Browsing articles in "Lake Norman Remodeling"
Sep 18, 2019
lkncabadmin
Comments Off on Planning your Kitchen Remodel

Planning your Kitchen Remodel

INTRODUCTION

Many of my clients have, unfortunately, initiated the design of their kitchen without an understanding of the extent of what is actually involved in the process, in terms of design, budget, timeline and other issues. In these cases, our design process together, was frustrating for the client and for me. As a result, this article will clarify the process so that you will have the opportunity to become better informed before you begin your kitchen project, thereby avoiding uninformed decisions or possibly spending time and/or money needlessly.

This article is not about the specific design features of your kitchen and how to design it. There are many good resources available for that. Instead, it is about the process of designing your kitchen. It is meant to help in getting a head start and to expose anyone who is, or might be, embarking upon the design of a new or remodeled kitchen, to the first and most important step – Planning.

Designing a kitchen for a new or existing home is a big investment in time, money and energy and it is sometimes stressful and challenging. Unfortunately, some vendors and TV programs don’t like to dwell on this aspect and therefore mislead the consumer regarding the actual amount of time and effort that is required. Even though creating a new kitchen is challenging, most clients say that the results are more than worth the effort. I hope that the information provided herein will be a helpful contribution toward having you well on your way to a successful project.

Before you begin the process of designing your new kitchen, you will need to set the criteria for the design. I recommend that you engage a professional kitchen designer that not only designs the cabinet layout, but designs every element of the kitchen and is involved throughout the entire project, so that the final result will be a cohesive design that reflects optimum function and style. The designer will not only help you create a beautiful, efficient, kitchen but will save you significant time and money and you will both have fun developing your joint creation. I trust that what follows will get your energy flowing and thoughts racing, in preparation for actually embarking upon your journey. And, it “is” a journey!

THE KITCHEN OF TODAY

The kitchen has traditionally been the most important room in the house because cooking and sharing food has long been central to family life. Meals will always be important, but cooking has, in some cases, significantly changed. The grocery industry has focused on replacements for home meals and hundreds of restaurants have incorporated “to-go” in their business model. Whether we cook frequently or not, kitchens remain the foundation of family life because it is where we live and gather. It is where most of us start and end our days and share the information of our day.

Today’s kitchens serve more roles than ever before: entertainment center, home office, cooking and dining space. The electronics for an entertainment center may include TV, music and internet connection and the office area may have a desk, files, computer and bookshelves.

THE FIRST STEPS

Determine with your family, who uses your current kitchen and how, and discuss the conveniences you would like to have in the new version. Make a scrapbook of articles and notes on kitchens and kitchen features that interest you and photographs of kitchens you like. Evaluate how and when you cook, where you serve meals to whom and how often you entertain and how you entertain. Inventory your dishes, silverware, serving pieces, cookware, linens, and your typical grocery storage requirements so that you can be sure that the new design accommodates everything.

It seems that no matter how much time you budget for a remodeling project, it usually takes longer than you expected. For a complete remodel, the down time during construction can be at least two or three months and much longer, depending upon the size and extent of the project. Your family needs to eat in the meantime. So, before construction starts make arrangements to store, heat and clean up, enough to keep you going until the kitchen is back on-line. Many of my clients who have had the good fortune to have a bar sink in the family room, have moved in the old refrigerator and microwave near the bar sink and this combination becomes the interim kitchen during construction of the new one. The upside to this is that it provides a great rationale for eating out more often!

THE KITCHEN FOOTPRINT

Let’s start with the space you have available for the kitchen. Whether you are designing for a new home, or remodeling in an existing one, you are limited by how much space you have available in which to create your dream. If the space is fairly small, you will want to consider whether or not you have the option of expanding. You may be able to accomplish this in your existing home and, in a new home, very often you still have time to alter the architectural plan, if needed. In either case, if you can eliminate or relocate a wall or walls or add to the house to create more space for the kitchen, it will improve the function and value of the room significantly.

