Basics of Fireplace Construction

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A fireplace is a cozy addition to any home. It is an attractive centerpiece to a main lounge and can add value to the home as well. Building a fireplace in the home is a large do-it-yourself project and knowing the basics of fireplace construction can save you time and money.

Preparation

  • FInd an ideal location in the house for your fireplace. If you are using generic blueprints for the construction of your fireplace make sure that it will fit into the location you have chosen. Mark the location of the fireplace onto the wall. You will have three main components: the hearth, the firebox and the mantle. The hearth protects the ground from the heat of the fire, the firebox surrounds the fire and the mantle is a decorative piece that is built around the fireplace.

Size of the fireplace

  • When making the initial measurements it is essential that the depth of the fireplace, from front to back, is two-thirds the height of the fireplace. Therefore, a fireplace that is 60-inches high must be 40-inches deep. This is to ensure that the smoke from the fire can be drawn up into the flue, the pipe that takes smoke out of the house. Make sure the the area where the hearth will be placed is level. Constantly check that the hearth is level during the construction.

Mantle

  • Choose a mantle design that complements your house design. There are many pre-made hearths you can buy and you are free to make up your own design. There are several styles, including rectangular openings, arched openings, corner places--when a fireplace is constructed in a corner area and can be accessed from two sides--and a u-shaped opening, where the fireplace is exposed on three sides. Choose the correct mantle for your design.

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