How do I remove a chimney?

I would like to know what depth is required for a typical fire box on a fireplace. Also, could you give me any ballpark idea of what would it cost to take down a 3 story chimney? Our house was built prior to 1894. We have a 6'x3' chimney up the center from the basement through the 1st, 2nd floor and attic. We only use 1 of the 3 flues occasionally for our fireplace. We are searching for extra space in our kitchen which is on the backside of the chimney. Would this be an insane idea?
Submitted by keversman

Not an insane idea at all. In fact, I have removed several chimneys for just the same reasons.  From what you are telling me your have actually 5 stories of chimney at aprox. 9 feet each.  The basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, attic floor, and the story outside above the roof,   So if you figure 9’x5 stories = 45 feet, times 6 x3 x2 or 810 square feet of brick surface to remove.   You will need a permit, a dumpster, 2 men for a day, drop cloths, small sledge hammers, etc.  You need to start at the roof and take it down from the top.   Then you need to close up the roof hole and patch the roofing.  When you get to the basement level there will be lots of soot in the old chimney which will have to be removed.  To have this done professional would cost you between $2500 and $4000. depending on where you live.

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I had a chimney thru the attic. The house was built in 1920 so it was crumbley. I wanted to remove it with out too much mess. I wrapped it with chicken wire and plastic and worked it loose in one piece. The unwrapped it and hauled as much of the brick as I could at a time thru the access and out to yard to reuse then wrapped up the plastic with the rest of the soot and mees out to the dump. Worked great.
Submitted by valgonamoe