Of course, if you don’t create an addition to the house, and just remove or relocate a wall(s), you then have infringed upon a contiguous space and decreased its size, so you have to weigh which option is the best for you. Is it worth giving up the other space to increase the size of the kitchen? In my experience, if you can do without the adjoining space, it is much better to devote that extra space to the kitchen.

When you plan to remove or relocate a wall(s), the key factor to determine is, by so doing, will you encounter a load-bearing situation? This occurs when the wall(s) is part of the support system for the structure of the house. Usually a contractor can determine this. If the contractor is uncertain, you will need to have a structural engineer examine the structure to make that determination. If it is non load-bearing, when you are ready to start construction, the contractor can proceed to build out the space per the new plan. If it is a load-bearing issue, your local building authority will require that you retain a structural engineer or an architect to design a structural solution for removing or relocating the wall(s).

He or she will submit design drawings and calculations of the solution, to the building authority for approval and permit. Upon receiving the permit, when you are ready to begin construction, the contractor can then proceed to build-out the structure per the engineer’s or architect’s specifications. This is the process in California, based upon the state building standards, Title 24. The process in the other states is very similar.

In any case, once you have made the decision of whether or not to expand or re-configure, you will know the size and shape (footprint) of the space that you have available from a horizontal standpoint – Plan View.

VERTICAL SPACE

You should also consider what size and shape the room will be from a vertical standpoint as well. If it is possible to increase the height of the room by raising, eliminating or altering an existing low ceiling or soffit, you should seriously consider taking advantage of this option. The additional height will provide more cabinet storage from the increased height of wall cabinets and the room will become more voluminous which is always more visually impressive and comfortable. From a construction standpoint, the load-bearing issues will apply to increasing the room height just as it applies to moving or eliminating walls.

Of course, in dealing with all of these design and construction issues and decisions that need to be made, you will not be alone. Your designer will be the pivotal person who will help you evaluate the choices you have available. He or she will produce drawings in order to visually demonstrate these options and will offer advice on which options are best and why.

I understand that this all sounds very tedious and problematic. In some sense these two words are a good description of the design/construction process. However, what I have outlined above is done thousands of times every day and most of those homeowners have survived and, as a result, now have the new, beautiful, functional, kitchen of their dreams. You notice I said “most”! Seriously, the project will be challenging and there will be some problems. This is just the nature of design and construction and that is why you should not proceed without experienced professional help throughout the process from the very beginning to the end.

UTILIZING YOUR KITCHEN

Are you an expert chef, who does it all: cooking, baking, barbecuing, or are you a minimal cook whose main goal is to just get a meal on the table for the family as expeditiously as possible, or are you somewhere in between? Do you always cook by yourself or do you often have family and friends help with the cooking? Do you often entertain and all flow into the kitchen while munching on your Brie between sips of chardonnay? Do you bake often and want a marble surface for that purpose? The questions can go on and on.

Some clients have large, prestigious, homes and entertain frequently and/or have large families. They may have someone do the cooking for them. Some of these types of projects may need the full treatment, such as a butler’s pantry or walk-in pantry, two islands, two refrigerators, two dishwashers, two microwave ovens, a wine cooler, a separate beverage cooler, a built-in espresso machine, sink, prep-sink and bar sink and glass-door cabinets to display the family heirloom china, etc.

Most clients require something substantially less than all of this, but I bring it up just to emphasize that how you utilize your kitchen has a strong influence on the design and therefore, as I mentioned, you should think about how you want to operate and what you want to accommodate in your kitchen. You can start to think about what type of appliances and features you would like. Think of the three major work areas of a kitchen: Food Prep (refrigerator and sink), Cooking (cook top, oven and microwave) and Cleanup (sink, dishwasher and recycling). You will find a myriad of styles and options available which you and your designer will need to carefully consider. More planning, of course!

