Are all 'builder boxes' equal quality?

vagirl07September 27, 2007

Looking to install realistic see thru woodburning fireplace and trying to determine best quality box for my project. I plan to stone around the box so removing it in 10 years will be a problem. I have found boxes by Majestic, Heatilator, Lennox and Monesson but have no idea how to determine which one will last the longest. From what I've found, it seems each company only has one level of quality when it comes to see thru fireplaces-no good better best. I plan to use vented gas logs and hope that this will help with any stress on the box. So, who makes the better box or are they all about the same? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

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SeattlePioneer

All gas fireplaces are required to meet pretty high standards in order to obtain certification for use. So in my experience as a gas fireplace repairman, quality really isn't that much of an issue. They are all of quite reasonable quality.

Most gas fireplace that are properly installed will last for decades of use. They will need maintenance ---manufacturers suggest annually. Repairs are required only relatively rarely, and fireplaces are designed to be repairable.

The usual reason why fireplaces need to be replaced is that some critical part can't be obtained, usually because the manufacturer is out of business.

So my suggestion for the sake of longevity would be Heatilator, Heat N Glow or Lennox, since my guess is that these brands and manufacturers will be around for the long haul.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 1:21PM
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Macey

You asked about a wood burning fireplace and then mentioned the "see through" version.
Lennox has two:
Builder Line - CST38 - Operates on 8" flue system.
Premium Line - LS43-ST - Operates on 13" flue system

Both are radiant units (no blowers). If you cover up the black metal face, they will look very much like a traditonal masonry fireplace. Glass doors and outside air kits recomended (if not required) on these. If you're in California, doors are required any way.You can burn wood or gas logs in these units.

The larger the flue size the less likely you will have drafting issues. www.lennoxhearthproducts.com

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 2:10PM
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vagirl07

Thanks for responding so quickly. The Lennox LS43 sounds great but I really do not want to use glass doors. I don't live in CA so would I be able to use the unit without the doors?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 8:35PM
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tsfl807

I found this company in Florida, it's a masonry product but it's good quality and easy to put in. They have see thru units, and it doesn't look like there are glass doors on them

Here is a link that might be useful: masonry fireplace

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:34AM
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highheat

most builder boxes that are woodburning are pretty much the same. Monessen, heat n glo ect. Monessen will save you money over all the rest because they are known for there gas products. they are agreat fireplace install many of them. you will pay at least $500-$700 more for a heat n glo or lenoxx just for there name.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 11:23PM
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vagirl07

Thanks everyone. I love the idea of using the masonry product but they are not UL listed for the see-thru to go over a wood floor, it must be installed on a cement foundation. I have heard great things about Monessen but I was told their see-thru must use glass doors. Looks like Majestic and Heatilator are my only options for clean face, see-thru, no glass doors...

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 10:17AM
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jca1

If you want a box that will burn gas or wood then make sure the gas installation is done in a manner that will allow for future use of wood burning, I'd stick with the brands seattlepioneer mentioned as well, and look hard at lennox.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 8:36PM
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