pining away

01:26PM | 01/13/03
Member Since: 01/12/03
1 lifetime posts
I just bought a house with pine interior and cathedral ceilings and it just cries for a stone fireplace! What I would like is to use a wood insert for efficiency but have the rustic look of stone and a slab of pine for a mantal. Can someone point me in the right direction as to how do I go about getting this done or where do I start?


12:50AM | 01/16/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
If you're really set on having a fireplace rather than an easier installation like a wood burning stove, then get ready for some work.

While the fireplace itself may appear to be inside the house, most of the structure, if built on an exterior wall, is outside the house. You'll need a foundation (per your local code) poured up against the house foundation to carry the weight. The fireplace slab will be poured on top of that, and the structure of the chimney on top of that, no matter what you choose to build it out of. The only "hole" that will be cut into the exterior wall will that which exposes the surface area of the chimney you want to see and cover with your stone. In the area of the hearth, the floor framing will have to changed to both accept the hearth structure, and provide support for it. That means ripping up some flooring and providing temporary support for the remaining floor while this is done. If you've never built a fireplace and chimney, the get a pro to do the job, or work with you.

If you're looking at having the fireplace actually inside the house and not on an exterior wall, the system will be much the same. You'll need a foundation, and that may mean removing part of your basement slab (if you have one) to install it. As with the scenario above, you'll need to change the floor framing and provide temporary support while you do this. But in this case, you'll have to do that with each floor, and the roof. It might be best not to locate the structure where the chimney will penetrate the roof at the ridge board, but off to its side some distance. This will be a project for someone who has done this before, even if they're only helping you.

Chinmey height regulations vary from state to state, so check with your local authority to determine what the height will need to be, and what location for this structure they'll accept.

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