Question: We have purchased a 60 year old 1400sf log cabin with a stone fireplace that doesn't work. I was told it needed to be rebuilt before using and the cost would be $3-5000. Of course we want a fireplace! We have a furnace but I would much rather use "natural" heat since we also have lots of fallen trees on the property which need clearing. Can I get a wood stove to place on the hearth and put the flu up the chimney and thus only ? purchase a wood stove and flu or do I have to line the chimney and use the fireplace? I also don't want it to be too hot in the house and I fear pockets of heat vs heat distributed throughout the house as a furnace does. What about inserts? are they efficient and cost effective? How does one go about finding a good product distributor vs mail order? Looking forward to hearing from you. Answer: Not seeing the fireplace, I am not totally informed about why it "won't work". However, most fireplace problems are a result of either a rusted out damper area..or cracked (or non-existent) flue lining tiles. If these are your problems, then relining the chimney with stainless steel piping would solve them. This would then allow you to install either a hearth stove (sits on hearth and vents up fireplace) or a fireplace insert (slips back in fireplace and vents up). It may be wise to get an opinion from a local chimney sweep. This person could also install your stove and reline your chimney. An insert is really nothing more than a stove with panels around it to close the remainder of the fireplace off. There is little other difference between a stove and insert. Cost should be $900-1600 for the stove or insert..and approx 800-1000 labor and material for chimney relining. If you have a good local dealer, this is probably the way to go. If not, look at some of the internet sources. Talk to them over the phone (not just email) to make certain all your questions are answered. The heat from most stoves tends to spread out...somewhat depending on the house layout. Most 1600 SF houses should be fairly easy to heat. Temperatures may be different throughout the home, but if the home is of fairly tight construction they should level out after awhile. 11/2007 An updated approximation of cost would be 900-2500 for the stove and 1300-1700 for labor and install depending on the height of your chimney.