Read this before Installing a Factory-Built Fireplace
A new factory-built fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home, whether it’s your first fireplace or it’s replacing an underperforming masonry fireplace. Here are some things you need to know before you go out and buy a pre-built fireplace.
Not all fireplaces are the same
Factory-built fireplaces including zero-clearance gas and wood fireplaces come in many different shapes and sizes and have varying guidelines on how the units are to be installed, used, and serviced.
When you buy a new pre-made fireplace, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the information in its owner’s manual.
Proper fireplace installation
Fireplace installation is a serious concern. Faulty installations are the cause of many fireplace malfunctions and fires, all of which could have been prevented by having a licensed fireplace professional do the install.
If you’re not super-handy with tools and heating appliances, bring in an expert to make sure the installation is done right the first time.
Distance of fireplace from combustible materials
You can have your new factory-built fireplace installed in any wall within your home where it’s practical and safe to do so. The crucial factor here is making sure there is the proper amount of space between the gas or wood fireplace and surrounding combustible materials of the home.
While zero-clearance fireplaces are designed to be safe in close proximity to combustibles, you need to know exactly what specifications your particular model has about how and where it can be installed. (If you hire for professional installation, this person will make sure the correct clearances are maintained.)
Your homeowner’s insurance is another reason to have your factory-built fireplace installed by a reputable installer. Many carriers will not cover damage caused by pre-made fireplaces if they weren’t installed by a licensed and insured individual or company.
Factory-made fireplaces come with their own vent pipes. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, the pipe should be cleaned once a year to remove flammable creosote and soot. Gas units need annual safety checkups to ensure that the gas lines are tight and that all the components are in good working order.
It’s a smart move to also schedule annual inspections by a certified chimney and venting technician so you can know about minor issues and get them fixed before they become major and expensive.
When moving into a home with a factory-built fireplace
If your new home comes with a pre-made fireplace, insist that a Level 2 inspection be performed to check for proper clearances and make sure the unit was installed according to manufacturer instructions.
Typically, fireplaces (and other heating appliances) are looked at during the standard home inspection prior to sale. However, you’ll have more peace of mind if the fireplace part of the inspection is handled by a professional who works in the heating/ventilation industry.
By following these guidelines, you’ll have a great new heating appliance that will bring you comfort, warmth, and enjoyment for many years.
If you’re considering adding a new factory-built gas or wood fireplace to your home, Felgemacher Fireplace Shop of Cheektowaga, NY, can show you many exciting models from leading makers. We’ll help you choose the best unit for your home and have it professionally installed by our field team.
If you live in the Buffalo or Rochester regions of New York, visit us at 2727 Broadway Suite 5 in Cheektowaga, or give us a call at (716) 482-1820.