Has it gotten too cold where you live? Have you gotten sick of watching the yule log every year so you decided to make your own? Well, whatever the reason that caused you to want to build a fireplace, you will need to figure out exactly how to build a fireplace won’t you? Building a fireplace can be a very dangerous endeavor if you do not build it properly, and you certainly don’t want that.
So let’s get started, and with this article, you will know everything you could ever want to know about building a fireplace for your indoor area!
What You Will Need
To build a fireplace, you will not only need supplies, but you will also have to make sure your house can handle a fireplace. You will need:
- A firebox
- A chimney or ventilation system
- Bricks or masonry for the outside
You will need to see if your house can handle having a fireplace installed in it, and also pick what fireplace type you would like to install. There are three types of fireplaces. The first type is a gas, the second is a traditional wood-burning masonry fireplace, and the third is a zero clearance fireplace.
While all three have advantages and disadvantages, the wood-burning fireplace is typically the hardest to install in an existing home. Not only does it require some remodeling to ensure that the fire is safe, but it also requires a chimney as the ventilation system. For an existing home, a zero clearance or gas fireplace is easier to install.
Zero clearance is the easiest to install and doesn’t require a lot of construction work on your end, and the firebox will always stay cool. That means you can put the fireplace anywhere, and for the purposes of this guide, we will assume that you are using a zero clearance fireplace.
Step by Step instructions
1. Measure the Room
You aren’t building this fireplace, instead, you are installing it, and first, you will need to have adequate framing. So measure your room and add the two measurements together, once that’s done, change the answer from feet to inches to get the opening of your fireplace.
For example, if you’ve measured your room and it has a length of 12 feet and a width of 15, then that’s 27 feet altogether. So your fireplace should have an opening of 27 inches at least.
2. Prepare For Ventilation
For most zero-clearance fireplaces, they use a light metal tube that will go through your ceiling in order to vent out air. If this is the case, then you will need to prepare your roof and give that tubing access to the outside.
However, some zero clearance fireplaces use an external air vent. What this vent does is it brings in air from the outdoors instead of drawing air from the room. Having this special type of vent can make your fireplace more efficient, but it does require access to an exterior wall. If you have an exterior wall that can hold the fireplace, then we recommend getting one with an external air vent.
3. Prepare the Fireplace For Install
Once you purchase your desired fireplace, you will need to place it in the area where you want it. Then, if you are using the tube for ventilation, you will need to attach the tubing to the fireplace and push it up towards the hole in the ceiling.
Which Fireplace is better?
There’s a long debate between whether a masonry, zero-clearance, or gas fireplace is better. Each fireplace has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, it will all come down to you. If you want the least expensive and the easiest to install option, then a zero-clearance fireplace is for you. A masonry fireplace might be best if you are moving into a home that is still under construction, and a gas fireplace is great if you want more efficiency and less pollution. Look around and research before you buy one.
Do I need a Contractor/Professional?
Unlike some other DIY jobs, putting in a fireplace wrong can have some major consequences for your home and your health. If you are unsure how to build a fireplace or install one indoors, it is best to call a professional.
How should I use my fireplace safely?
First, make sure you have a screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from catching things on fire. Also make sure that you always use tools for handling the fire and longs, and not your hands. Finally, your fireplace should only be used for a period of five hours at a time, not any more.
Are gas fireplaces expensive to run?
A gas fireplace is not that expensive to run, and in fact, they are the most efficient of all the fireplaces. The fuel is pulled from the gas line that goes into your house, and you won’t have to waste money buying wood or charcoal.
Where should I put my Fireplace?
If you have a choice, then you should put your fireplace anywhere you have lots of people. Living rooms and family rooms work the best, although with gas fireplaces you can put them anywhere without any trouble. Still, try to maximize the benefit it will provide your family.
Learning how to build a fireplace, much less installing one is pretty tough, but I hope this tutorial at least got your juices running and you thinking about what type of fireplace you might want to install in your home. Always make sure to do your research before making a choice of which fireplace you will want to install.
Also, make sure to either hire a professional to do it for you or have an expert look over your shoulder. Putting in a fireplace wrong is not something you want to do, so getting some help on this project is mandatory unless you know what you are doing.