Trying to find an insert to fit this awkward fireplace opening

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Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
My Wife and I decided we wanted to put a wood insert in here. Currently it's a set of gas logs we've never even used (propane not hooked up). So, we want to fill the space with something that will be functional and look nice. We want something enamel like the Hearthstone Clydsedale, or Regency Hi2450, etc..

The opening from the outside is about 45"X29"

The inside measurements are: 36"W at front 28"W at back, 25" high, and 23" deep.

The issue is that the stone is not flush on either side of the fireplace. It is angled. So, I think it will look awkward if the trim overhangs. Maybe it would look weird recessed in the stone? So, I could buy one close to the opening size and trim the stone with a grinder.. I'm not even sure... I can't find photos of any other fireplace like this online, so I'm having trouble brainstorming ideas.


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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa

Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
Ok that is a zero clearance fireplace. Which means it is very unlikely that an insert can be installed in it.
Well...that really bursts my bubble. The guy at the fireplace shop didn't seem concerned about it when I showed him the photos. I assumed if an open flame from gas could be safe in there, an insert where the fire is completely contained in even another layer - it would be totally safe. Obviously I dont want to do anything unsafe though. I do not see any obvious combustibles in sight looking around with a flashlight, etc..
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
Well...that really bursts my bubble. The guy at the fireplace shop didn't seem concerned about it when I showed him the photos. I assumed if an open flame from gas could be safe in there, an insert where the fire is completely contained in even another layer - it would be totally safe. Obviously I dont want to do anything unsafe though. I do not see any obvious combustibles in sight looking around with a flashlight, etc..
Find the id plate for the fireplace. It should be somewhere on the lip around the edge. From there we can find the manual to see if inserts are allowed. But most do not
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
Also - I should say, I would be totally willing to put a pellet insert inside instead - if that is possible.
Well no need to even look up the manual. That label clearly says only for use with superior fireplace listed components. That doesn't include inserts of any kind. And if you look up the manual it clearly says no inserts
 

Sailrmike

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2017
295
06371
Well no need to even look up the manual. That label clearly says only for use with superior fireplace listed components. That doesn't include inserts of any kind. And if you look up the manual it clearly says no inserts
What would you recommend for op? I'm thinking gut and replace with high efficiency zc
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,748
SE North Carolina
What would you recommend for op? I'm thinking gut and replace with high efficiency zc
If one had the budget for that it would be a good option. Personally I don’t think I could justify the cost. Spend that on HVAC/ energy efficiency upgrades and you could be saving money year round.

I’d be thinking if there was a good location for free standing wood or pellet stove.
Evan
 
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Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
Money isn't too much of a factor...We just want something that will look nice in out living room and be able to use it if the power goes out (even if it requires a generator). Putting in a real fireplace I guess would be ideal..but I can't imagine the hassle of trying to find a contractor to do it. It's actually a whole stone wall with our entertainment console, etc..so it would be a huge job.

Would it be unsafe to put a zero clearance unit in this existing fireplace? Obviously the manufacturer is not going to recommend a product they have not tested and have no financial interest vested in. Installing the units I first mentioned would not be a good idea, but if something is intended for zero clearance, I assume it would be safer. This pellet insert has an optional cover you can buy for zero clearance applications:

I would be totally happy with that pellet stove if it can fill the space to look aesthetically pleasing.

We plan to put a free standing woodstove in another part of the house. I live in the woods and timber is free...so it would be nice to just do wood burning, but I am OK with pellet stoves also.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
Money isn't too much of a factor...We just want something that will look nice in out living room and be able to use it if the power goes out (even if it requires a generator). Putting in a real fireplace I guess would be ideal..but I can't imagine the hassle of trying to find a contractor to do it. It's actually a whole stone wall with our entertainment console, etc..so it would be a huge job.

Would it be unsafe to put a zero clearance unit in this existing fireplace? Obviously the manufacturer is not going to recommend a product they have not tested and have no financial interest vested in. Installing the units I first mentioned would not be a good idea, but if something is intended for zero clearance, I assume it would be safer. This pellet insert has an optional cover you can buy for zero clearance applications:

I would be totally happy with that pellet stove if it can fill the space to look aesthetically pleasing.

We plan to put a free standing woodstove in another part of the house. I live in the woods and timber is free...so it would be nice to just do wood burning, but I am OK with pellet stoves also.
We don't know if an insert would be unsafe or not. No one does because it was never tested. What we do know is that the manufacturer of your fireplace very clearly states in the manual that you cannot install an insert in that fireplace. That means no matter what the insert manufacturer says there is no way you can do a code compliant install of any insert in that fireplace. If you are assuming any risks involved because insurance will most likely not cover a claim involving it.


