What Customers Should Know About Installing Wood Burning Fireplaces

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Folks who want to install wood burning fireplaces often have questions. Before you start a wood burning fireplace installation project, you should address these four concerns.


A poorly installed fireplace poses several dangers so you want to be sure the professionals handling the job know their stuff. Fireplaces need to safely contain open flames, and they also have to allow you to safely dispose of spent materials without creating a re-ignition risk. Similarly, you need to have ventilation, usually in the form of a pipe or chimney, to draw smoke out of the structure. Also, the top needs a cap to prevent animals, especially birds, from nesting and possibly creating obstructions.

You should always check portfolios and references when working with contracting professionals. However, that goes double when it comes to finding the right fireplace installation services provider. See their work. Talk with their past customers. Learn how well their previous installations have performed.


A house doesn't necessarily need a gigantic hearth. Modern fireplaces are surprisingly efficient, and a small amount of wood can provide significant heat. Especially if your house is well insulated, your size decision will likely be more about aesthetics.

If you want a big fireplace, go for it. Make the fireplace the focal point of the room it's in. Expose it so people can see it right away when they enter a room.

Likewise, if you just want the fireplace for a sense of comfort, feel free to have a small one. It will likely provide more than enough warmth.


Every municipality has its rules about fireplaces. Contact your local code enforcement officer to learn what the requirements are where you live. For example, some localities have minimum height requirements for chimneys and pipes to prevent smoke from becoming a nuisance to neighbors.

Ask for a booklet that outlines all the rules so you can reference them during the planning phase. Never assume the fireplace installation services contractor knows the specific rules for your home's location. Even if they're locally based, they may encounter different rules one town over.


Before you choose a fireplace, you should discuss the maintenance requirements of different models. Never purchase a fireplace you won't have the time or ability to maintain. Learn what the cleaning routine will be. For example, you can clean some fireplaces using specially designed logs. This doesn't work for all setups, though, so always ask questions about the maintenance needs of a particular design. A place like Southwest Brick & Fireplace can provide more information.

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