How to add wood burning fireplace to existing home

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MandyFehr

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
7
Winnipeg Canada
House built in 1907 with existing fireplace that is too small for an insert and would be too expensive to modify the chimney to fit an insert. Wondering what kind of options there are for a wood burning fireplace - likely installed in front of (covering up) the existing fireplace? Would we have to get a wood stove? I’d like it to look at much like a open fireplace as possible or a bigger window to see into it. (I’m a newbie and don’t know the proper terminology.)
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
1,062
CT
House built in 1907 with existing fireplace that is too small for an insert and would be too expensive to modify the chimney to fit an insert. Wondering what kind of options there are for a wood burning fireplace - likely installed in front of (covering up) the existing fireplace? Would we have to get a wood stove? I’d like it to look at much like a open fireplace as possible or a bigger window to see into it. (I’m a newbie and don’t know the proper terminology.)
You need to provide more info. Pictures would help. What kind of fireplace is this? Is this masonry that came with the house or some kind of prefab that was installed later? If this is masonry what size of a chimney is this and what is the condition of the chimney? What are the opening of the fireplace and inner dimensions? there are many different options to fit the existing one nowadays
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,604
Northern NH
Sure you can do anything with a big checkbook but why?. The worst woodstove is equal to the best fireplace. Far better to put in woodstove with a good sized glass window. Its far more efficient.
 
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Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
1,062
CT
Sure you can do anything with a big checkbook but why?. The worst woodstove is equal to the best fireplace. Far better to put in woodstove with a good sized glass window. Its far more efficient.
We are obviously need more info on budget, sq footage, layout and description of what he has as “ existing “ fireplace” and his plan regarding food heating.
OP needs more education on wood stoves, vs wood stove inserts, zero clearance fireplace inserts etc.
 

MandyFehr

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
7
Winnipeg Canada
111D2DA8-7BE4-4242-9CB0-98B9273041E9.jpeg

Here are some photos. It’s original masonry, doesn’t look like it’s ever been updated. 24” wide, 29” high, 26” deep. Our budget all-in is $10-12k max.
The purpose isn’t too heat the whole house. Mainly for cold evenings to sit in front of the fire and heat our main living areas. It’s located in the centre of the main floor of a three storey house. Main floor is approx 1100 sf.
I’ve looked and can’t find wood inserts that small, and either way I would prefer a larger window than would allow with the existing opening.
Just trying to understand all of our options. Thanks.
152AB8F8-9131-4CFF-B7CF-D80F3F25D752.jpeg 618DF37E-79DE-4B47-B3F4-F5CEF7631BC8.jpeg 09D3CD6B-7B3A-4F0E-913E-99949105CB69.jpeg 5452E981-7B5A-41C2-B3F8-E28FB652E154.jpeg F9DFA7F3-E3F7-44D9-A675-AC257A934269.jpeg D0D6BC86-0F03-4ADA-A18C-9D4DF3024017.jpeg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
That's a narrow fireplace which makes this a challenge. There are some options.
It's not big, or fancy, but it looks like the little TrueNorth TN10 would work there. It is 25.75"H, 15" D, 21.375" wide. Moving up in quality there is the Morso 7110 which would also fit in there. Both will easily stay within budget, including installation and the Morso qualifies for the 26% tax credit on the entire installation. Be sure to insist on a damper area sealing block-off plate for the installation and an insulated 6" liner.

 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,116
central pa
View attachment 283390

Here are some photos. It’s original masonry, doesn’t look like it’s ever been updated. 24” wide, 29” high, 26” deep. Our budget all-in is $10-12k max.
The purpose isn’t too heat the whole house. Mainly for cold evenings to sit in front of the fire and heat our main living areas. It’s located in the centre of the main floor of a three storey house. Main floor is approx 1100 sf.
I’ve looked and can’t find wood inserts that small, and either way I would prefer a larger window than would allow with the existing opening.
Just trying to understand all of our options. Thanks.
View attachment 283384 View attachment 283385 View attachment 283386 View attachment 283387 View attachment 283388 View attachment 283389
That firebox and damper don't look original to 1907. And the tile absolutely isn't. Is there any way you can get an idea of how large the structure is? Its possible there is a larger firebox hidden under that.

It is very doubtful that a budget of 10 to 12k is enough
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
It is very doubtful that a budget of 10 to 12k is enough
How so? A $2000 stove + $2500 liner install, then apply the 26% tax credit works. What am I missing?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,116
central pa
How so? A $2000 stove + $2500 liner install then apply the 26% tax credit works. What am I missing?
They said they would prefer a fireplace not a stove. For a stove and liner that budget is absolutely realistic
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
They said they would prefer a fireplace not a stove. For a stove and liner that budget is absolutely realistic
Agreed. A major modification would bust through that budget.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,103
07462
A smaller freestanding stove seems like the best fit for your application, this meat and potatoes in this is your existing chimney, you will need a liner to connect the stove and ran up to the chimney cap. Since your construction dates to the early 1900's more then likely that liner will need to be insulated to meet code / clearance requirements, depending on the existing chimney measurements that could be easy or it could be difficult.
I think for that time period it wasn't uncommon to have multiple flue's in the same chimney, so your liner path my have an offset or bend if there's additional fireplaces in the house.
 