HOW & WHERE YOU WILL EAT

You may prefer to be able to eat in the kitchen by having an island with seating. The size of the island that the room will accommodate will determine how many persons you can seat. Seating at an island reduces the storage space available in the island, so the balance of the kitchen storage will need to absorb this loss. You can basically sit at three counter heights: chair height (29-30″), counter height (36″) and bar height (42″).

If you have an adjacent breakfast room, you may want to eat there in the interest of having more storage space in the island. If the room will accommodate it, you may like the idea of a built-in booth in the breakfast room or kitchen, in lieu of a typical table and chairs. Many clients like to have the option of eating in both the breakfast room and at the island in the kitchen. In some cases there is no breakfast room and the dining room serves as both breakfast room and dining room. In any case, you should give these and other possibilities careful consideration.

THE DESIGN STYLE

There are many design motifs available to you: Traditional, Modern, Contemporary, Country, Craftsman, Cape Cod, etc. The design motif that you select will obviously heavily influence the selection of all of the other elements in the kitchen. The cabinet style and finish have the strongest influence on the design style of the kitchen. As I mentioned, you can start by collecting magazine photos of kitchens to get a feel for what you do and don’t like. They will give you great ideas for all things kitchen. Stock, semi-custom or custom cabinets have many different styles and finishes to offer and of course, custom cabinets can provide any design and finish.

REMAINING ISSUES

The planning process will continue until every aspect of the total kitchen design is selected and specified. However, once you have established your footprint and vertical space, how you want to utilize your kitchen, how and where you want to eat, and your design motif, you are more than half way there. The planning process continues, on a smaller scale, as you are making more decisions about all of the items and issues that make up a total kitchen design.

Examples: Do you often make spaghetti and pasta, which requires filling a large pot with about four to six quarts of water? If so, you should have a pot-filler over the cook top or range top. Since there are only two of you and it takes a long time to fill up the dishwasher before you can wash the dishes, you should consider a two drawer dishwasher which enables you to wash one drawer at a time, thereby saving energy and providing you with clean dishes more often. Do you prefer an air switch in the countertop for the disposal or do you want the switch to be on the backsplash? Do you want a garbage disposal in the prep sink as well as the main sink? Do you want soft close on your cabinet drawers? Do you like the idea of pendant lighting above the island? Do you want a filtered water system? The questions go on and on!

The various categories you will be encountering in designing your new kitchen are as follows. This listing of categories will give you an idea of what is to come. I didn’t say it was easy!

APPLIANCES, CABINETS, HARDWARE, FLOORING, PLUMBING, COUNTERTOP, BACKSPLASH, LIGHTING/ELECTRICAL, WALL FINISH, FURNITURE, WINDOW TREATMENTS, ART WORK, ACCESSORIES AND CONSTRUCTION.

CONCLUSION

I trust that by reading this article, you now have an appreciation of how important careful planning is to the successful design of your kitchen. The more thought and quality time you devote to it, the better prepared you will be when you begin with your designer and the process will become easier and more efficient, which everyone involved will greatly appreciate.

Once you have made most of these macro-decisions that I have mentioned, you will be ready to tackle the micro-decisions that are coming next. As you can see by the examples I have mentioned and the listing of categories above, you have a lot more planning to do, but remember you are now over half way there. Be strong and resolute and I am sure that you will get through the entire process virtually unscathed. And, if you are thoughtful, organized and work in the spirit of mutual cooperation, you will probably have some fun too! Remember that not all of this is on your shoulders. Your professional designer will be by your side for the whole trip.

I sincerely hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

© 2010 Roger A. Klein

Roger Klein, ASID, CID is the owner of Spectrum West Interior Design in Torrance, California. He has over 25 years experience designing Kitchen/Bathroom, Residential, Commercial and Hospitality projects. We offer a complimentary consultation for those contemplating a new project in our part of the world. Contact us via our website http://WWW.SPECTRUMWESTDESIGN.COM or at 310-774-0770. To stay in touch with us, please include your email address on our “Contact Us” page.

