How Should I Prepare My Home For the Installation of a Fireplace or Wood Stove?

Adequate preparation is an important step

Since each home and wood stove or fireplace is different, there can be a variety of different steps required in order to properly prepare your home for the installation of your new hearth and heating unit. If you are installing a woodstove, you will need to have proper heat barriers both beneath and behind the stove so as to comply with both local construction specs and manufacturer requirements, as well as to protect your home against potential fires. If you are a relatively handy homeowner, then you may be able to build code-compliant stone or brick walls and floor pads prior to installation, to minimize the labor on the part of the installer.

When preparing for the installation itself, you can remove rugs, wall-mounted pictures or other decorations, and furniture from the room where the installation will happen. Furniture which you leave in the room can be covered with plastic bags or sheets to protect against dust or debris which may be stirred up during construction of your new hearth or installation of your stove.

If you have hardwood floors or otherwise easily damaged surfaces, you will need to ensure that your installer has a wheeled cart or some other effective method for moving heavy pieces of stone or equipment into your home safely and without damaging flooring or other fixtures on the way.

Another important part of preparing your home for the installation of new heating equipment is ensuring that you have given thought to such issues as storing fuel (in the case of wood) and keeping furniture and debris clear of the area where the stove or fireplace will be located. If you are displacing a coffee table or chair in order to install the stove, you will need to re-evaluate the arrangement of your living or dining room to ensure that things aren't absentmindedly put back as they were once the installation is complete. Generally, you should keep any potentially flammable materials at least three feet away from the woodstove or fireplace. Check your manufacturer's recommendations and local construction specifications for minimum clearance to combustible materials so that you can rearrange the room and furniture if necessary. Fireplace safety is a big part of adequate preparation.

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