Fireplaces are nice to cozy up to on cold winter nights but they can be expensive. To keep the costs down design your own. The dimensions and size of your fireplace will depend on the size of the room. The crucial element in your fireplace design is the opening because all the other components will depend on the structure and type of opening. For example, if your fireplace has an opening of 32 inches the dimensions of the others parts need to be:
• Hearth-from the fireplace, 15 to 18 inches
• Firebox-above the hearth 14 to 16 inches
• Height of fireplace opening-29 inches
• Depth of firebox-16 inches
• Size of flue-12 x 12 inches
• Minimum height of chimney-this would be 3 to 4 feet above the roof, approximately 19 feet.
• Brick-this is the most common type of fireplace design because it is easy to install, easy to maintain, and durable. It also blends in with most of the contemporary home styles. The drawbacks with this design are you have to chop wood, use kindling, and matches to get it started. To keep it lit you have to keep adding wood.
• Gas-this one lights instantly and has temperature adjustments, which are remote controlled. It uses no real wood so it is pollution free and requires less maintenance because there is no chimney. To accelerate the warming of the room there are blower fans installed in the fireplace.
• Electric-this design is ideal for homes that are small or do not have a chimney. You can easily install this design without remodeling the home and come in different sizes and shapes. They are also pollution free and portable.
• Stone-this design retains heat, durable, and efficient. They are low-maintenance and can blend with other fireplaces. They are also reasonably priced.
One thing to note is that if your home does not have a chimney you will have to have one built if you want a real wood burning fireplace. This can be expensive, as you will usually have to do some remodeling in the room where the fireplace is being built. This is why many choose other fireplace designs not requiring a chimney.
Other components you will need include:
• Smoke chamber-this is the passage between the flue and the fireplace
• Hearth-this includes the extended and inner hearth
• Firebox-this is the place that holds the fire
• Damper-this is what helps to regulate the flow of air and when the fireplace is not in use prevents leakage
• Fireplace throat-the part that lies between the base of the smoke chamber and top part of the firebox.
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