Roger Klein, ASID, CID is the owner of Spectrum West Interior Design in Torrance, California. He has over 25 years experience designing Kitchen/Bathroom, Residential, Commercial and Hospitality projects.

We offer a complimentary consultation for those contemplating a new project in our part of the world. Contact us via our website http://WWW.SPECTRUMWESTDESIGN.COM or at 310-774-0770. To stay in touch with us, please include your email address on our “Contact Us” page.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Roger_Klein/539874

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3652578

Aug 31, 2019
lkncabadmin
Comments Off on Types of Fireplaces

Types of Fireplaces

Fireplaces come in many shapes and sizes. There are also different types of fireplaces, including Wood Fireplaces, Gas Fireplaces, Electric Fireplaces, Traditional Fireplaces, Stone Fireplaces

Wood Fireplaces

There used to be a time when the most suitable material for the fireplace and the mantel was marble, stone, or simple bricks and mortar. Nowadays, many houses substituted it with wood, or have a significant amount of wood fitted in and around it. Wood fireplaces can enhance beauty and warmth to a home on top of being energy efficient. Wood fireplaces are now available in a wide assortment of designs from modern to rural and everything in between. The newest designs include multi-view wood fireplaces, wood fireplaces with unique surrounds and mantels and see-through wood fireplaces.

Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are an outstanding options to wood burning fireplaces. They offer the warmth and comfort of a fire without splitting, hauling, or stacking wood. They are low-maintenance appliances that’s why a lot of people buy them. Gas fireplaces are growing popular significantly each year. The popularity of gas fireplaces is growing substantially every year. The high demand for gas fireplaces has produced a spike in production.

Stone Fireplaces

This other type of fireplace has one of the most traditional looks. A stone fireplace can look gigantic with large stones reaching up the chimney to the room’s ceiling, or it can look fragile with a white, carved stone fireplace surround. The stone fireplace can fit into any fashion of decorating. It can also bring a natural texture and color into a room. Stone fireplaces are usual in older and newer homes. The size of the fireboxes will establish the size of the fireplace needed. The firebox is the interior where the fire will be burning. Older stone fireplaces did not come with doors, but with screens.

Cast Iron Fireplaces

Those who have homes with very little room for a fireplace will like the cast iron fireplaces. This type can be put up in a home using just a cement slab, the size of the fireplace and a fire proof stone wall at the back. It will require venting into a chimney, or outside, according to your municipal codes. Cast iron fireplaces and stoves are perfect for small areas. Cast iron fireplaces create a smokeless fuel fire so they are appropriate for interiors.

Traditional Fireplaces

The most recognizable type of fireplace is the typical “wall-mounted” design found in living rooms, dens, and even bedrooms. It may be consisted of brick, cement, stone, ceramic, or some mixture of these materials. The opening will typically be covered with a metal or glass screen of some type. Fireplaces of this kind often are surrounded by an exterior mantle, which can be made of wood, stone, brick, marble, metal, or some other material. Mantle styles can vary from unadorned to stylish to ornate to fanciful. Due to their importance, they often set the decorative tone for the whole room. Mostly they use wood for fuel, but some can also burn peat, coal, and other materials. Fireplaces of this type are not for the most part energy-efficient.

Get more of JB Anthony’s FREE fireplace safety tips [http://www.fireplace-ideas.info/blog/safety-tips-for-your-outdoor-fireplace/], fireplace designs [http://www.fireplace-ideas.info] and information on gas fireplace insert or visit [http://www.fireplace-ideas.info]

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/JB_Anthony/51727

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/765800

Aug 29, 2019
lkncabadmin
Comments Off on Fireplace Design

Fireplace Design

Picture how your fireplace will be used. You’ve probably already got a location in mind, but the practicality of the location may be affected by venting needs, installation clearance requirements and fuel choices.

