Question: I am getting ready to have a new house built in Charlotte North Carolina- and want a wood stove in the "great room". My builder is no help as he knows nothing about what I need. He is accustomed to installing regular fireplaces- etc. I want the chimney to go up the outside of the house- and be brick in appearance (veneer at least). Inside- I want it to look somewhat like a regular fireplace except tall enough and wide enough for the wood stove to be recessed into it- with the stovepipe going straight up above the stove into the chimney.Should the chimney be all masonry or would it be just as well or better to have a "prefab" chimney of metal pipe- with a brick surround? Would an all masonry chimney draw OK- with the stovepipe stuck up into it a couple of feet above the stove?If I build a masonry alcove much room around the stove do I need? how do I connect the stovepipe to the chimney? Answer: Only certain stoves are approved for "alcove" installation. If your stove is not- then you usually must build the structure of 100% masonry For what you want- masonry may be best...although you could build a masonry enclosure either inside or outside the home and then use a pre-fab chimney. OF course you'd then have to box it in and veneer it. My suggestion is to build the enclosure so the stove vents into the wall (either right behind or go up a bit and turn) this allows the water and creosote coming down the chimney to go into the chimney clean out area. If the wall are properly constructed (brick veneer with 1" air space)- then you can get down to 12 to 18 inches to the original combustible wall.<p> Is it ok if the walls of the "fireplace" are the same material and construction as if it were to be used for a fireplace? <p>Yes- if you use solid masonry- the clearances are reduced to almost nothing.