Published at Sunday, December 09th, 2018 - 10:46:53 AM. Fireplace. By Fanny Ungar.
This said however, in any wood burning fireplace it is vital to use the right kind of wood that is cut to a convenient size. Hardwoods such as oak or fruitwood are the best option as they give off the most heat. Softwoods such as birch give off a good heat but tend to be consumed pretty quickly, while pine contains a lot of spark forming resin that can spit all over your floor or rug. Ideally, logs should measure between 9 and 14 inches long although it doesn’t hurt to use a couple of larger logs on your fire to give it a bit of character. Only ever use seasoned wood in your fireplace. If you try to burn green wood the heat produced by combustion must dry the wood before it will burn and you risk a buildup of creosote in your chimney which creates an imminent fire hazard. In addition by using well seasoned wood you will you get a much hotter fire; thus creating more heat for your home. It is worth bearing in mind that all wood for burning should be seasoned for a minimum of six months and stored under cover, so it is best to buy and stack firewood well in advance of the coldest months.
Alternatively you can use veneer stones which are in fact real stones but thinner and therefore easy to work with. They give your fireplace the look of real stone but will save you money since they are much cheaper. One important point to consider when installing a heavy stone fireplace; do make sure that you have a strong ground floor which can support the weight of the structure. If you have any doubts, have a professional surveyor check it out before you start building. You may just need to reinforce the floor to support the weight of your new fireplace. More and more frequently I have clients who want me to custom build outdoor fireplaces in their backyards. Especially in this economy as homeowners maximize their property investment by taking "staycations" the backyard is becoming an oasis of outdoor enjoyment. Fireplaces have traditionally been thought of as wood burning but more and more homeowners are using gas logs as a beautiful and simple alternative to the wood burning fireplace.
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