Part 1: GREAT EXPECTATIONS

First, why are you installing a fireplace? Is is for recreational use and entertaining? Is it serving as a backup emergency heating system? Supplemental heat for a chilly room? Is it simply a decorative element to enhance your decor? Fireplaces are available in a wide range of designs fireplaces being used as supplemental or backup heat sources will get the most use and a higher quality (more expensive) model will be a better choice that generally offers greater efficiency.

Who will be using the new fireplace? What is your lifestyle? Elderly people and those with health problems may not be able to handle the vigors of toting firewood. But if you have the time to enjoy the rituals of cutting, splitting and stacking wood and the idea of free heat from fallen trees on your property, an investment in a wood burning fireplace may suit your needs perfectly. Otherwise, expand your possibilities to gas or electric fireplaces.

Fireplace design experts and chimney sweeps agree that low-end, builder-grade fireplaces should only be used for occasional, recreational fires such as family gatherings at holidays. If you expect to use your fireplace once a week or more during the winter, opt for a higher end model that will last for many years because replacement is an expensive, time-consuming project. Now let’s begin with the next stage of planning.

Part 2: CHOOSING THE FUEL

Wood

Do you picture burning natural firewood? Wood burning fireplaces will put the most restraints on your design. The chimney system must run vertically in a relatively straight configuration and clear the roof line according to local codes, which are a minimum of 3′ in most areas – but can be excessively more depending upon your roof pitch and home design. You’ll want the fireplace installed in an area that’s accessible to a doorway to the outside to bring in your firewood and take out ashes. A wood burning fireplace will also have the greatest requirements for a fireproof hearth that protrudes into the room and for side and top clearances. And unless you opt for a high-end, energy efficient fireplace fireplace design that offers tightly sealing doors for long burn times and upgraded designs to provide high heat output, burning wood may actually remove more heat from your room than it adds.

Opening front, decorative wood burning fireplaces are banned as new appliance choices in some areas that are prone to air quality problems. Decorative fireplaces consume a lot of fuel, can produce excessive amounts of smoke into your neighborhood, and offer little to no heat output. So carefully consider the quality and features of the models available during your planning stages. Higher end models may give you many more years of service plus convenience features that give you longer burn times, more heat from every piece of wood and cleaner burning that results in less smoke and a cleaner chimney.

Make sure you have a good source of firewood available and space to stack your wood pile. The type of wood you burn – and how you store and care for your firewood – will greatly affect your wood burning experience.

For all but the most talented do-it-yourselfers, a woodburning fireplace is a job that is best done by a licensed and experienced professional.

Gas

Gas fireplaces offer a convenient, realistic flame at the touch of a button. Remote controls are available for most models. Many can also use thermostat controls that adjust the flame or turn the fire on and off based on the room temperature. Venting options may allow installation in nearly any room, on any floor of your home.

Gas fireplaces come in a variety of styles, sizes and designs and offer multiple venting options. Decorative models won’t give you much heat, while higher end models can heat an open floor plan nearly as effectively as a furnace. Direct vent models may vent horizontally or give you enough options with offsets for the vent to terminate remotely from the fireplace. Every model from every manufacturer is different, so check installation requirements carefully to make sure your design can be implemented for safe and efficient use.

Gas fireplaces are designed to burn either Natural Gas (piped into your home by the city gas company) or LP (Liquid Propane) which is stored in a tank in your yard.

Installation of a gas fireplace will require a plumber or HVAC technician (check local codes) to run gas lines to the fireplace and to install the fireplace and venting system, so this is a project that will require professional installation.

Electric Fireplaces

Once not even a consideration for fireplaces, electric fires are now all the rage. They operate at 100% efficiency and require no venting so they can be installed any where. They may also be the only option for renters or for high-rise condos and office buildings. Designs range from small to large, traditional to contemporary. Most include a heater than can provide plenty of warmth for smaller areas. There are no special installation requirements – just plug into an existing 3-prong outlet – so this is a relatively simple installation that most homeowners can accomplish on their own.

