The chief reason for adding a fireplace to a home is to use it as a heat source, but there are some other good reasons for getting one. A fireplace can save money on home heating, create a romantic setting, and it helps to foster family togetherness. No wonder some homeowners can’t seem to wait for the building of a masonry fireplace, opting instead for installing one that is factory built. They are structurally different, but serve the same purpose. For the purposes of this article, we will not wade into the debate of which one is better. Instead, we will look at going about replacing your factory built fireplace with a masonry one.
Factory Built Fireplaces
One of the biggest concerns with factory built fireplaces is getting replacement parts when something breaks. This is not to suggest that this is a common problem, but if the manufacturer goes out of business, or the retailer changes location, this could be problematic for the homeowner. Deterioration could also make the fireplace unsafe to use.
The material used in a factory built fireplace is lighter than masonry. Some homeowners install these types with the intention of putting in a masonry fireplace at a later point. The fact is, masonry fireplaces stand up to long term use much better than prefabricated types. Problems can also crop up early due to improper installation. The configuration should take into account proximity of combustibles, and shielding the wall from the heat.
If you need to replace an old factory built fireplace you have the option of a masonry type, or a more modern prefab, or a gas fireplace. Modern wood burning prefabs are more efficient, and are made with stronger materials. Gas fireplaces are ideal for people who want the warmth and comfort without having to work to keep the fire going. Some types have glass doors included as part of the package.
The removal of an old fireplace should only be carried out by a professional like one of the chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to discuss the best type of replacement fireplace for your home. Consider factors such as the cost and availability of fuel, your budget and what the installation of each type will cost. You should also consider a fireplace insert as another viable option for your home.