Installing the Chimney Liner

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 2, Part 3

The big story is the cornice molding found in tact when the drop ceiling came down. The molding will set a tone for the main living space, where the bricks have been removed to install a flue liner and drafting fireplace. All of the 40s wall, surface, and ceiling treatments are gone, along with the lath and plaster, leaving the bare brick and exposed joists from the original construction. Remodels have cut into the joist work or damaged it, so some reworking will be necessary to build up for the floors and ceilings. The floor joists are sistered to make a level, solid footing for the Georgia-Pacific Plytanium subflooring that goes under the wood floor. Laser levels allow the carpenters to set level lines throughout the apartment horizontally for the floor and vertically for the new steel studs they are installing. Finally, a flexible flue liner is run through the wall, and up the chimney for the new fireplace.
Part 1: Installing the Subfloor
Part 2: Installing the Chimney Liner

Bob and Chris Vila join Andy Grover of Hallsted Welles Associates for the installation of a new, flexible, stainless-steel chimney liner.

Grover has already completed exploratory demolition at the smokebox, above the fireplace. A probe the width of the chimney opening was inserted and run down the chimney to determine the flue length. Then a video-scan camera was inserted and run the length of the chimney to look for any obstructions or irregularities that might need to be cleared.

Grover is using a heavy-gauge, 304 stainless-steel alloy liner with a lifetime warranty for wood-burning fireplace use. Grover explains that there was once a cast-iron firebox that is no longer present.

The decision to use a flexible liner rather than terra cotta means they need only punch a small hole in the brick, rather than tearing out the chimney wall from the fireplace to the roof. A nose cone and hook are attached to the liner and it is winched up from the roof. Once in place, a 30-watt draft inducer will be installed to ensure steady drafting for the new chimney.

Part 3: Installing Steel-Stud Framing
This project deals with two very different notions of home. Bob begins on New York City's Upper West Side, where an 1890s Brownstone is revitalized through high-quality craftsmanship and sensitive design. New York's past meets its present, as the entire floor is recaptured and refurbished to create a spacious urban apartment on the doorstep of Central Park.

At the same time, Bob works with a Cape Cod developer to apply Massachusetts land use statute 40B to create affordable housing, and a neighborhood of homes in Mashpee, MA. These Energy Star certified homes show how quality building practices and reasonable asking prices can work together to provide livable, affordable homes and neighborhoods to those who work in our communities.