar at the top left corner and begin loosening the boards away from the wall. Work your way around the boards until you can easily pull the structure away.
Pulverize existing tile with a hammer. Chip away the pieces to remove the tile from the wall. Cut the drywall around the perimeter of the fireplace opening. You will typically need to apply joint compound or replace the drywall or backer board after you break the tiles away from it.
Bore through mortar and brick around the perimeter of the prefab fireplace with the reciprocating saw.
Unscrew the metal pipe or flue from the top opening of the fireplace.
Move to the roof and remove the chimney chase pan cover. This covering protects the chimney from damage from rain and provides protection for the metal flue.
Return to the interior of the home. Forcefully pull the metal prefab structure out of the opening. You may have to move the fireplace back and forth or use the pry bar to loosen it as you pull it out.
Determine the location of the fireplace in relation to the exterior wall.
Pull away siding that covers the exterior wall on the other side of the fireplace.
Remove the flashing, or water resistant covering, and drywall with the reciprocating saw. Trim away any insulation and building material surrounding the metal box that houses the fireplace.
Cut out the brick and mortar in a square around the perimeter of the fireplace with the circular saw and masonry blade. Remove the bricks inside the square by hand. Pull away any insulation and building material surrounding the metal box.
Go inside and unscrew the metal pipe attached to the top of the fireplace.
Make your way up to the roof and remove the chase pan cover over the chimney. Pull out the metal pipe or flue through the chimney.
Recruit help to remove the prefab fireplace from the exterior of the home. Have one person inside the house pushing the unit from the front and out the back while you pull the unit from your position outside. You many need to move the fireplace from side to side or use a pry bar to loosen it enough to pull out of the wall.
Place tarps or drop cloths on the floor around the fireplace to protect your flooring from dust, debris and soot. Wear protective eye wear and a face mask when cutting into brick and insulation.
If you have a gas-powered fireplace, contact the gas company before you begin the removal process.