Our house in Spain came with a fireplace and chimney. We never used the fireplace and She Who Must Be Obeyed considered the whole contraption an eyesore. Certainly it was large and took up a lot of space in what is a relatively small living-room. A couple of weeks ago, we started talking to Antonio, a friend of ours, who also happens to be a builder with his own building firm: would it be possible to remove the fireplace? Yes. Would the resulting scar be obvious? No. Would it cost a lot? No.
And so the decision was rapidly made to get rid of the monstrosity.
Antonio started the job himself yesterday morning. By the evening, all that was left was the outline of the fireplace on the wall and a couple of days waiting for the painter to come to finish the job on Monday. He can't come earlier, as the plaster that Antonio used to fill the holes on the wall an ceiling has to have sufficient time to dry.
It all went very easily, with hardly any dust or fuss. The only problem involved the ceiling coving, which did not match up correctly, so Antonio had to fiddle a bit to get a half-decent result. When it's painted, it should be fine.
The living-room now not only looks much larger, but feels it, too.
A job well done.