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Want to Add a Chimney to Your Home? Here is What You Need to Do First

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Fireplaces are one of the hottest and most in-demand home features. A study by the National Association of Realtors found that 46% of buyers are willing to pay more for a fireplace; homes with fireplaces sell for an average of $1,200 more than similar homes without.

If your home doesn’t currently have a fireplace, with careful planning it is possible to have one added. New chimney systems are divided into three main categories: masonry, manufactured or zero clearance, and gas. While each chimney system has pros and cons, the kind of fireplace you choose will depend on many factors including budget, interior design, heating needs, architectural style, and more.

Masonry chimneys

Masonry chimneys are the most traditional – but also the most expensive option – for wood burning fireplaces. Custom built by a skilled mason, masonry chimneys have brick or stone fireplaces, chimneys, and are often finished indoors with a wood mantle. While masonry chimneys are usually built during a home’s initial construction, they can be added to existing homes as well.

To be added to an existing home, masonry chimneys need to be placed on an exterior wall. Likewise, they need to be put in an area with reinforced floor joists; the floor and framing need to be safe to support the weight of a full brick or stone chimney. Other considerations such as the size of the firebox, the height of the chimney, and the clearance between the fireplace and surrounding building materials must also be considered.

Manufactured chimneys

Manufactured chimneys, also known as zero clearance chimneys, are easier and less expensive to install in existing homes. Built in a factory to exact specifications, there is less flexibility about the size and type of chimney you choose. However, manufactured chimneys are lightweight and often zero clearance, meaning they can be installed within just a few inches of existing floors and walls.

Manufactured chimneys can be purchased for wood, gas, and electric fireplaces, giving homeowners more choices for fuel source with their new chimneys. Because the chimney itself is a metal flue pipe, manufactured chimneys may be able to be installed on interior walls in your home. However, direct vent models, or those that require additional venting to the outside, must be on an exterior facing wall.

Gas chimneys

Gas fireplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are easy to start, inexpensive to run, and have no need to cut and store firewood. Some homeowners are even opting to convert their wood fireplaces to energy efficient gas.

Different gas units require different venting systems; most gas fireplaces are zero clearance and can be installed anywhere adjacent to a gas or propane line. Unvented gas fireplaces are a popular choice for homeowners who do not want to undergo a major construction project; while they produce little to no off-gassing, they should be operated near a cracked window to maximize safety.

Adding a fireplace to your home is a great way to increase its value – as well as get enjoyment from the added ambiance and heat. For more information on adding a new chimney to your home, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today.