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Old 02-10-2013, 10:50 AM
 
11 posts, read 34,121 times
Reputation: 12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
1st off....I don't read where you say exactly what is wrong with the fireplace...what did the inspector see to cause him to tag it unusable ?

A firebox can be repaired.
The flue can be repaired as long as the exterior of the chimney is solid.

When moving to our farm, we needed to use the fireplace for our sole source of heat. Creosote built up over time and we had a chimney fire (in excess of 2K degrees) resulting in cracked and broken flue tiles...which can lead to burning down the entire home. A certified Chimney Sweep who specialized in restoration, placed a flexible flue pipe within the flue tiles, sealed the old flue above the existing damper, and filled the space between the old flue tiles and the new flexible flue with a non-combustible material. We then placed a Vermont Castings insert with a blower in the fireplace....and we had a system much better than the original.

Regards
Gemstone1
Thank you again everyone. Gemstone - I don't know where to begin with what's wrong with the chimney and fireplace, but trust me when I tell you that it's irreparable. One (just one) issue is that there isn't enough room under current code between it and the kitchen behind it (with the combustible stove), and the kitchen is not big enough to rebuild or add to that wall.

So we're still not sure where we stand on the house, but we were thinking exactly along the lines of parentologist's idea about just completely covering it up, if we still want it. The only feasible alternative based on the dimensions of the house is to install a tacky gas ventless fireplace that will scare us and any future homeowners with children away, given that we'd have to rely on a carbon monoxide detector to automatically shut itself off IF TOO MUCH carbon monoxide is floating in the area. I made DH quit smoking after our first child was born because I didn't want the children to inhale it from his clothes after he took a puff or two outside. I'm not saying that ventless fireplaces aren't right for anyone, but just not us.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:56 AM
 
8,780 posts, read 16,248,821 times
Reputation: 5219
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerstacey View Post
I made DH quit smoking after our first child was born because I didn't want the children to inhale it from his clothes after he took a puff or two outside. I'm not saying that ventless fireplaces aren't right for anyone, but just not us.
Inhale it from his clothes??? Often times when i leave someone's home where they have a fireplace burning, i smell the smoke from the fireplace on my clothing. I'm sure other people smell it as well. And, if i have a smoke, other people can probably smell that on my clothing as well. I have no idea how they would inhale it though?

I think you should skip this house.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:21 AM
 
1,660 posts, read 1,831,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post

...
now that the flaw is known, the current seller has to disclose it to any potential buyers, so they are also going to have more trouble selling the house now.

...
Good luck!
Parent, I'm not dissing your expertise, lol! Let's just take a look at what this economy has done to people who may have lost 40% of their income (just for example's sake).

There is nothing to enforce the 'has to disclose' theory, other than a plaintiff's (buyer's) lawsuit after the fact. In civil court at $300/hour for a lawyer, based on a "he-said, she-said" charge that can be refuted when the seller hires additional hired guns. Say, a structural engineer and another appraiser. The buyer will be paying the mortgage on a defective house, and paying $300/hour to bring a case. Good times!

If you are the buyer in a situation like this, it would be imprudent to think that the seller can't hire additional guns and "win". The ROI would certainly be there.

For a pre-existing known defect, the realtor doesn't need to say anything. All she needs to do is to say that she never heard of the defect. Who's going to prove otherwise? It would take another civil lawsuit at $300/hour for the plaintiff, and there is no proof of anything. All the realtor and the seller need to do is to shake hands and the defect never existed.

In theory, in a perfect world and in normal times, what you say is correct. These are not normal times throughout the nation, and they do not appear to be getting better for the majority of people who are not in the .01%. That would be people like us CD posters.

IMHO, everything taken into consideration, I'm still with the OP's huzzie. WALK AWAY.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:43 AM
 
11 posts, read 34,121 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratford, Ct. Resident View Post
Inhale it from his clothes??? Often times when i leave someone's home where they have a fireplace burning, i smell the smoke from the fireplace on my clothing. I'm sure other people smell it as well. And, if i have a smoke, other people can probably smell that on my clothing as well. I have no idea how they would inhale it though?

I think you should skip this house.

