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Building a fireplace by yourself

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There is nothing better than sitting in front of a crackling fire with a glass of wine, listening to the wind and rain outside. Having a fireplace in your house provides you a unique opportunity to enjoy this type of cosy winter atmosphere. It can also increase the appeal of your house when it is time to move. Although installing a fireplace in a home is complicated and expensive, isn’t it? Installing a fireplace in your home does not have to be overly complicated and expensive. It is possible to do it yourself. The DIY fireplace is becoming popular recently amongst the DIY enthusiasts.  There are many materials that you can use to create your DIY fireplace; bricks, stone, cement or marble. There are also many types of fires you can install; wood burning, gas, electric or bioethanol. It is a good idea to research these before making the final decision as to the best fireplace for your home. Homify has looked into the best DIY fireplaces and has the best tips for you.

​Designing the fireplace

 Living room by Boley
Boley

Schouw

Boley

The first step in creating your own DIY fireplace is to create the design. Get a piece of paper and pen and sketch out the design you want for your fireplace. Consider what materials you want, the size you want it to be and the colours you like. This may at first seem daunting. Find pictures of fireplaces you like in magazines and brochures from stores selling fireplaces. There are so many types of fireplace designs to choose, from the traditional brick and tiles to the modern steel fireplaces. When choosing a fireplace in your house consider the style of the room and the rest of the house. This fireplace is a fantastic example of how you can apply your particular style and taste to a beautiful DIY fireplace.

​Choosing the Right Material

Choosing the right material for your fireplace design is critical, in fact the style of fireplace that you choose can often dictate the materials that you will use. If you want to have a fireplace that is more traditional and established looking consider using materials such as brick, tiles or wood. These are the materials that have been used to build fireplaces for hundreds of years. If you are wanting to create a more modern look use one of the more modern fireplace materials such as steel, this can be painted to create a variety of different looks. Concrete is another material that is gaining popularity in the construction of fireplaces. Concrete can be finished to a very high standard and is economical to use. This creative stone fireplace is a wonderful way to express your personal style.

​Which Type of Fire

 Living room by muenkel design

There are many different types of fires you can build your fireplace around. Many of these will require a chimney or a vent, although many do not require a functional chimney or even a vent. If you are wanting a very easy fireplace consider an electric fireplace. This will be an instant install as it will not require any adaption to the house besides an electrical outlet. A gas fire will require a vent. This is much easier to install than a chimney as it is a simple hole from which gasses can escape. A fireplace requiring a chimney will be the most difficult to build. Before building a chimney for your DIY fireplace be sure to research whether your city council has regulations covering the construction of chimneys.

​Installing the Chimney

If you have decided that a chimney is required for your dream fireplace, and that your design and plans have met the council regulations, it will now be time to install your chimney. Start this process by deciding on what materials to use for your chimney. Traditionally a chimney is made from brick and masonry, although modern chimneys can be made of metal. The metal chimneys are usually prefabricated, so may present a better choice for the DIY fireplace. The next step is to measure how large you need to construct the chimney. To do this measure the distance from the fire to where the smoke will exit the house.  Use these measurements to order the prefabricated chimney. You will also need these measurements to order the bricks for a brick chimney. This fireplace is by Chiemsee Ofen. 

​Installation of the Elements

 Living room by KAMINBAU | KRAUSE
KAMINBAU | KRAUSE

KAMINBAU KRAUSE KAMIN MODERN

KAMINBAU | KRAUSE

When constructing your chimney there are a few elements you will need to have. These elements will depend on the type of chimney you want to install. For a metal chimney you will need flashing, a prefabricated chimney box, chimney cap, prefabricated chimney sections and chimney roof braces. Be sure that for sections of the chimney that will pass through a wall or ceiling use a section of chimney that is rated as 'wall pass through'.  For a brick chimney you will require; brick and masonry, mortar, support pieces, flashing, a cap, and special masonry tools. This chimney will be constructed from the centre of the house, at the actual fireplace and up through the roof space.

​The outside of the Chimney

The flue is one of the most important parts of a chimney. It connects the top of the chimney inside the house, through the roof onto the top most part on the roof. It can be made of brick or metal piping. It is while building the flue that is the best time for the chimney liners to be installed. Chimney liners are important as they provide a way of stopping the thick, tarry smoke from adhering to the walls of your chimney. In a metal chimney the metal liners can be simply dropped in place. For concrete liners, these are cast in concrete by pouring the concrete through a flexible hose. Be sure to seal the chimney on the roof, using metal flashing around the chimney in two places.

Having a fireplace in your home is a wonderful way of creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.  A fireplace can also increase the appeal of your home when the times comes to put it on the market. If your home does not have a fireplace, consider installing one. It is not as costly or as complicated as you would think. First create your ideal designed fireplace, then sketch up a design. Consider what materials you want to build it from, and what sort of fire you are wanting to install. This will be the greatest influence on what sort of vent or chimney you will require. Creating your own DIY fireplace may require a bit of work, but it is a very rewarding experience, and you will have the satisfaction of building a fireplace that is uniquely your own. For more fireplace inspiration see; Which Fireplace is best for your home?

What is the best fireplace, traditional or modern?
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