Making a decision between fireplace & wood insert

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New Member
Apr 26, 2020
So, I’ve got a fireplace that needs some work. They told me about $4,750 to repair it to burn wood inside of it.

they also said “well why don’t you just throw a wood insert in there” and said he could save me money and install it for $1,000 + the cost of insert /whatever else is needed.
Now to my questions... it seems like many of you guys are very knowledgeable on wood stoves and inserts. I’ve actually never had a wood stove or a chimney. This is my first home.

theres a hookup in the basement to heat the house if I decided to heat with wood but that is not my goal here. Though it is a plus to save cost on propane. Were in central Ohio.

my goal is to have a nice warm cozy evening by a fire and feel the warmth, and hear the noises.

I understand a wood insert you won’t actually get to hear the crackle much but I figured maybe there was a good insert that you can hear it more than others.

My home is 1200 sq ft, where it’s going is in the chimney which is a back corner which is open to a living area , kitchen and an entry room. The bedrooms are in a hallway off the opposite end.

I am told fireplaces will actually end up costing me more to heat my home whereas a wood stove will end up likely saving money on propane.

for a 1200 sq ft 1 story ranch,and a budget of $4,000 tops installed what are a few units you would recommend? Is $4,000 installed a good budget?

I don’t need anything too fancy, but I don’t want the cheapest unit just bc it’s cheap. I want a reliable unit with a viewing window & probably the option of a blower?
Maybe consider an insert that has a fireplace screen option? That will give you the option to burn with the door open.
Some Osburn inserts offer this option.
Post some pics of what you currently have and maybe the opening dimensions and im sure you will get lots of good suggestions.
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If you are indeed going to install an insert, please, please, please get your wood now. Any modern insert needs dry wood, that is 20% moisture measured at the middle of a fresh split at room temperature (or around 70 deg). If you are planning on burning an open fireplace, dry wood will be your friend to avoid chimney fires (trust me I had one from wet wood).

Look long and hard at your budget and desires. With an insert it will function best when closed and producing heat, leaving a door open or having a screen is almost counter productive. An insert will produce more heat and warm your room and house in a positive way. That will take time to secure, stack and cover the wood so budget that element.
1st, welcome to the forums !! The knowledge here is unbeatable.

I'm a little confused. Is the FP in the basement, or is there a hook up a wood stove in the basement, and the FP is on the first floor?

Also a floor plan layout (I'm the floor plan gal :) ) would be an immense help.

I can honestly tell you that I grew up with coal stoves & fireplaces, and when I installed the PE, the quickly noted benefits of the heating capability of the insert far outweighed the FP "ambiance".

I second working on firewood NOW, it makes a huge difference.

Again, welcome to the forums !!