Had a customer call me and informed me they had started some demo to save money and were ready for me to come start their reno.

I walked in to find the picture below!!!! It is a thick metal insert firebox with a masonry chimney. The piece that is laying on the ground in front was the brick fascia on the fireplace.

So now I am trying to devise a POA. Customer wants a traditional stained wood surround, with granite tiles directly surround the fire box.

Can I metal frame and use hardi board to cover that is now exposed then use that to build the new surround off of?

We are in West Texas with 2 week winters, so customer doesn't want any wood burning stove insert (which I know could be installed).

Nor does the customer want any vents in the face of the new surround. So that limits the options to cutting out the heatilator and installing a masonry fire box or??? IS it possible to install a gas insert and run a new vent through the clay chimney?

I have an inspection scheduled to find out the condition of the chimney. If everything is in good shape, I know I can't just cover up those heat tubes, even without working blower fans. I am really at a loose of trying to make something that is safe but in line with the design and plan for the house. I've been searching and reading as much as possible on these things.

Any and all help or direction is much appreciated! Thanks