Home & Garden Maintenance & Repairs

How to Design Wood Burning Fireplaces

    • 1). Call your local government to find out if there are any safety codes. These codes may limit the height and width of your fireplace, and will give you a good starting point at which to proceed.

    • 2). Find your chimney. This seems elementary, but the location of your chimney (interior or exterior) is important to your fireplace design. It will need to be hooked up to a chimney, and whether the chimney is on an inside or outside wall, will determine the types of design you can use. An interior chimney may need to be more contained, while an exterior chimney generally allows for more expansive hearths.

    • 3). Decide what building materials you want to use for your hearth and the frame and mantel around your fireplace. The most common materials to build fireplaces out of are field stone and wood. Try to match one or the other with the interior of your house. Then, concentrate on using that type of material.

    • 4). Think about how large a fireplace you want so that you can consider how big the hearth pad will need to be. This will help you determine if your design will fit your room. You will need fireproof tile or concrete laid down as a pad in front of the fireplace, to prevent sparks from igniting your house. The larger your fireplace, the larger this pad must be, the less room you will have in whatever room you choose to build this in.

    • 5). Make a list of the effects that you want your fireplace to have on your room. If you are using it for heat, then you will need to make sure that it lets the heat escape. On the other hand, if you are more interested in the look of the fireplace, it will matter less how large the fireplace is.

    • 6). Evaluate your budget. Make sure that your design fits in with your budget and if you are not sure if you can complete your wood-burning fireplace, then you need to go with a different design. An unfinished fireplace is a major safety hazard as well as being extremely unattractive.

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