The one thing that is the same between masonry and prefabricated fireplaces is that they both allow us to have wonderful fires. We can sit in front of either one of them and stay warm for hours on end on the coldest winter days. And that might be where the similarities end.
After all, masonry fireplaces are constructed from firebrick with brick chimneys, while a prefabricated fireplace is made from a firebox that is cast from refractory panels and a metal chimney. Quite the difference there!
Masonry fireplaces can weigh upwards of six to seven tons, and the person who creates each one decides on what it is going to look like. That is why there are so many unique masonry fireplaces available in the world. The best part of these fireplaces is that a little preventative maintenance and care will keep them in excellent condition for many years.
Prefabricated fireplaces, on the other hand, are normally made from metal, and are very lightweight. They are made in factories and there are no creative or unique designs available. Instead, these fireplaces offer a one size fits all complete system in a box. While that is nice for some people, it is not always an option for those who want something out of the ordinary or different than everyone else. These fireplaces do not last that long either, so you would need to replace them for a newer unit much sooner than a masonry fireplace.
Prefabricated fireplaces are going to be much cheaper than masonry fireplaces, and that is for purchasing the fireplace or materials and installation. However, in the long term, the masonry fireplace will likely be the most cost-effective option since it will not need to be replaced a few times.
There is one other thing that these two types of fireplaces have in common, and that is that their chimneys will need to be cleaned once a year to remove any debris and creosote. You will also want to have them inspected to make sure that they are safe to use again the following year.
Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill
We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.