MandyFehr

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
7
Winnipeg Canada
A wood stove for that space is too small. We’d like something larger. What are the options if we install something directly in front of the existing chimney/opening… or just build a new fireplace in another part of the room or another room? (zero clearance wood?, larger wood stove with something built around it so it looks good? Etc)
Again we’d like something with a larger opening and that resembles a fireplace (maybe we can build something around a wood stove to make it look more like a fireplace?).
Sorry I’m so ignorant with the terminology etc. This has been very complicated and it’s been difficult to find answers.
 

MandyFehr

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
7
Winnipeg Canada
That firebox and damper don't look original to 1907. And the tile absolutely isn't. Is there any way you can get an idea of how large the structure is? Its possible there is a larger firebox hidden under that.

It is very doubtful that a budget of 10 to 12k is enough
The chimney runs to the basement and it’s approx 48” x 24”. The furnace vent runs up the one side of the chimney.
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
1,062
CT
Another option, just like someone said above, is to have contractor to inspect if your existing opening can be made wider and fit the insert. Might be cheaper than building new structure and won't take the space.
Here us my insert. We were going for a fireplace look as well

image.jpg image.jpg
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
1,062
CT
Could we install a larger stove in front of the existing fireplace and build it in so it doesn’t look freestanding?
What is the sq ft of this room? Does not look big. You might be not able to sit in there with a larger stove.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,116
central pa
Could we install a larger stove in front of the existing fireplace and build it in so it doesn’t look freestanding?
You cannot build in a woodstove unless you do it all out of complying non-combustible materials. Or you use a prefab fireplace. But doing a prefab fireplace you won't meet your budget.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,930
Long Island NY
Could we install a larger stove in front of the existing fireplace and build it in so it doesn’t look freestanding?

Stoves are intended to shed their heat. Close it in and it will likely overheat.
 

MandyFehr

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
7
Winnipeg Canada
That's a narrow fireplace which makes this a challenge. There are some options.
It's not big, or fancy, but it looks like the little TrueNorth TN10 would work there. It is 25.75"H, 15" D, 21.375" wide. Moving up in quality there is the Morso 7110 which would also fit in there. Both will easily stay within budget, including installation and the Morso qualifies for the 26% tax credit on the entire installation. Be sure to insist on a damper area sealing block-off plate for the installation and an insulated 6" liner.

If we’d use something small like this in the existing fireplace, could we build brick in front of it/around it so that it looks like a fireplace?
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,473
SE North Carolina
Two thoughts
It is very doubtful that a budget of 10 to 12k is enough
i would be skeptical of that budget as well for a a bigger fireplace rework. A stove or insert could be had for half of that. Options…. Hmmm…. Have you considered a gas insert? The room does not appear really big. Would you be OK with a stove sticking out into the room?

I’d start by having it cleaned and inspected. Have you burned any in it? If your goals are really wide opening so you can see a lot of fire, I just don’t see that as practical. It’s expensive and really inefficient.

Other option might be this morsoe
 

MandyFehr

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
7
Winnipeg Canada
Two thoughts

i would be skeptical of that budget as well for a a bigger fireplace rework. A stove or insert could be had for half of that. Options…. Hmmm…. Have you considered a gas insert? The room does not appear really big. Would you be OK with a stove sticking out into the room?

I’d start by having it cleaned and inspected. Have you burned any in it? If your goals are really wide opening so you can see a lot of fire, I just don’t see that as practical. It’s expensive and really inefficient.

Other option might be this morsoe
If we’d use something like that (so it fits in the existing opening), could we build brick in front of it/around it so that it looks like a fireplace?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,116
central pa
If we’d use something like that (so it fits in the existing opening), could we build brick in front of it/around it so that it looks like a fireplace?
Only if the stove manual allows it and there is enough hearth protection under it and there is enough structural support under it to support the masonry structure and the stove.

You also need to think about maintenance what ever you do needs to be able to be serviced.

Just as an example we just tore out and replaced just the hearth and firebox of an open fireplace and added a stainless liner 25' tall. Total bill was $14k. And that wasn't really changing anything other than reworking a little framing under the hearth to eliminate combustibles.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,103
07462
If we’d use something like that (so it fits in the existing opening), could we build brick in front of it/around it so that it looks like a fireplace?
Takes a lot of function out of the stove by covering it / tucking it away in a hole, these stoves are radiant in nature, why not keep the FP as is and pick a different spot in the house and install a stand alone woodstove for function and heat.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
If we’d use something small like this in the existing fireplace, could we build brick in front of it/around it so that it looks like a fireplace?
No, that would not be recommended and would really reduce the heat output of the stove. However, the Morso would mostly fill that space. The opening is not very large.

There is concern about overheating the area. How large is this room? How open is this room to the other rooms? We can see the doorway to the left of the fireplace . How large is the opening to the right and how large is that room? What is behind the camera?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
This is about what it would look like. Click to enlarge.

living-room-fplace.jpg
 
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