Looking for advice on RARELY used fireplace remodel

youngdebJuly 30, 2009

So we're in Dallas, and our fireplace gets used once or twice a year at most. But DH likes to have a fireplace for sentimental reasons, so we're not going to close it up, we're going to renovate it a bit.

We have this unusual situation where somewhere along the line, someone put two chimney pipes in the stack next to each other - one goes to a poorly-drawing fireplace, the other to what was probably once a wood burning oven which was subsequently converted to a TV cabinet. (not by me!) So one stack, two pipes, two giant holes in the wall.

I won't bore you with the details on why, but we need to turn the old oven back into the fireplace and we're closing up the current fireplace and putting cabinetry in there. I don't need this thing to radiate like the sun into the room, I don't need it to be super efficient to heat my home when it's thirty below...it's Dallas. I just need it to draw properly twice a year and not burn down the house.

All I see are chimney inserts designed to heat a house in Maine, which just seems like total overkill for us. Any advice from you experts on getting this done with a minimum of fuss and muss?

Thanks in advance!


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Since really efficient heat is not a priority, you do not need any unit that does that. You did not mention whether you have natural gas that can be piped into your fireplace. If you do, the obvious answer for you is to get a VENTED gas logs unit. Stay away from unvented because they adversely affect indoor air quality and are illegal in some building codes. In my opinion, they should be illegal everywhere.

If you haven't done so, you should have a certified chimney sweep clean you chimney and ask him to comment on its condition, to make sure it will work when you use it. If you do not have access to gas, ask the chimney sweep to make recommendations on how to use your fireplace.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 6:14PM
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