The national average cost to install a fireplace or wood stove is $2,374, and many homeowners have reported costs from $1,981 to $2,767.
A fireplace or wood stove can add beauty, ambiance and warmth to your home or outdoor area. Before choosing which to install, there are a few things to consider in terms of cost and heating efficiency. Here are some factors that might influence which type you decide to install and what you are willing to pay for fireplace or wood stove installation.
Is your fireplace brick? Stone? Concrete? What type of fireplace you choose to install is the single largest factor in determining price. If you choose to build a new fireplace and want it to be stone or brick, that will require the work of a mason to do the stone and bricklaying in addition to the contractor doing the fireplace install. You may not want a wood-burning fireplace but a gas or electric fireplace insert placed inside a more classic-looking facade.
If you want a wood stove you have many of the same decisions in terms of wood-burning, pellet or gas as you would for a fireplace. While a wood-burning stove would not require the same masonry work as a stone or brick fireplace, it does require a fire-resistant base of some type to rest on, whether it is brick, tile, stone or cement. Which material you choose and how elaborately you want to embellish or style it will add to the cost of installation.
Outdoor versus Indoor Fireplaces
Outdoor fireplaces are much like indoor fireplaces except on a patio or in the yard. They will still need a chimney or piping if they are powered by natural gas. Homeowners will need to measure the square footage area to determine the fireplace size, whether it is near a dining area or an independent space away from the patio for cool nights. There are different fuel types to choose from, including wood, gas, propane or electricity. For any of these, you will need to consider the added pieces for installation. With wood, you will need a chimney, whereas with other types of fuel you might need to dig up the lawn a little. Gas can hook into a town line, and propane can be independently fueled with a tank. The hardest one is potentially the electrical fireplace, depending on where the fireplace is installed outside.
However, outdoor fireplaces are a great amenity gaining popularity. They cost less–a fraction of the $200 per square foot required for indoor fireplaces–according to fireplace contractors. Also these fireplaces allow homeowners to enjoy their backyards longer into the fall season by keeping them warm as opposed to huddling inside and looking at the yard through a window.
Another option for homeowners is an indoor/outdoor fireplace, which provides heat on the inside and outside of the home. Homeowners can either have one installed into the wall of their home–which involves going through drywall–or they can have a portable one. They are easy to mount to the wall, movable, affordable and using clean fuel for energy efficiency. While they aren't as ambient as a real fireplace and do not last as long as a bigger fireplace, it is a good option for homeowners who might not want to build a whole outdoor fireplace.
Wood Stove Types
Homeowners have two different types of wood stoves to choose from: standalone and inserts.
Standalone wood stoves can vent through a chimney made for wood-burning fireplaces, if they can match the height and position of the previous fireplace. It might be best to have a fireplace installer come out to help with the square footage measurements and safety regulations before picking out a wood stove. Standalone stoves must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and their BTU rating will tell you how much heat they create, in case you need one for a particularly cold room.
Standalone stoves will either have catalytic or non-catalytic combustors, which help to circulate the smoke and burn it again to increase energy efficiency and decrease how much debris is left behind. However this combustor does need to be replaced every two to three years, which might be an added cost that homeowners dont want to have.
Wood stoves will either be made of cast iron, steel or stone. They are similar to pellet stoves, except for the fact that pellet stoves burn fuel thats renewable whereas wood burning stoves use wood or wood pellets.
Wood Stove Inserts
When installing a wood stove insert in a fireplace, it must be smaller and the flue must be bigger. Having a bigger flue means the vent can more easily push out the debris from smoke and avoid chimney fires. This is also known as creosote, which is brown or black debris left behind from chimney smoke.
Installing a wood stove or hearth stove, as it is also called, into the fireplace is best done with a stainless steel liner from the stove to the chimney. It is efficient and makes it easier for homeowners to sweep away debris from wood and inspect for any problems. Wood stove inserts come in a wide variety of types–same as their standalone counterparts–and should match the fireplace itself for the best results.
With every fireplace or wood stove installation you need to choose whether your unit will be vented or unvented. Adding vents and ductwork can add a great deal to your fireplace or wood stove installation, but not every home or every unit needs venting. There are also a number of different types of vents ranging from direct venting where the fireplace vents directly through the wall, to the need for more elaborate ductwork to be installed. Talk to your installation professional about which venting solution works the best in your home.
Even though you could spend a lot of money on top of line fireplace or wood stove, it is good to keep in mind that, especially for the more modern stoves on the market, the higher cost usually represents more power required to heat your home. Luckily recent innovations in heating technology have allowed for new wood stoves and fireplaces that dont require as much fuel for a lot of heat, which could cut down on how much you spend on heating every month.
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