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Old 11-08-2007, 09:16 AM   #1
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Adding a gas fireplace


I am currently getting a large townhome built and the only option for a fireplace was an electric fireplace in the living room. I really want a fireplace but the electric one is cheesy--I may as well turn on the TV and watch a fire there. How easy is it to install a gas fireplace later? It would probably need to be ventless since a chimney can't be built. My other thought is that maybe a gas vent can go up through the ceiling and somehow vented out the same way my gas dryer is vented (I believe the laundry room ends up directly above where the fireplace would be)? I have no idea if that's possible but I'm trying to explore my options.

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Old 11-08-2007, 10:58 AM   #2
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Adding a gas fireplace


There are zero clearance direct vent gas fireplaces that can vent to an exterior (of course) wall. It sounds like this might this retrofit might work for you. I would avoid vent-less, there are always emissions when you burn fossil fuels.

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Old 11-08-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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Adding a gas fireplace


Direct vent is the way to go. As Clutchcargo said ventless will pollute the indoor air of your home with emissions.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:37 AM   #4
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Adding a gas fireplace


The problem with the direct vent to the exterior wall is that this is a townhouse so I the wall that doesn't have windows is a shared wall with the neighbor. Could my idea of having the vent somehow go up the same way the dryer vent goes have some merit?
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:52 AM   #5
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Adding a gas fireplace


Direct venting means that you (installer) runs a dedicated vent pipe directly outside. It does not mean it has to go in one straight line, it may have turns. Fireplace manufacturer's have a specific vent pipe size for the model of the fireplace. They also have calculated the number of turns, horizontal and vertical run lengths and vent caps for various applications in order to properly vent their product. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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Adding a gas fireplace


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Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Direct venting means that you (installer) runs a dedicated vent pipe directly outside. It does not mean it has to go in one straight line, it may have turns. Fireplace manufacturer's have a specific vent pipe size for the model of the fireplace. They also have calculated the number of turns, horizontal and vertical run lengths and vent caps for various applications in order to properly vent their product. Hope this helps.
How much should something like this cost? The fireplace would need to be built out from the wall and the vent would have to go up through the floor above and the attic before reaching outside.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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Adding a gas fireplace


Decent fireplaces are in the 1500-2500 range for the unit. Add for accessories (mantle, blower, tstat operation, remote...). Install prices are harder to judge. Do they have to run gas to the appliance? Electric for blower? Hardwire for tstat?... Venting components are sold individually and the price would be determined by the route it would have to take.
Being in a townhouse, do you belong to an association? They may not be even allowed.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:53 PM   #8
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Adding a gas fireplace


FWIW, I was quoted $2000 fireplace DV insert + $1000 labor. That included chimney termination kit, electricity and gas lines to the back of the existing masonary fireplace.
So if you use that as kind of a benchmark, I would plan on $3.5-5000, since you have to build the enclosure for the fireplace. If you can vent to the exterior wall that would be much less expensive than running to the roof. Getting to the chase that the dryer duct is in, that would make it a little simplier but you may also have to get a roofer involved.

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