The owner of an 1890s house wonders if coating the foundation will help. And, how to keep the critters out?
Our house was built in 1898. I am told we cannot use our fireplace unless we install a sleeve that would cost $3,000 to $6,000. As an alternative, is there such a thing as a gas-fired Franklin stove-type insert that could be put in without venting or with an exhaust pipe up the chimney? Since the fireplace is smack in the middle of the house, an insert could provide a true heat benefit.