Q&A Installing a Zero Clearance a good do it yourself project?

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 24, 2007 at 5:30 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    Hi everyone, My husband and I live in a newly constructed bi-level. We are planning on finishing off the basement and thought if would be nice (especially since it's 0 today) to install a zero clearance or pellet. We don't have any gas service, so it would have to be wood burning. Our house doesn't have any rough in or chimney, we would have to do everything ourselves. We are savvy about home projects, but we certainly aren't professionals. Is this okay to try, or do you suggest contracting in out? Thanks a lot! Suz


    Installing a factory-built fireplace is typically not that difficult but every installation is a little different. There are, as always, a few tricks of the trade to making the installation easier depending on the situation. But, it's not extremely difficult. You frame around the firebox, spacing the studs away at a required clearance, and install a header. Then install the chimney flue section by section. If the chimney is going to be opn the outside you may wish to build a chase around it to keep the flue warm as well as looking good next to the house. And then complete the aesthetic treatment on the wall and around the front of the fireplace.

    Some models have blower options so you want to make sure to bring electricity to the "box" or "can" prior to finishing the wall. Even if you don't want a blower initially, wire the box anyway in case you change your mind down the road. Most wood fireplaces also have removable "knockouts" inside the firebox for gas lines should you wish to have a gas logs, or a log lighter in the future.

    You can first review factory built wood fireplaces by visiting Hearthnet. You can also review other products on the web by going to a search engine, like Yahoo, and plugging in "Fireplaces". as well. Another site is http://www.hpba.org If you like a certain brand, find out on the website where you can look at them in person. Many sites also offer some installation information. Then visit the fireplace shop, armed with a floor plan, dimensions, and some pictures to discuss which model works best for you. At that time you can review the installation to see if it's something you what to tackle yourselves. Good luck.

    Link: Hearth Trade Association
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