By Andrea Wichterle. Fireplace. Published at Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 - 01:48:51 AM.
When people think of fireplaces, they commonly think of a mahogany structure with a hearth and a mantel. While very beautiful, that’s not the only kind of fireplace there is. There certainly are plenty of materials to make a fireplace and each lends itself to a certain style or design. Of course, rock structures are a common type of fireplace. I grew up with one in the basement. It was a great place for the family to gather through the winter months, especially just before Christmas. There are plenty of Christmas pictures of me opening gifts with that beautiful fireplace in the background. To this day, when I see a similar fireplace it takes me back to those wonderful moments.
I have been in this situation many times and the answer is often gas logs. I have had clients with damage to their chimney flue inside a wall and believe they can put a gas log fireplace kit into their wood-burning fireplace instead of repairing the damaged flue. This is a mistake, and a dangerous mistake. Gas logs use liquid propane or natural gas instead of wood for fuel. When gas burns, oxygen is burned and carbon monoxide is created. If there is damage to the flue, a typical gas log fireplace is not the answer because the fresh air ventilation is still necessary to pull out carbon monoxide. The answer is ventless gas logs. Vent free gas logs do not have to be vented. When a client wants to design a custom outdoor fireplace but they do not want to build a chimney and cut through their patio roof, a vented gas log kit is the perfect solution because no ventilation is necessary.
Wood burning fireplaces can become complex even when we are building outside. The atmosphere created around a wood burning fireplace is comforting, calming. The crackling and popping of the wood and the smell that permeates the entire yard adds enjoyment to the functional heater. However, building a custom fireplace can become expensive and complicated. In addition to the firebox and the mantle that we devise as the custom plan, a flue and chimney must be built up through the roof and terminated above the roof line. For many homeowners we have worked with, the expense of cutting through a roof, plus the associated laws and inspections attached to resealing a roof and the expense of building a chimney places the project outside an acceptable budget.
Stone materials vary enormously in colour and composition; whether you opt for limestone, granite, marble, cast stone, slate or even a thin stone veneer each have their own unique look and feel. Of all the stone materials, marble is probably the most expensive and difficult to maintain but if you are after a sumptuous elegant look in your living room, it can be the perfect choice. On the other hand if you don’t want to spend huge amounts of money there is always the cheaper alternative of man-made marble. Limestone can be very captivating if you select a neutral colour that will complement almost any interior design while granite, though not so soft, is also a good choice because it needs very little maintenance.
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