LOL Stratford. You have duly pointed out my hypocrisy - yes, i enjoy wood burning fireplaces but not tobacco burning husbands hehehe. Point well taken!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Grass Valley,CA.
1,113 posts, read 2,097,671 times
Reputation: 593
Jazzerstacey: I hope it works out for you. I know a big fireplace in old homes is a very desireable feature, especially in New England.
I live in Sacramento now, and fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are definitely not banned. I think in some parts of Los Angeles, 400 miles away, builders prefer to install gas fireplaces due to the cost of chimneys etc.
The local air-quality board does issue an occasional "No-burn" days for wood, but that's not often.
Again, I hope you find a home thats suitable.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:01 PM
 
11 posts, read 34,121 times
Reputation: 12
Default just ventless ones aquaboy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaboy View Post
Jazzerstacey: I hope it works out for you. I know a big fireplace in old homes is a very desireable feature, especially in New England.
I live in Sacramento now, and fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are definitely not banned. I think in some parts of Los Angeles, 400 miles away, builders prefer to install gas fireplaces due to the cost of chimneys etc.
The local air-quality board does issue an occasional "No-burn" days for wood, but that's not often.
Again, I hope you find a home thats suitable.

Aquaboy - thank you for your sentiments, but I have to correct you. I said ventless fireplaces are banned in California, Massachusetts (and even Canada.) I never said "fireplaces are banned."

I gave you a pass when you misquoted me the first time but not the second time! Those are gas fireplaces that many people claim to be safe, but they vent various noxious gases, including Carbon Monoxide, into your living room.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:31 PM
Status: "Will Fall ever arrive???" (set 21 days ago)
 
689 posts, read 618,882 times
Reputation: 566
As a long time CT resident I can tell you that a working fireplace is a very important item in the sale of a home.
Especially, if there is a fireplace that is used often VS. one that merely functions. Many of the ones that function but do not see much use are the ones that have venting and draft problems so that the smoke doesn't go up the chimney unless you open doors and windows. A fireplace that is used often obviously doesn't have any problems. My fireplace sits on the outside wall of the house and is purely for fun and ambiance; in terms of it's overall heating value it is a lost proposition as we probably have to use more oil to reheat the house after having a fire because so much of the heat that was already in the house went up and out the chimney with the smoke. Another point to consider is that newer homes are much better insulated and as a result there is almost no draft. 1950s houses are usually great for enjoying your fireplace due to the draftiness inherant in these homes. Enjoying a fireplace is a big part of life in New England; you should not miss out on it.
That and Paddle Tennis! You should walk from this home. I know that fairfield has TONS more inventory!!! Have you looked in Westport more older homes there with lots of well-worked and daily use fireplaces!!!
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Grass Valley,CA.
1,113 posts, read 2,097,671 times
Reputation: 593
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerstacey View Post
Aquaboy - thank you for your sentiments, but I have to correct you. I said ventless fireplaces are banned in California, Massachusetts (and even Canada.) I never said "fireplaces are banned."

I gave you a pass when you misquoted me the first time but not the second time! Those are gas fireplaces that many people claim to be safe, but they vent various noxious gases, including Carbon Monoxide, into your living room.
I stand corrected! I have never heard of a gas fireplace with no vent pipe. I will look that up.
I hope you find a place that makes your family happy.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
65,008 posts, read 47,336,882 times
Reputation: 10512
My opinions:

1. Figure out if you still want the house if the sellers are willing to negotiate a lower price. If so then take advantage of a lower price because there are alternatives to achieving your Minnesota memories.

2. Unless the chimney is a leaning tower of Pisa, I don't see why it cant be fixed (I haven't read all posts) but chances are it just needs a new liner/bricks/or resurface. That's like saying once you build a fireplace it only has a certain time limit before becoming unfixable and un-useable. No.

3. Yes it affects value, unlike some other areas where the fireplace is for show and tell, here in CT we like to use it and gives us that "Minnesota" feeling plus a non working fireplace is just taking up space... But if your getting the home at a lower price then agreed on, then re-sale would even out anyway. Chances are you'll fix it while living there.

4. Here's your solution if you don't want to go all out and fix it... With the amount of money you saved on lowering the sale price, go out and buy a very nice wood insert. The "Flue" goes into the chimney so you don't need to "fix" the issue, the flue goes from the insert to above the roof using the chimney (barring there's room for the flue and its not caved in) Now you have a working fireplace with real firewood PLUS something that's saving you money by providing heat to the whole house.


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Old 02-12-2013, 08:15 PM
 
11 posts, read 34,121 times
Reputation: 12
Thank you again!
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