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Monday, January 24, 2011

Custom wood burning fireplace designs.

Putting up a fireplace, especially in places with cold weather, is a must. But this is not an easy task to do. Putting up a fireplace is not simply putting up another decoration to a house. By doing so, things like building code, fire codes, preference, style and materials need to be considered accordingly. The design of the fireplace, including the height, position and technical measurements, shall match the lifestyle of the homeowner as well. 

Furthermore, the job does not end after the construction of the fireplace. The work still continues even after its installation. The jobs after construction include annual and regular inspections and other maintenance or preventive or precautionary check-ups.

In order to make the life of the homeowners much easier, there are five (5) points that are worth considering, which are the (1) fireplace installation considerations, (2) type of fireplace, (3) positioning, (4) choosing whether chimney or chase, and (5) choosing whether single or double-walled flue.

On the first topic, installing fireplace require compliance to specific safety guidelines like fire and building codes of a specific city. It is basic to know that one cannot build a fireplace in a combustible area. There are also increments or space allowances surrounding the fireplace area. Depending on the specific codes of the city, the material of the floor surrounding the fireplace shall not be made from easily combustible materials. The foundation, where the fireplace will be built, shall be suitable as well.

Secondly, the type of the fireplace must also be determined accordingly.  Gas fireplaces are growing in popularity and ventless gas fireplace designs have evolved far beyond the boundaries of the fake fire.  Wood burning fireplaces look, smell and sound like a real fireplace and have the ability to burn anything for anytime with no limit to design or heat produced.  There are two major types of a fireplace: namely, masonry and factory-built. The masonry type of a fireplace is usually made up of blocks, fire bricks or mortar. The factory-built, on the other hand, is usually built with lightweight firebox made up of metal.


The third topic is primarily about the physical appearance of the fireplace. Its style, design and position must not be substandard. There is a specific location that will match the homeowner’s lifestyle and preference. Furthermore, the fireplace must be placed in accordance with the positioning of the house’s windows, doors and curves or corners. Some cities even provide a standard policy, which states that the fireplace must be built at least 36 inches away from combustible surface like walls or floor.

The fourth topic talks about choosing whether to build a chimney or a chase. Chimneys and chases are, of course, different. Choosing which one to build reflects the preference, style and character of the designer and even the homeowner.

To delineate chase from a chimney, the former is usually made up of decorative and pretty covers that enclose the flue inside chimneys. The primarily purpose of using chase is to decorate or stimulate a stylish look of the bricks. Compared to ordinary chimney, the advantage of using chase is the cost. It is much cheaper to use chase because it is usually made up of either metal or wood. This, however, make the chase last not too long, unlike the life-span of a chimney, which is made of concrete bricks. On the other hand, the advantage of the chimney is its durability.

The fifth, which is the last point to consider, is choosing whether to put up a single or a double walled kind of flue. The advantage of the single-walled kind of flue is limited to its safety features when used as insulation in a masonry chimney. Double and triple walled chimney flue allow heat to rise while the flames consuming oxygen at the bottom of the chimney threaten to create a vacuum causing cool air from the top of the chimney termination cap to be pulled down through the outer flue section.  The hot air is pulled up through the inner section and cool air is pulled down through the outer section.  Double and triple walled chimney pipes are law in most states today because they are so much safer within homes built with wood and other combustible materials.

At the end of the design and the construction the enjoyment of sitting back in a cold room with a hot fire is worth every penny spent, every drop of sweat and the hours of creating the custom fireplace.  With a few accessories the wood burning fireplace can become an oven, bed warmer, home deodorizer and just a eye-magnet in the room where everyone wants to congregate.


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