Latest DIY project: Fireplace/Chimney removal for a nicer living room

Every year, my wife and I try to tackle one or two large projects to improve our house and make it a more functional space for our growing family. This year, we decided to remove a giant brick chimney/fireplace that took up 30 square ft. of floor space both in the basement and on the main floor. With the regained space, we installed a TV/media center on the wall that had the fireplace, and arranged the room to have more seating so we could do more family activities in the room.

Here's a picture of what the room looked like with an old brick fireplace (it was wood-burning, but had been converted to gas logs prior to our purchase of the home):

Fireplace and brick chimney DIY removal picture - before

And after a few weeks of work tearing down the masonry (contracted out), patching the roof (contracted out), running electrical, networking, and A/V wiring, finishing the drywall, installing laminate flooring, then mounting everything in place, here's the end result:

Fireplace and brick chimney DIY removal picture - after with media wall

The basement also feels much larger now, since the giant cinderblock foundation of the fireplace is gone. You can view a full album of the project progress (along with detailed notes and tips/tricks learned along the way) on Imgur: Chimney Removal/Conversion to Media Wall:

Chimney Removal/Conversion to Media Wall

Comments

I like this idea. I have compact size family room and my fireplace takes more space on it. I would like to try your option.

Is the fireplace is mandatory? will there any problem removing it ?

Would you be willing to share the cost of the project? I’m thinking about a similar thing in our home but have no idea of the cost range.
Thank you!

I can't recall exactly but it was somewhere in the $5-7000 range, all inclusive. There were a few bids for the chimney removal part (no way I would've been able to do that in less than a few weeks—need to hire some muscle to move those bricks and cinder blocks!), and a couple were a good deal less than the one we chose, but the workers we talked to from those companies didn't put us at ease.

It was a fairly expensive project, but we love it still, 3 years later. Much better for our family, and got rid of an ugly drafty chimney, made it easier to prevent leaks in the roof, and now have a completely open basement, minus one support column right in the middle.