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Old 09-09-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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cheapest/best way to include a wood burning fireplace?

and I know they may not be the same! anyway I am considering the possibility of adding a wood burning fireplace to an addition I'm building but have some very basic questions to help me think it thru. the addition is 18X18', two stories, with a bedroom on the 2nd floor. I live in Bergen county NJ which is in the NE corner of the state. is it possible to build a fireplace for the second floor bedroom but not below? i neither need nor want it to take up space on the ground floor. I also would like the chimney to be within the envelope of the new structure rather than outside or bumped out etc. I have a sense that there are modern alternatives with simple fireboxes and flu's but i really don't know much about this! importantly, I need the chimney exposed above the roof to appear to be a traditional brick since this is an old house built circa 1850 and it will be a part of the design. I'm hoping there ware ways to dress a stainless pipe or whatever might emerge above the roofline with brick veneer etc. any sense of if this is possible, whats involved and a ballpark sense of what i might be talking about in terms of cost? thx very much!


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Old 09-09-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by yellowkid View Post
...anyway I am considering the possibility of adding a wood burning fireplace to an addition ...
Build (or buy) a fire ring outside to enjoy the romance of an open fire.
Enjoy it for the hour or so that it will remain fun...
then go back inside the centrally heated and ventilated home.


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Old 09-09-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
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Sure, brick or other stone veneer could certainly be used on a modern chimney setup. The tricky part is in carrying the traditional look all the way up. That sometimes looks better done as real brick. The trouble there is real brick weighs quite a lot more than the veneer and the framing and foundation for it would very likely have to be more robust. As in, more expensive.

And either way, you could certainly build up a dummy base from the 1st floor up to the actual unit in the bedroom. Although I'd be tempted to at least consider making it capable of having a 1st floor unit plumbed later.

One suggestion, run a gas line to it. If just for use as a gas starter for wood burning. Then you could always switch it over to a gas log later. We did this on both our inside and outside fireplaces. If the "appeal" of wood burning wanes it'll be a snap to switch to a gas log later without ripping up walls to run the gas line later.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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Not to rain on your parade, but Im not sure if you ever had a fireplace before, but they really eat up the wood, and pull a lot of heat up the flue. To carry wood up to the second floor, dropping dirt all the way sounds like a really bad idea. Were I you, I would install a Natural gas (If you have it) direct vent fireplace. Its really nice to hit the remote, or wall switch to start a nice fire. LOL I had a Kent Tile Fire wood burner with a metalbestos chimney and it was nice, but again, a lot of dirt in the house, and a lot of particulate emissions. Bad news on your lungs.
" Most people would rather die than think, and most do " Bertrand Russell

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Old 09-09-2013, 08:24 PM   #5
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Aw, c'mon, they're not that bad. Modern ones, especially ones with recirculating fans, are a lot better than what you're talking about. Carrying the wood up isn't the dirtiest part, it's getting ashes cleaned out. Make sure the nearby flooring isn't going to show ash stains too quickly.

Not sure just how bad your old one was, but even our 50's era drafty-beast wasn't dirty at all. No doubt do to how fantastically well it convected the heat up and out the chimney. It was, however, awful at heating the room.

Most folks putting in a fireplace aren't doing it for efficiency, they're doing it for a look. And, nice as they are, gas units don't deliver the same experience. But I'd definitely prefer a gas log over the whole cleanup hassle any day. The wife, on the other hand, well, you know the drill...
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #6
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My Sister has one that has 2 inch black iron combustion air pipes from the outside to under the hearth to supply air for the fire and glass doors so it does not suck air and heat $$ from the house. has no brand name but if they are still available that may be a good idea. otherwise they suck a LOT of air/heat/$$ from the house and can create negative pressure problems for the furnace and possibly CO poisoning. your house insurance rates go up with a wood burner and you must report it to them or you may have no insurance if there is a fire.


"Cut it twice and it is still too short".

Last edited by yuri; 09-10-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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