A prefab -- or prefabricated -- fireplace is a firebox manufactured without a chimney. It can be set into a wooden frame instead of built into a masonry fireplace.These fireplaces also are called zero-clearance fireplaces because they fit tightly into the installation space. These units can wear out over time and need to be replaced. If you're happy with the one you have and want the same or similar model installed, some detective work can lead you to the manufacturer.
Inspect the unit for a manufacturer's stamp or nameplate. Look over the exterior of the unit -- and the interior using a flashlight -- to find the manufacturer's name.
Phone the home builder and/or real estate agent. Contact the home's builder if the house recently was built or the builder is still in business. Alternatively, contact the real estate agent who sold you the home. Ask if they know the name of the prefabricated fireplace's manufacturer.
Have a chimney sweep look at the unit. A chimney sweep to will be able to do a more thorough examination of the fireplace than you can and might unearth the manufacturer's name. A sweep also might recognize the brand of fireplace.
Contact the home's previous owners. If the fireplace was in the house when you bought it, contact the previous owners to see if they remember the fireplace manufacturer. If the fireplace was installed while they resided in the house, they might remember where it came from.
Tips & Warnings
- Look at the original listing details contained in the home's listing description. In some instances, appliances and fixtures are identified by manufacturer to make the home more appealing.
- Home Institute: Prefabricated Fireplaces
- "Ultimate Guide to Home Repair & Improvement"; Creative Homeowner Pres; 2006
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