The right thing to do would be to either remove what's there and replace it with a high efficiency zero clearance fireplace or leave that as is and install a stove elsewhere for heat. I would recommend having a full inspection done of that fireplace before using it though.
 
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Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
Who do you call to inspect a fireplace? The dealers I call feel it is fine to install anything in the space, so I don't think anyone I find will be as concerned about safety as I am.

I have 2 HVAC units in the house and plan on putting a wood stove in another room... So, I don't need this to survive the winter.. Just thought it would be cool to have a wood burning fireplace in the living room.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
Who do you call to inspect a fireplace? The dealers I call feel it is fine to install anything in the space, so I don't think anyone I find will be as concerned about safety as I am.

I have 2 HVAC units in the house and plan on putting a wood stove in another room... So, I don't need this to survive the winter.. Just thought it would be cool to have a wood burning fireplace in the living room.
A chimney sweep. It may be perfectly fine to use as a fireplace it just won't make much of any heat.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa

My experience with a CSIA sweep was so much better than the un certified sweep I used.
You will see many good sweeps not renewing their csia membership this year. Many will be switching to certified chimney professionals. And staying with the national chimney sweep guild who the csia decided to throw out of the building they built.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,748
SE North Carolina
You will see many good sweeps not renewing their csia membership this year. Many will be switching to certified chimney professionals. And staying with the national chimney sweep guild who the csia decided to throw out of the building they built.
Good to know
 

Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
A chimney sweep. It may be perfectly fine to use as a fireplace it just won't make much of any heat.

I called one today. They are coming out in a week for an inspection and cleaning for $280 and will tell me what I can do in the space.

The guy on the phone said most prefabs were originally meant for wood burning, but were switched to gas...but I dont think that's the case with this one. I have no idea. I'm open to putting in a full masonry fireplace . Would make the house look beautiful.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
I called one today. They are coming out in a week for an inspection and cleaning for $280 and will tell me what I can do in the space.

The guy on the phone said most prefabs were originally meant for wood burning, but were switched to gas...but I dont think that's the case with this one. I have no idea. I'm open to putting in a full masonry fireplace . Would make the house look beautiful.
It absolutely is a wood urning fireplace. Just look up the manual.

Putting in a full masonry fireplace will most likely cost you in excess of $20000. And still give you not much of any heat.
 

Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
It absolutely is a wood urning fireplace. Just look up the manual.

Putting in a full masonry fireplace will most likely cost you in excess of $20000. And still give you not much of any heat.
$20k is probably more than I'd want to put into this..but I'd be open to $10K+ depending what could be done.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
$20k is probably more than I'd want to put into this..but I'd be open to $10K+ depending what could be done.
20k is honestly the low end for a full masonry fireplace. 10k is pushing it for a high efficiency unit install. Wait to see what the condition and install of your current unit is like. You may be able to just use it. Maybe reface it to make it look better
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
I thought this was a prefab fireplace that couldn't be altered? So you are saying I could burn wood in it the way it is - but putting a wood insert in would be unsafe?
Read the manual. They allow gas logs not inserts. Putting an insert in is totally different from simply burning wood in it. These fireplaces were never meant to support the weight of an insert. They are also only meant for occasional fires where most inserts will be run for long extended periods of time increasing heat transfer. But to be clear I never said it would be unsafe. I said it may be we don't know because no one tested it. And that it would be a clear code violation


They pretty much all have knockouts to run a gas line in for a gas log set. And most manuals allow that as well.
 

Tommy222

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
31
Missouri
Read the manual. They allow gas logs not inserts. Putting an insert in is totally different from simply burning wood in it. These fireplaces were never meant to support the weight of an insert. They are also only meant for occasional fires where most inserts will be run for long extended periods of time increasing heat transfer. But to be clear I never said it would be unsafe. I said it may be we don't know because no one tested it. And that it would be a clear code violation


They pretty much all have knockouts to run a gas line in for a gas log set. And most manuals allow that as well.
OK Thank you for your help... Sorry I am so ignorant on this topic..I never imagined it to be so complicated. One would assume if you can have an open flame, a contained flame would be even safer - but I understand what you mean.

If I can burn wood in it as is - Then I am pretty much all set - other than to fill in the gas line and get the chimney cleaned.

I'll also replace the glass doors. I pretty much destroyed them taking them off and they were pretty ugly.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,120
central pa
OK Thank you for your help... Sorry I am so ignorant on this topic..I never imagined it to be so complicated. One would assume if you can have an open flame, a contained flame would be even safer - but I understand what you mean.

If I can burn wood in it as is - Then I am pretty much all set - other than to fill in the gas line and get the chimney cleaned.

I'll also replace the glass doors. I pretty much destroyed them taking them off and they were pretty ugly.
The doors will need to be replaced with a factory approved part of they are even available anymore
 
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