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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Wood-Burning Fireplace

Wood-Burning Fireplace Cost


How Much Does a Wood-Burning Fireplace Cost?

 
 average costAdding to New Construction or Existing Home: $1,500-$30,000+ 
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Traditional wood-burning fireplaces can offer a relaxed and romantic atmosphere, but generally provide little heat, with efficiency rates of about 15%-25%. In some areas of the country only clean-burning and--Environmental Protection Agency-certified units are allowed in new construction.

Typical costs:

  • Traditional fireplaces built during new construction cost $1,500-$30,000 or more, depending on size, local labor rates, chimney height and selected building materials from a prefabricated lightweight metal firebox, to a brick, stone or granite unit. Masonry fireplaces are labor intensive, built brick by brick or stone by stone from the ground up. Because the weight of a fireplace and chimney could exceed 3,000 pounds, a foundation must be designed to hold the weight. To improve efficiency, circulating fireplaces have heat ducts built into the masonry which pull cool air from the room and return warm. Chimney[1] systems must run vertically and clear the roofline by about 3', however, this varies with local building regulations[2] . Additional building permit costs may be included.
  • Adding a traditional fireplace to existing construction also costs about $1,500-$30,000 or more, depending on the material, local labor rates and building materials. Because the home may not have a foundation that can support the new fireplace, additional work may need to be completed by a licensed contractor. Faux stone and other lightweight building materials[3] mimic the look of real stone at a fraction of the weight, which can save money on both the product and shipping.
What should be included:
  • The complete firebox, hearth and chimney system are typically included.
Additional costs:
  • Firewood costs about $250-$600 per cord, depending on type of wood and area of country where purchased. A cord measures about 4' high, 4' wide and 8' long. Ensure firewood is clean, seasoned[4] and dry before burning to reduce emissions and create a better heat source. Seasoned wood has been split and dried for more than six months prior to use. Wood should be stacked off the ground with a cover only over the top.
  • Simple fireplace grates that hold the wood a few inches above the bottom of the fire box cost about $25-$75. Custom decorative grates cost into the thousands. Fireplace tools cost about $15-$95 for a shovel, broom and stoker. Metal ash vacuums cost $120-$240. Screens[5] cost $190-$250 and can be both decorative and useful as they keep burning wood and pieces of ash away from flammables.
  • Burning wood in an open fireplace may actually remove more heat from the room than it adds. Well-sealed glass or metal fireplace doors start around $200-$1,500 and may increase efficiency[6] . DIYers may want to install new doors[7] . Also, remember to close the damper when not in use to keep warm air from escaping.
  • Annual fireplace and chimney cleaning costs about $79-$200.
  • Mantels are optional and cost about $100-$3,000, depending on materials and whether they are full surround mantels or simple shelves. Materials include marble, wood, cast iron, limestone, cultured stone, plaster or resin. DIYers can save money by tackling hearth and mantel projects[8] .
  • A carbon monoxide detector, required in many areas, costs $20-$50.
Shopping for a wood-burning fireplace:
  • Prior to shopping for a fireplace, measure the area, determine use--decorative or supplemental heat source--and proximity to a doorway to bring in wood and take out ash.
  • To find a licensed contractor for the job, check licensing boards by state[9] . Contact the local state contractors' license board on how to select a contractor[10] .
  • Before burning, check with the local air quality board[11] to see if the weather permits a burn day. Many boards offer an opportunity to sign up for air quality forecasts by email.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.csia.org
  2.  www.statelocalgov.net/
  3.  www.mason-lite.com/products/wood-burning-fireplaces/
  4.  www.www.csia.orgHomeownerResources/ChimneySafetyInfo/HowToSelectFirewood/tabid/115/Defa...
  5.  www.fireplacestation.com/IVG2/Y/CatID-2003-Fireplace-Screens-Folding-Fire-Powder-Coated...
  6.  www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/heating_cooling/fireplaces.html
  7.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,1154375,00.html
  8.  www.diynetwork.com/topics/fireplaces/index.html
  9.  www.contractors-license.org/
  10.  www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/HireAContractor/
  11.  www.epa.gov/air/where.html
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