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Should I Install a Fireplace Before Winter?

As summer fades into the distance and winter looms up ahead, things are changing around your average American home. Warm-weather clothing is being folded up and put away. The coats, hats, gloves and scarves are coming out in full force. Cars, yards, and homes are being winterized. The furnace is being tuned up, and there may even be other issues (such as drafty windows) that need to be addressed.

There’s also something that many homeowners dream about having for the winter, but for whatever reason, they just don’t see how that dream could become a reality. We’re talking about a roaring fire, of course. Gas fireplaces are nice, but let’s be honest – there’s really nothing like the sound, warmth, and fragrance of a real wood fire to keep your feet warm during those cold winter nights. It can also be a good way to contribute to your home’s heating needs, if done right.

Is it really that difficult to install a fireplace?

The answer obviously depends on the situation – but in many cases, installing a fireplace is much easier than you might think. Four basic things have to happen. First you need a spot to install the fireplace (beneath the mantlepiece in the living room, for example). This will require some demolition work, but it may be a lot simpler than you think. Next, the fireplace itself has to be installed, whether it’s a masonry fireplace or a ready-made “fireplace insert.” Then, the venting system has to be carefully installed and run up through to the roof. Finally, any areas that have been subject to demolition work have to be refinished and completed.

Through the eyes of a professional, there are many more steps that need to be taken – but this is a basic rundown of the process. Again, the level of complexity really depends on the unique circumstances of your home. Having a fireplace installation specialist over to your property is the best way to get a realistic rundown of what the process would look like in your case – and more importantly, how much it would cost!

The biggest takeaway, however, is that fireplace installation is not necessarily cost-prohibitive. If you’re a homeowner who has always dreamed of having a fireplace in your home – especially for those long winter evenings – it’s worth checking out the costs and learning what your options are. A little research can go a long way, and before you know, you could be relaxing in front of an authentic wood-burning fireplace, where there was only a wall before.

Turning to the pros

Fireplace repair and installation is an area that requires a lot of skill and experience – especially when you consider the fact that the safety of your home is on the line. Professionals who really know fireplaces have built up solid reputations over the course of years, and have developed an extensive knowledge of ‘best practices’ for fireplace installation and maintenance. Get your advice from an experienced professional, and you’ll be well on your way to discovering the best fireplace solution for your home.