Guide to installing fireplaces and woodstoves

So you've decided to buy a fireplace or woodstove, and now you're curious as to what steps are actually involved in getting it from the showroom to your living room. Well, we're here to de-mystify the process so that you are prepared for what comes next. This sounds like it must be a pretty big production, right? Well, usually fireplace installation is relatively straightforward, but you've got to bear in mind that it can represent a considerable task, particularly if your floors are made of hardwood or other easily-damaged materials. If your fireplace or woodstove is made of cast-iron, odds are good that it weighs at least 300 lbs or more, which can present a significant logistical challenge just getting it safely across the floor with no damage to either the material or the appliance itself.

Assuming that you've already selected your fireplace or woodstove, the next step is to prepare your home for installation of the appliance. While many fireplaces and woodstoves are designed with ease of installation in mind, some may require significant disruption of your regular routine in order for your installer or contractor to complete the installation. This will usually depend on the area where you are having the new appliance installed, as well as the material of nearby floors and walls, whether there is ready access to gas lines if necessary, and whether or not an adequate flue or chimney is already in place.

While a large and manually assembled fireplace such as a masonry heater or even a traditional custom-built masonry fireplace can take days or even weeks to construct, many modern fireplace inserts can be fully installed in a matter of hours with little or no disruption of furniture and other fixtures. With any kind of prefabricated fireplace, the biggest difficulty generally is getting the large and heavy unit into the home safely, without damaging floors or other surfaces. Most installers have a specialized cart or other method for moving the large equipment around inside the house without the risk of damaging wooden floors.

For more information on the pre-installation work necessary for wood-burning fireplaces, woodstoves, gas fireplaces, and more, follow the links at the left side of this page.

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