Q&A / 

Fix Smoking Fireplace - Bad News, Start Over QUESTION: Tim I really need your help. I just moved into my new home and have a smoking full masonry fireplace. It’s 55 inches wide and has an arched opening that’s 33.5 inches at the peak of the arch. It looks like regular brick mortar was used […]

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Chimney Repair Costs 2021 (Replacing, Removal, Maintenance) A fireplace is a beautiful and cozy addition to your home, but it is important to keep your chimney in good repair and up to code in order to prevent leaks, carbon monoxide and smoke intrusion, and chimney fires. Chimney damage can be caused by a number of […]

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Ask The Builder · 64: Sap Stain Removal Sap Stain Removal Podcast: Tim Carter called Theresa not too long ago. Her husband had great intentions, but...: "We have a sap stain on our stone hearth about 1 foot in diameter. It was from a chainsaw-carved bear my husband believed was a good Mother's Day present. […]

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See Through Fireplace Smoking - Mason Screwed Up Last week I did a consult phone call with a contractor. He was called into a job because a see-through fireplace was smoking. The fireplace was a kit, but it needed work to be done by a mason in the field. It turns out the mason who […]

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Smoking Fireplaces QUESTION #1: Oh Tim, I need your help. I’ve got a masonry fireplace that puffs smoke into the room when a fire is burning. It gets worse as the fire dies down. I’ve spoken with three different bricklayers who build fireplaces and have received three different answers. Confusion reigns at my home and […]

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"When done right, whitewash produces a brilliant white finish that bonds tenaciously to any masonry or coarse wood surface. You can add dry pigments to the whitewash to create unlimited color possibilities." Whitewash Fireplace DIY TIPS Use real whitewash, not paint - paint is for losers Real whitewash is hydrated lime and salt - SEE […]

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To prevent problems resulting from chimney construction and fireplace design, check out the following resources. Because firebox design is critical to the success of the fireplace, consult the fireplace sizing chart before building.

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Davey lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Yesterday, he wrote me the following: "I have a small townhouse with a corner fireplace (zero clearance) in the basement that was built 33-years-ago. The seven years we've lived here we've always known there's cold air coming in from behind the fireplace.  Finally, I cut open the drywall and found where […]

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DEAR TIM: I have a large painted brick fireplace that we want to resurface with real river rock or something similar. My husband and I are not interested in veneer or ledge panels. Will the mortar be strong enough to hold the stones? Do we need to use a special mortar or is an additive […]

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DEAR TIM: My wife and I wanted to remodel the dated fireplace in our living room. We recently put down hardwood floor around a raised brick hearth. I’ve since removed the raised hearth and we’re putting down ceramic tile. The trouble is there’s now a recess in the floor where the hearth was and how […]

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