selecting and purchasing new gas direct vent fp
We are still in the early research stage of installing a new gas fireplace into our unfinished basement. We are pretty sure we want a direct vent one. Went to two local fireplace shops today to check them out. Any opinions on Hampton, Mendota, Regency or Majestic brands? Since we have yet to do the framing, would it be more cost effective to get a cabinet style mantel or a flat front?
How much should one expect to spend for a 36" fireplace including screen and mantel? Are there other sources than retail fireplace shops? For example: online sources, Costco, Home Depot or Lowes.
Just trying to decide if it makes financial sense to add one and if the electric ones are too cheesy. It just seems like it easily could be $5000 for a middle of the line fireplace including install and that's a bit more than we had budgeted.