Now that we know what type of fuel is right, let’s plan where it will be installed.

Part 3: CHOOSING YOUR FIREPLACE LOCATION

As we learned in part two, the fuel you’ll be burning in your fireplace may dictate where the fireplace can be installed based on the venting requirements of the model chosen. A woodburning fireplace in an upstairs bedroom is not practical because you’ll be toting wood up and carrying ashes down.

Sometimes a compromise will be required to meet venting and clearance requirements of the fireplace style you choose. Your ideal location between two windows may not work, but the more spacious area on the opposite wall would be perfect. Or perhaps the woodburning fireplace you prefer between the windows can’t fit, but a gas burning model will. So determine how important the location of the fireplace is to the design you have in mind and remain flexible during this stage of planning.

Placement

Depending upon the era, fireplaces have been designed through the ages with a variety of styles. A corner fireplace may provide the perfect balance for other elements in the room. Flat or low-profile hearths are more practical in smaller rooms where you’ll be less like to stub your toe walking by. Flat hearths were popular from the early 1800’s to the 1940’s. Raised hearths may bring the fireplace up to offer a better view from a bed or sofa. A hearth raised 16″ to 18″ offers additional seating in the room. Think of the design elements in your room, how the furniture will be arranged, and the type of fireplace you’re installing. Raised hearths allow less bending when loading or tending to a wood fire. If you’re trying to replicate the look of a particular era then research the style of fireplaces, surround and hearth materials plus mantel styles that were popular at that time.

I’ve chosen my fuel and the room it’s going to be installed into, now how should it look?

Part 4: CUSTOMIZING YOUR FIREPLACE DESIGN

A fireplace is usually a generic box that holds a fire. Decorative accents provided by the manufacturer (such as trim styles and door or window finishes) will be your next decision. The greatest element of your design style will be the hearth, surround, trim and mantel choices.

The hearth is the extension into the room that provides protection to your flooring while the surround provides protection for the walls surrounding your fireplace. Requirements will vary greatly for the surround and hearth based on the type of fuel your fireplace burns and the individual requirements for the model chosen. Woodburning fireplaces will most often require a hearth 18″ or more in front of the fireplace, and extending to each side to offer maximum protection for sparks and tumbling embers. Gas fireplaces and electric fireplaces may require little to no hearth or surround, although incorporating these elements into your design may offer a more authentic look and appeal for your room.

Hearths and surrounds can incorporate a wide variety of materials just be sure and choose the right material, in the correct thickness for heat transfer protection, and make sure it’s installed correctly. Make sure there is adequate weight support beneath the fireplace and hearth area to support the fireplace, venting system and hearth/surround materials. A fireproof underlayment may be needed in some installations. Here are some materials you may consider for hearths and surrounds:

Brick or brick veneers

Stone, stone veneers or cultured stone

Ceramic tile

Slate, marble, granite & solid surface materials

Metallic surfaces such as stainless steel or copper

Cement slabs

Mantels and Trim

Your mantel and trim choice may have the greatest impact on the aesthetic design of your fireplace. A grand mantel can take a standard fireplace from ordinary to exquisite! Many home owners choose to allot more of their budget for the fireplace installation into the mantel than any other part of the project, so consider how the mantel will affect your overall look and costs. The mantel is installed to from the surround and provide a finished look. Detailed mantels are most often used in homes with a traditional design. The mantel includes decorative vertical trim that sits on the fireplace hearth and most often includes a mantel shelf.

Make sure the mantel is installed to allow sufficient clearances to amply meet the fireplace manufacturer’s instructions. Deep shelves, for example, can present challenges with wood burning fireplaces as the overhang can cause fire hazards due to the excessive rising heat.

