|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on January 14, 2011 at 4:45 PM|
I personally live in an older one level home; some 10 years ago, I remodeled it...opened it up, took out a couple of walls, enlarged the kitchen, removed the carpet, got new windows, refinished wood floors, the whole thing....since my father had been a builder and a superb finish carpenter, I had some advantage when I talked with the builders.
HOWEVER, I am NO EXPERT on construction or remodeling; the purpose of my blogs is to express my opinions and to encourage thought on the part of the reader. Talk to builders and manufacturers. Do your own research...but here are some things I have learned.
My father never built a fireplace. He told me they were big holes in the wall that let the inside warm air go out of the house, they were inefficient and messy and Mother wouldn't stand for it. All that is true, but my old house has a masonry fireplace.. It draws well and was evidently built by someone who knew the ratios required to make a safe, efficient fireplace and to "mount" it properly on a heavy footer, as it's brick.
I used to scoff at the factory built fireplaces: They seemed flimsy to me, but research shows a different story.
They are sometimes referred to as "zero clearance", but they actually are closer to 3/4" to 1". They can be put in a variety of place, easily, insulated behind (which was one of Dad's main complaints about Masonry construction. For a 2' x 4" construction, some 3 1/2" of fiberglass batting would be used for insulation--R value of 11 -13...it would take 10 FEET of masonry to be comparable!)
There are many types of factory built fireplaces, well engineered for corners, double sides, middle of rooms, etc. They are cheaper and better insulated and much more efficient.
They come in wood burning (having a vent like masonry fireplaces), gas burning, like the highly effecient ones vented horizonally thro9ugh a wall...they have a second core that draws air from the outside instead of using the inside air, like a Masonry fireplace, which can actually pull more warm air OUT of the house than it puts INTO the house.
There are ventless units, but please read the manufacturers directions and follow them carefully.
There are electric fireplaces and inserts that will fit inside conventional fireplaces; they have fans and put warm air into the room.
If you have questions, talk to your builder or the knowledgable folks at Lowe's. Remember: I sell houses, that's my area of expertise, NOT fireplaces, but these are my thoughts and the result of my research.
Laurel Grandle sells homes throughout the East TN Area, including Knoxville, Karns, Farragut, Halls, Powell, Loudon County, Knox County. She specializes in Lake homes, Luxury homes, Historic homes and is an expert at matching buyers with the right house, regardless of the area or price range, she has over 25 years of experience and has helped thousands of clients with their real estate needs.
Here is what some of her clients have said about her recently, “Laurel has an unlimited amount of patience. My family has very specific needs and she understood them and worked with us until we found the perfect home at the right price. I don’t think anyone else would have done that for us and we’ll always be thankful we found her and worked with her. She’s wonderful!” Margo
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“Before we wrote an offer, Laurel did a detailed market analysis for us and discussed it with us so we understood what a fair price would be. She went over the entire contract in detail and clarified everything for us. We purchased with confidence and we’d never use anyone else IF we ever decide to sell!” Anne
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