Cross post re:direct vent fireplace

athensmomof3January 24, 2010

I posted this on the building a home forum before I realized there was a fireplace forum! Sorry for the cross post.

We are building a house with 2 full masonry chimneys that will serve 5 fireplaces when the basement is finished. I don't want to build, look at or pay for another chimney :)

We are considering putting a very small (10 x 12) study on the front of our house and would like to have a fireplace in there as well. Heat output is not important - in fact, maybe the less the better since I don't want the room to get too hot.

This is a higher end house so I would like a few steps above builders grade, but have no idea where to start looking.

My only real want is I would like to have the option of a herringbone pattern at the back of the firebox.

Any recommendations on brands or models I should look at?


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It seems that you are looking to get custom-built brick fireplaces. It is very difficult to give information about that in the abstract. What you need to do is contact at least 3 different fireplace builders, tell them what you want, and ask them to bid. The more detail you can provide the better. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap of expecting to spend XX dollars and then finding out that it will cost a lot more because you didn't specify certain important details. Obviously, such an effort means that you will have to have a pretty good idea of what it is you are looking for.

Just a few words of "common wisdom:" In a conventional wood burning fireplace, most of the heat goes up the chimney. They are not energy efficient. Washington has in place a program of tax credits (not deductions, actual credits) for the installation of systems that meet certain ENERGYSTAR standards. Since you are planning such a large project, it might pay for you to look into that program.

You should also consider putting in gas fired direct vent systems. These are prefab units, and some of them are really attractive. I do not think they are eligible for the tax credit because they use a non-replaceable fuel. But they are highly efficient. We have one, and it's almost like a blast furnace. You do need to get a remote thermostat to regulate the heat output. If you google direct vent fireplace, many options will appear for you to review.

One more suggestion: the website They have a forum devoted to people for whom wood burning fireplaces is an all-consuming passion.

Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 6:55PM
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Thanks but we are actually considering a direct vent for one small study as it will vent out the side of the house without a chimney.

I don't think I could convince my husband to do 3 direct vents (he is a purist) but I do think it is the only way we can get a fireplace in our study so he is open to it.

Thanks for the tips about I will check it out. I am going to ask my architect as well when we meet on Thursday.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 10:31AM
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