Mantels are available in a huge variety of materials, styles and designs:

Marble

Wood

Cast Iron

Limestone

Cultured Stone

Plaster

Resin

Looking for a very contemporary design? Contemporary designs use simple lines to create a harmonious feel, or exciting textures and patterns that might not be enhanced by use of a mantel or shelf. In a contemporary design, consider using a simple trim the merely finishes off the edges of your surround.

I have the perfect design in mind! I know just how it should look and I’m ready to go!

Part 5: THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF FIREPLACE INSTALLATION & PLANNING

The complexity of your fireplace design and installation will determine how much help the average do-it-yourselfer may participate in the project.

Plan, Plan and Check Your Plans Again!

Does the fireplace offer the features you most want?

Can your home accommodate any required venting needs?

Do you have adequate space for the fireplace plus the needed framing and hearth required for this model?

What hearth and surround will you use?

Have you chosen a mantel that meets clearance requirements?

We recommend that you draw your fireplace project on paper and plan all dimensions very carefully. A great next step is to use newspaper and create a template on your floor and wall so that you can visually see the amount of space that will be allotted to your new fireplace installation, how close furniture will be to the new fireplace, etc.

Buy your fireplace and find your contractors

Now that you’ve chosen your fireplace, your surround, hearth and mantel, what’s next?

Purchase from a retailer or supplier that meets your individual needs. You may even find that a single store can help with everything you need: the fireplace, venting, mantel and surround plus the installers to get the whole job done for you. Or you may need to buy from several sources to get all the materials needed for the project. Buy from the store(s) that offer the technical support and product selection that you most desire.

Framing and sheetrock will probably be needed. Is this a job you can do yourself, or is a carpenter or handyman required? Make sure framing allows not only the proper opening for the fireplace but the hearth and mantel as well.

If you’re installing a gas fireplace, make sure you have a licensed tradesman to run gas lines. Arrange for delivery of the LP gas tank or connection of gas lines to your home if you’re adding a gas fireplace to a home that doesn’t already have gas appliances in use. Gas service may include a wait from a few days to several weeks, so plan early!

After the framing is done, the fireplace is installed. Check building code requirements and make sure you or the contractor apply for the permit and have the required inspections done to help assure the fireplace is installed safely and correctly. Installation of a wood or gas burning fireplace, the venting system and the gas lines are jobs best left to a professional. A safety inspection is performed after the fireplace is installed, checking for proper clearances to framing, proper installation of the venting system and proper installation of gas lines.

After the framing inspection is done, you may install sheetrock, surround and hearth materials, and the mantel. This part of the project may be done by talented homeowners, or may be left in the hands of tradesmen specializing in the materials you’ve chosen such as tile installers, carpenters, general contractors or talented handy-man companies.

After your fireplace installation is complete, a final inspection by the building inspector is required for gas or wood burning fireplaces. This helps assure that another tradesman has not covered combustible areas of the fireplace with surround materials (such as covering vents on the fireplace with tile) and that the hearth and mantel are installed with proper clearances. Final gas inspections are also done at this time, perhaps by a different inspector.

After final inspections are done, follow your manufacturer’s instructions for break-in use. This usually involves small, low fires that help cure paint and refractory materials used on gas and wood burning fireplaces. Review use and safety instructions with everyone in the home who will be operating the new fireplace.

Now uncork the wine, call your friends and family, light a fire and enjoy! Your new fireplace will add a special warmth to a chilly evening. You’ve made a great investment in your home’s value and to your quality of life.

This article copyrighted by THE FIREPLACE CHANNEL

Karen Duke is a fireplace, chimney and hearth industry expert of over 25 years in both the retail and service sectors. She is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and has numerous hearth industry certifications. She is the founder and webmaster of [http://www.TheFireplaceChannel.com] and she is the co-founder and webmaster of http://www.TheVictorianFireplace.com , which is one of the largest online fireplace retailers in the world. She makes her home in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Karen’s contact information can be found on either of the above sites.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karen_Duke/50123

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/282996

Pages:1234567...60»