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Q&A Want to add a double sided fireplace

Post in 'Questions and Answers' started by QandA, Nov 17, 2007.

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  1. QandA

    QandA New Member Staff Member

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    Question:

    We're thinking of adding a double-sided fireplace in the wall between the living room and the kitchen. We would like to burn wood but also would like to run the gas for future conversion to gas logs. I would like the fireplace to not only look good but be a source of heat for our home. I'm looking for any and all advice on doing this. Some concerns: - the weight on my foundation. (I would like to have marble on one side and cultured stone on the other.) Do we need to do any reinforcements put in? - Is it better to go with a pre-fab unit or should I just get one built entirely from bricks? - How hard is it to install a fireplace in the middle of the house. Do I need to get a contractor to install it or can my husband (he's a jack of all trades). He's pretty leery about doing the actual box/pipe installation. Even though everything I have read says that it's not that hard to install. What will a contractor charge to just install the box/pipe? The roof line comes to a peak right about where I would like this installed. Is that good or bad? - Smoke. I keep seeing questions about double-sided fireplace filling the room with smoke. - I always see options for fireplaces. Do I need to also purchase blowers, etc. to have the fireplace provide heat to our home? - Since this wall is a main wall in the middle of my house will it cause any problems with the structure support beams? - Cost? I need to figure out what this will cost with and without using a contractor. Can you recommend any around Dallas. - People I talk to tell me that I need to put the fireplace on an outside wall. Is that true?




    Answer:

    It's probably more cost-effective to use a pre-fab fireplace for this application. This should require no additions to the foundation, even with a marble facing. A real brick fireplace will require a 3 foot deep concrete and cinder block foundation. A pre-fab may have less chance of smoking since it's factory-built.

    It's probably a pretty tough DIY job, I'd say an 8 on a scale of 1-10. If your husband is comfortable cutting through walls and roofs, and has the tools, skills and time, then it's possible.

    The piping can probably be offset with angles to avoid going direct through your peak. Some companies also make peak roof flashings....and/or you can build a little "box" on the roof to simulate a real chimney (finish with stucco or siding).

    Most double sided fireplaces do not provide a lot of heat to the home. There are some exceptions.

    There is no reason a fireplace has to be built on an outside wall. In fact, it is more efficient to build it inside.

    My guess for a price range is $4,000 (lowest DIY) to about $6-8000. contractor installed.

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