5 posts / 0 new
Last post
marina
Installing a new fireplace

How hard is it to install a new wood-burning fireplace or how expensive is it to hire a contractor. We are considering buying a house without a fireplace and I've wanted one my whole life! It would go on an exterior wall, 2nd floor. The house is a 1976 frame house with vinyl siding (for now) :)

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

jmgreen7
Re: Installing a new fireplace

I can't give you costs, but i can give you some things to consider.

If you want a wood burning fp, you can either have a masonry, or an insert (or a pellet stove but i don't think that is what you want).

Masonry - requires a brick and mortar style chimney and i would think needs to be set on a foundation. if you only want it on the second floor, i think that option is out. They are significantly more expensive than the insert.

With the insert, you will still have to exhaust the fumes, but you can build a faux chimney to vent them out of 2X4. The exhaust can be run with insulating piping quite easily. The other advantage is that you can have a fan as part of the insert that will blow the warmed air into the room.

So things to think about: Framing, siding (or faux stone) for the chimney, interior modifications and framing for the fireplace, cost of fireplace, and cost of installation (fp, and exhaust).

Unless that house is a steal, i do not believe it would be worth yoru money. I have an insert, but would rather have a masonry fireplace. I'm thinking that it's probably a 20-30K change.

dj1
Re: Installing a new fireplace

The above answer gives you a quick intro to fireplaces. Study and read about the different fireplaces available, go to fireplace warehouses, then talk to fireplace companies, befor you narrow the choices to the one you choose.

My choice would be masonry, however, it's hard to find a good mason, because old masons are disappearing and there are very few young ones around. Blame it on low demand. Most builders go with the less expensive framed chimney. Consider a "Swidish fireplace" - a good compromise for 2nd floors.

If you sell your home, I doubt that you will get your money back on the fireplace.

ed21
Re: Installing a new fireplace

If you want one I think a pre-fab fireplace and flue is the practical option. I wouldn't worry about getting your money back for re-sale if you are planning to be there a while. Life if too short not to enjoy your home the way you want.
I've had both pre-fab and masonry fireplaces and they both work. The masonry fireplace now has an insert that makes it more efficient, but it now acts more like a pre-fab unit with a blower.
I would rethink putting it on the second floor. That means you will have to haul wood upstairs. Unless the upstairs room is a room you'll be spending a lot of time in like a family room or media room, it may not be worth the effort. A fireplace in the bedroom may sound romantic, but is likely to get little use.
This is not a job I would recommend as a DYI project generally, but parts of it could be. Get a pro fireplace shop to do the install and you could do the interior finishes. There are a lot of options a fireplace shop could show you. They might even ballpark a price for you to see if it is affordable.

marina
Re: Installing a new fireplace

Thanks for the feedback! I'll definitely follow the advice.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.