Remodel Fireplaces

Written by Robert Mac
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If you remodel fireplaces for a living--or just want to do your own--the first big question to ask is "What is the condition of this chimney?" A chimney or flue system that is not up to code is a potential hazard: a crack could divert dangerous gas fumes or burning embers into dry rafters. Inspectors have to check venting systems because anything not up to regulation is not just illegal, it's dangerous, too.

Remodel Fireplaces with Safety in Mind

If a chimney requires a lot of repair work, rather than rebuild it, you can insert a chimney core. This will guarantee that the smoke doesn't make it through any cracks between brick and mortar. If you want to remodel fireplaces even more safely--and less expensively--you can bypass the chimney altogether and get an electric fireplace. Not only are they more safe, but they are cleaner and easier to use.

Upgrading to a newer system is a wise choice when you remodel. Fireplaces require a lot of maintenance--from removing soot and shoveling ash--and periodic inspections. But an electric fireplace makes those chores obsolete. Because they don't ignite, you don't have to worry about smoke, flames, ashes, and replenishing firewood (or gas, if you have a gas-burning fireplace).

Instead, an electric model burns easy-to-regulate electricity; you can even control how much heat and light they give off. Moving up to one of these will make your remodeling project much easier--and you won't have to hire a chimney sweep. All you need is a safe dry place to put it (use the old fireplace after you make sure the chimney is properly capped) and a standard outlet--you can remodel your fireplace in about 15 minutes.

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