What to Do Before You Build a Fireplace

by Allan Wilson - Date: 2007-01-19 - Word Count: 710 Share This!

Fireplaces are found in homes across the world in all countries that witness severe cold during the winters and rains. A cozy and warm fire in the fireplace is enough to warm anyone's heart on a chilly cold day or night. Traditionally built with either stone or brick, these fireplaces had brick faces and wooden mantels with ornate and carved designs on them. The entire fireplace could take up an entire wall of the room. This was considered all right as rooms too were large sized.

Creating a rustic charm

Brick fireplaces are generally found in great numbers in rural houses and cottages in the countryside. With winters being severe and no gas or electricity to provide heat and warmth, fireplaces were an important structure in every home. These fireplaces usually had a wooden mantel, which was decorated with carvings or with other prized treasures by the members of the house.

Since the fireplace was generally considered as the place where all the family members gathered, one finds many old paintings, which feature a brick fireplace when depicting a village scene or portrait.

Brick fireplace designs

Brick fireplaces were designed and built along with the other structures in the house. There are few examples of houses, which added a brick fireplace later on. A brick fireplace also meant a chimney as an outlet for the smoke and soot that was generated from the fireplace.

Any thing wrong with the fireplace meant that the room could be filled with soot that could darken the room and make it difficult to clean up the place. The size of the room and its location were considered before a fireplace could be built.

Replacing a brick fireplace

When wood was the only available material for burning, fireplaces were much in demand. Hence the idea of replacing a fireplace would never arise in the first place. But the invention of gas and electricity led many households to stop using and building brick fireplaces and adopt newer ways of heating up the room. Newer cities and towns also adopted gas and electricity and brick fireplaces came to serve a mere decorative purpose rather than a functional use.

Building a fireplace

If you were the kind of person who likes the old world charm of a country house, you would want to have a fireplace in your home. A fireplace is sure to provide warmth and heat and is a great place for a family get-together or an evening party with friends. You can build a fireplace in your house if you already don't have one.

What to do before you build a fireplace

Before you begin building a fireplace, you must find out if your house can have a fireplace in the first place. You need to get the necessary permissions from Building Regulations authorities or from anyone else that would be concerned with smoke bellowing out of the chimney of your house.

Once you ensure legalities are in place, you need to find out if a fireplace can actually be built in your house. Since fireplaces take up a lot of space, you must make sure that the fireplace looks like a part of your room and not otherwise.

Materials for building a fireplace

Brick and stone fireplaces need materials such as concrete, bricks and stone besides chisels, hammer, mortar mix, grates and surrounds, water and a professional to help you build the fireplace and the chimney. Most old houses would have traces of a fireplace. You can build the fireplace at the same location.

In case there exists an outlet for the chimney as well, the job becomes easier. If you can find a chimney but no grate available, all you would need to do is to get a professional to install a grate and a sweep to advise you on cleaning it up. In case the fireplace has been blocked, a builder is the right person to advise you.

Replacing a brick fireplace

You can also build a new fireplace in the place of an old one. Using materials like cast iron and supplying gas and electricity, you can combine the rustic charm of a fireplace with clean and easy maintenance. Replacing old fireplaces can be done easily with minimum destruction of existing wall and with the help of professional builders and designers.

Related Tags: fireplace, fireplaces, build fireplace

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