Dear Members of TOH:
I am new to this community. I am closing on our first home tomorrow. We are very excited. However, we have a chimney challenge. The house is a 1951 stucco, siding, and brick house. On the facade of the house, the planters and the chimney are brick. Evidently, the sprinklers have caused long-term damage, and the brick is deteriorating and the house is settling. The bricks in the hearth are all loose which is indicative of the settlement of the house.
We were told by a chimney doctor that the entire chimney needs to be replaced. He said that when he scoped the chimney he saw a huge crack. I then spoke to a chimney construction guy and he said that although he recommends the replacement of the chimney, he also wanted to let me know that Los Angeles is a unique environment with both seismic activity and lots of litigation (meaning the chimney doctor is extremely conservative in his judgement). He said that perhaps if it were his home he would put a liner in, fix the hearth, and put a cap on it (there was not one).
The estimate to rebuild the chimney is $22,500!!
I am not sure I can put a stucco chimney up which would be cheaper because of city ordinances.
Here is my question: WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Here is a photo of the house