Add warmth and ambiance to your home with a new fireplace. Fireplaces can be powered by gas, wood, pellets, or electricity and are available in a wide variety of styles.
Some types of fireplaces can be installed without professional help, but others require constructing an enclosure and cutting openings in walls and roofs to install chimney pipes. Before hiring a contractor for your fireplace installation, consider these tips.
Many homeowners opt for a wood-burning fireplace, which can add warmth and comfort to any room of the house. It can also create a cozy atmosphere that will make people want to gather around it and enjoy time together. But if you’re not interested in dealing with the hassle of stacking firewood or cleaning up ash after each use, a gas or electric model is a great alternative that offers the same aesthetic and functionality without the drawbacks of dealing with a wood-burning fireplace.
The best place to install a fireplace depends on the type you’re choosing and your home layout. For example, wood-burning fireplaces tend to add a more rustic and cozy feel to the space, so they would be ideal in family rooms and other high-traffic areas. But they’re not practical in every room of the house, since they require a lot of maintenance and can be difficult to heat efficiently.
Another consideration is whether you’re installing an existing fireplace or a new one. If you’re converting an old masonry fireplace, it’s likely that local codes will require some remodeling of the existing firebox and chimney flue. This can be expensive, but it’s often a better option than tearing down the whole fireplace and starting from scratch.
Fireplace inserts are much simpler to install because they simply slide into the opening of an existing fireplace. They can be installed with gas or wood, and are available in both direct vent and vent-free configurations. They’re a great way to reduce outdoor air invasion and drafts, as well as reduce your energy costs.
If you’re installing a new fireplace, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional. This is a complex project that requires a significant amount of skill. For example, cutting through the wall to run a vent and framing it correctly is a job that most homeowners would prefer to leave to professionals who are familiar with it. The right contractor will have worker’s compensation and general liability insurance, as well as certification from the National Fireplace Institute. This ensures that they’re qualified to perform the work safely and according to local regulations.
When choosing a fireplace for your home, one of the most important factors is the fuel source used. While wood, gas and pellets are the three most common, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Wood-burning fireplaces provide a traditional look and can offer energy independence, while gas-powered units may have a higher efficiency rating than wood models. Pellet stoves and fireplaces are also very popular as a way to add both ambiance and heat to any room.
The location of the fireplace in your house is another important factor to consider. For aesthetics, you may want the unit to be recessed into the wall of your home. In addition to the appearance, this is a more convenient way to start fires and clean up after burning a fire. However, you will need to make sure that the floor underneath is non-flammable. You will also need to leave a few feet of space around the fireplace to ensure that embers or smoke do not ignite combustible materials.
If you choose a fireplace that is recessed into the wall, the manufacturer will usually provide framing instructions. These will detail the sizing requirements of the framed opening and other details like venting specifications and clearances to combustible materials. These requirements are important to follow because they will protect the health and safety of the homeowner.
Most fireplaces, except for electric units and ethanol models, require ventilation. Most will use a chimney that must be installed with proper roof clearances, but there are also units that can be vented through the wall and direct to the outside, which is less expensive to install and doesn’t require any roof work.
Before starting the installation of your fireplace, you should consult with a professional contractor for assistance. Unless you are experienced with DIY projects, this is not something you want to try on your own. The last thing you want is to save a few dollars and end up with your home on fire. A contractor can help you get the most out of your fireplace by ensuring that the unit is properly installed and in compliance with local codes.
Your fireplace will need a way to vent smoke and gases from the fire. The type of unit you choose determines what kind of venting is required. Wood burning units require a chimney that leads outside, while gas fireplaces can be vented in a variety of ways, including through the walls or roof of your house.
The first step in the venting process is to build a frame around the vent hole. Make sure to follow the framing specifications provided with your fireplace to ensure that it will fit correctly into your home’s wall. If there are electrical wires in the area, call an electrician to move them before you begin cutting into your wall. Once the frame is in place, the fireplace can be pushed into it and secured with clamps or screws.
Once the unit is in place, you can begin the process of installing the pipes that connect to it. The type of pipe that is required can be determined by the manufacturer or by your local building codes. Most manufacturers require a minimum distance between the piping and combustible materials. It is also important to pay attention to any clearance requirements for overhead venting and the piping itself.
A common wood-burning fireplace system uses a chimney that leads to the outdoors through your roof. This requires a significant amount of construction in your attic and the installation of a chimney liner within it. The system can be capped with either a brick chimney cap or metal one that can help reduce the appearance of the chimney on your home’s exterior.
For homes without chimneys, a gas fireplace can be vented through the walls of your home using a B-vent system. This is a double-piping system that includes a “fuel” pipe that draws air in from your living room to fuel the fire and an exhaust pipe that releases the byproducts of combustion into the outside.
When you install a gas fireplace, it is important to remember that the process will require professional guidance and consultation. This is an extremely complex project that will require a great deal of skill to perform successfully. Contact a certified installer in your area to discuss the options for a new fireplace and to get started on your home improvement project.
A fireplace can make your home feel cozy and welcoming in the winter. It can also add value to your property and create a nice ambiance for entertaining friends and family. But you should take several factors into consideration before deciding to have one installed.
The first thing to consider is whether you want the fireplace to be purely decorative or functional. If you want it to be functional, the fireplace will need to have a vent system that allows for proper ventilation of your house. It should also be situated where it can heat the room effectively.
Another factor to consider is your budget. A fireplace is a big investment and you will need to be prepared for the initial cost as well as maintenance costs. Make sure you choose a fireplace that suits your budget and the style of your home.
Most installers are happy to hear that a customer has a specific vision for their fireplace installation. This can help them plan the job more efficiently, allowing them to complete it in less time and at a lower price. However, a customer can easily overwhelm an installer with their requests and this can cause confusion and misunderstandings that lead to mistakes.
A good installer will have the experience to read between the lines and understand what a customer wants without being overbearing. This is why it is best to leave the planning and execution of a fireplace installation to a professional.
Fireplaces and chimneys can be complex systems and a poorly installed fireplace can pose serious safety risks, including fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you have a fireplace in your home, it is important to schedule regular inspections to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
The fireplace screen keeps ash and other debris from escaping the fireplace, while the chimney keeps harmful fumes like carbon monoxide out of the home. If these components are not maintained regularly, they can become blocked or clogged with creosote, which can cause a dangerous buildup that could potentially catch fire and destroy the structure of the fireplace and your home.