Need Advice On Building A Fireplace?? - Construction - Contractor Talk

Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

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Old 12-10-2004, 01:47 PM   #1
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Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

Hey Guys,
Wife and I have decided we want to put a fireplace in our den. We have an exterior wall that has about 16' between the windows, And this is where she wants it.
Floor system is 2x12 Silent I-Beam with 2- 5/8" tounge and grove plywood that we screwed and glued. Ext. wall is 2x4 1/2" OSB wrapped in tyvek with vinyl siding.
We want to build a stacked stone fire place (Int and Ext.)that is 10'-12' wide with an opening of 4'to 5' in width. I want to be able to burn long pieces of wood.
Would also like to have Natural gas plumbed in for a back up.
We have never had a fireplace in any of our homes, so this is a first and what to cover all basis. Pros/Cons. Do's and dont's If I had to do it again I would??? Ways/tricks/tips to make wood burn longger. Drafting. What have your experiances been?? Any help, As always is greatful.
Thanks, Chuck

2003 BLACK F-350 XLT Sport,Crew Cab,FX4,ESOF-4X4 LB,Daullie 6.0 w/ 5 spd auto, moonroof, 4:10 limited slip, Back up sensors Daul Alternators,AIC. Line-X,B&W Turnover ball,Wishing for Brakesmart controllers to come off back order.
But using the prodigy for now.

2003 BLACK Excursion Limited 7.3 w/DVD entertainment center, rear captians chairs, 3.73 limited slip.

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Old 12-10-2004, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

Hey chuck. I'd be sure to poor a monilithic footing with at least 3500psi concrete and crisscross rebar throughout. I'd build it at least 24" wider than the fire chase itself. Leaving a foot out on all sides and pooring at least 32" deep with the bottom, under your footing, well below your frost line. Have someone take a core soil sample, thats a big heavy fireplace, the last thing you want is it pulling off the house. Then jigsaw puzzel your way up attaching to the house with wire wraped around block steel mesh in your grout.

I did this in 82 and it came out looking pretty tuff. We used black dye in the grout with bluestone boulders breaking the boulders up with a sledge then placing the peaces togeather. (it took a long time but it looked pretty dam cool).

As to finding the steel damper and parts, you might have to have them fabricated.

Thats a hell of a fire place project your planning.



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Old 12-10-2004, 04:16 PM   #3
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Re: Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

First off you have way too many vehicles, I don't even know how you have time to do anything, just from the amount of oil changing you must do.

I thought there was hope from you when I saw the Cannondale Cannibal, I thought that was a mountain bike, but its got 2 extra wheels and goes way faster, at least up hill that is. But at least you got the colors right! :Thumbs:

In regard to the fireplace, after 20 years of wood burning fire places I am over them. I have plans of converting my fireplace over to gas in the near future. I am now past the stage of thinking the smoke covered walls, the bugs from the wood, the mess from the ashes, and the mess from the wood, let alone the labor of moving, stacking and so on is worth the romantic image of the real fireplace. I now want the switch on the wall to turn it on and off. I'm so bad I even put in a gas fire pit on my deck this year.

My only contribution to you is have you considered cultured stone instead of real stone? You just build the box and mortar the stuff on, less weight and cost I would imagine.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 12-10-2004 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-10-2004, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

3 things I've seen that I consider "must have":
1. trap doors in bottom of fire box for ash storage/disposal from below (requires a basement)
2. fresh air vents in lower rear corners of fire box for supply of outside combustion air
3. natural gas 'log starter'.

What a great project. Good luck
Fortunately I keep my feathers numbered for...for just such an emergency. -Foghorn Leghorn
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Old 12-10-2004, 04:24 PM   #5
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Re: Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

Good advice Pipe.

Another thing I've thought about is to install copper around the fire box to assist the hot water heater. I'm sure someone makes a temp valve so it's automatic.

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Old 12-30-2004, 07:32 AM   #6
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Re: Need Advice On Building A Fireplace??

You don't need a basement to have a clean out for your fire place. When building your concrete base, near the top where the firebox will be, put a box form in place that will allow you to put both a cleanout on the floor of the firebox and also a door to the out side. You will remove this box as the concrete sets up. Usuaally a 2 x 2 then channeled out to deminisions of flap for floor and square for outdoor cleanout will do.

As for venting, a simple pipe through the masonary wall will do 1 1/2" should do fine.


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