A guide of the process for hiring a tradesman to remove your gas fire, including the costs of labour and any materials.
Many properties from the 1950’s to 1980’s came with rather unsightly gas fires and surrounds that many modern homebuyers find unattractive. This article will detail the work required to remove an unwanted gas fire and make good the area around it.
This work will require a CORGI-qualified gas engineer and any work required for the disconnection of the gas system should only be carried out by such an engineer. With that work done, much of the remaining work is simple labouring and DIY activities, that can be carried out by almost anyone.
The total cost is likely to be spilt into two parts; the removal and making safe of the gas fire and the fittings and the removal of any other features. The removal of the gas fire must be carried out by an accredited gas engineer and is likely to cost between £80 and £160 to disconnect the appliance and make safe the remaining gas pipes.
The clearing up of any non-gas related parts can be done by yourself or could be carried out by almost anyone who is capable of hard manual work, including removing tiling and concrete bases. The final redecoration of the renovated area can also be done by anyone with sufficient DIY skills. This whole effort could cost anywhere between £100 and £400 to complete. If you intend to put another appliance in the area, that could add another £200 to £300 to the total cost.
Typically, gas fires mounted in older properties were part of a large purpose-built stonework to give it a more homely look. If you intend to remove your gas fire, it usually implies that you intend to remove all of the surround too, and that can be a sizable task that may require the removal of a significant amount of rubble. This means that you will require dust sheets to protect the carpet, walls and furniture that you cannot remove from the room during the work. Once the fire is removed, you will also need to make the area good again, which will require both wall and floor coverings.
If you are removing the fire there is likely to be a significant amount of repair work that has to be carried out, but this is also an ideal opportunity to make any substantial changes to the area. Since you are removing a gas fire, you may want to replace it with a modern electric fire or a radiator, and these will need either an electrical power point or suitable underfloor piping fitted to accommodate them.
The framework holding gas fire in place may be considerably larger than it appears at first, since it is usually hidden behind the framing and structural elements. To tackle this job, you will need to remove the trim from around the actual fireplace. This task may include removing some or all of the brick, rockwork, some drywall areas, and even the framing from around the fireplace. You may have to use a hammer or mallet to break apart the framing materials, then you may need to use a crowbar to pry the surround away from the structural wall.
Once you have exposed the actual gas fire, you will need to get a gas engineer to both disconnect it from the mains, and seal of the input pipes to prevent any future escape of gas. The engineer will safely remove the gas fire and take it for appropriate disposal, as well as ensuring that the gas supply pipes are effectively sealed.
The actual gas fire may be both large and heavy and once it is free of the wall, it will be lowered from its position onto the floor, this should be carried out by at least two people to ensure that it doesn’t become dangerous, or create damage if it were to fall.
The gas fire will have had an integral flue to remove dangerous gases from the house. This is likely to have been either directed up an existing chimney, or through the brickwork if the fire was placed against an outside wall. If the flue goes up the chimney, there will be little need for it to be removed, but if it will need to be capped off. If the flue goes through a wall, the hole will need to be sealed.
Once the fire has been removed and the rubble removed, you will effectively have a blank canvas that you can repair in any way that you want to, and decorate it to your taste. Finishing work may require a sealing of the hole in the wall with a suitable board material, and a screen of plaster to make it flat so that any paint or wallpaper looks natural and there is no evidence of the old fire. You will need to replace any floor covering that is missing where the base of the fire or its surround had been. This may be difficult if you cannot get an exact match on the existing flooring, and a possible solution may be to replace the entire flooring in the room instead, making this a good time for an upgrade.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding removing a gas fire.
Typically, the work will take a few hours if you are just removing the fire. If you want to include making good the wall this may take a full day plus the time for decorating.
If you remove a fireplace, you will be generally be removing a large section of wall, however you will be replacing it with something else anyway, but fireplaces are never an essential part of a loadbearing wall, so removal of such will not become a structural problem.
No, gas engineers will often be qualified and competent to do a defined range of gas work. It’s important to check what work they are qualified to do before you use them. Engineers will have different qualifications including:
You can find out what an engineer is qualified to do by looking on the back of their Gas Safe ID card.
Since the work won’t impinge on the outer look of the home, nor will it substantially affect the inside area, you will not need to seek planning permission to remove a gas fire and its surrounding stonework. However, you will need to get the gas fire-removal part of the work signed off as complete and safe.