The fireplace problem: The home had an old, outdated fireplace. The homeowner wanted to find a cost-effective way to replace the fireplace as part of their plans to renovate the room.
The fireplace solution: Install a prefabricated fireplace. Prefabricated wood burning fireplaces are metal fireplaces that are prebuilt and assembled on site. They cost less than a masonry fireplace, and the fireplace installation can typically be done in a day.
This was the original fireplace when we first came out for the site visit for the estimate. At this point, we took measurements and notes to provide an accurate estimate and go over any potential issues with the customer. For this particular job the homeowners originally wanted to remove the fireplace, open up the chase and install a wood stove with a stone veneer lining the chase walls. Unfortunately, the chase was too small and did not meet the clearances required for the wood stove, so they opted to install another prefabricated wood burning fireplace.
All projects start with setting up drop cloths for the demo/removal of the old fireplace. We make sure that the only thing left behind is a beautiful new fireplace. No dust, no mess, no problem.
When we removed the original fireplace, we wanted to minimize the amount of drywall that we cut out. Doing so helps keep the area clean and shorten installation time.
Once we removed the fireplace, we noticed that the chase was not insulated at all. This will cause the area around the fireplace to be very drafty. We often get chimney repair calls about cold air coming from or around a fireplace, and this is the main reason why. Older homes may not have any installation. On newer homes we will find that the chase has been insulated but the insulation was not closed off or sealed which will still cause it to be drafty. Insulation is a standard part of our fireplace installation.
In step 2 of the insulation process, we installed Thermo-ply to close off the insulation to further prevent drafts from coming through.
We then installed the chimney air kit. This kit allows the outside air which is used to cool off the chimney to go back outside instead of staying in the chase which can make the area around the fireplace colder when it’s not in use.
We were sure to install a fireplace that included an outside air intake. This typically would be utilized if the fireplace was to be operated with the doors closed. The customer opted not to have fireplace doors. However, the outside air intake is still required for the installation in case the customer wanted to install doors at a later date. This is also important because If the house is well insulated there may not be enough air to establish a good draft. Installing this outside air supply prevents that problem.
Once the fireplace, chimney air kit, air intake and chimney sections were in place, we finished framing up around it. *Note- the metal strip underneath the fireplace is the protective hearth strip which is there to keep embers off the combustible floor if an ember manages to fall in between the fireplace and hearth extension.
Drywall was installed to close up around the fireplace. Also, when we first came out the original hearth extension was removed so we build a new raised hearth extension.
This is the chimney passing through the attic fire-stop. After the chimney was run up, we installed the attic insulation shield and insulated around the chimney to prevent cold air from coming into the chase.
Once the chimney is installed we double checked and took pictures of the clearances to combustibles. This chimney required a minimum of 2″ from combustibles, and we have plenty of additional clearance space. Safety is a top priority for any fireplace installation.
We installed new trim to match what was currently there. We also installed a new slate hearth extension, new surround, and mantel shelf. The wanted to paint it themselves.