How Do I Select A Fireplace?

Flip a coin, draw straws, or consult our guide

The selection process for a fireplace is different from person to person and family to family in much the same way that other purchases vary between individuals. Some prefer to gather all of the facts and carefully decide on the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options available to them, carefully narrowing down the choices so that they can be completely certain that they are getting maximum value for money and ensuring a purchase that will still be satisfactory years down the road. Other people approach the process of buying a fireplace or woodstove more like a vacation or family outing. They do this by going to various hearth stores and showrooms, looking at a variety of available fireplaces, and eventually making a decision largely on impulse as to which model fits their home best. If you are neither of these types but somewhere in between, we will be most able to help you.

Before anything else, you will want to learn about the differences between traditional masonry fireplaces and a masonry heater, as well as gas fireplaces and fireplace inserts. You'll need to learn about fireplaces that burn denatured ethanol, and stoves or fireplace inserts that burn corn or wood pellets. Once you have checked out all of your choices and investigated the availability of the different fuels in your area, it is a matter of design and décor. You can look through our product guide to get a feel for the products offered by a number of manufacturers, and based on that information, you will have a better idea of what brand just "feels" the most right for your style as well as your budget.

Local building codes or construction specs may be an issue as well – some areas do not even permit certain types of fireplaces or woodstoves, so understanding the local rules is a very important step in this process.

In the end though, choosing a fireplace will come down to a compromise between looks and efficiency, between up-front cost and ongoing cost for fuel, and between convenience and ease-of-use with independence and environmental friendliness. Once you have examined all of your choices and read the information available on our website, you can contact your fireplace or woodstove vendor, equipped with the knowledge to ask the right questions and get the important answers so that you can be sure you'll buy the fireplace or woodstove that truly is right for your home and family.

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