We purchased an old Victorian house built in the 1800's. We have reason to believe that some brick fireplaces were cemented and plastered over for heating efficiency. After doing some extensive scrapping we had exposed some brick. The brick chimney we exposed appears to have gaps leaving us to believe that it was an opening for a fireplace. If we wanted to attempt to remove the plaster from the brick and expose the opening in order to turn into a fireplace, could you offer any advice? What's the best way to do this? Also, in the event it does not have an opening how do we go about covering again? If we proceed are we looking at a costly mess?
p.s. We contacted a company that specializes in restoration but they would not inspect the chimney without us exposing the opening.