Pre-fabricated fireplaces have gotten a bad rap over the years as being of shoddy workmanship and poor installation. Those days are all in the past as “prefab” fireplaces have been making a comeback in a big way! Like any other option, there are multiple benefits and drawbacks to having this type of fireplace, but the Fluesbrothers want to give you the details so that you can determine if a prefab is the right choice for you!
- Installation: Unlike masonry fireplaces, that have to be built onsite, pre-fabricated fireplaces are just that, made somewhere else. They are brought to your home already constructed of lighter materials like glass and metal, so installation is a breeze. Better yet, they are highly customizable to fit your room and décor. It is necessary to bring in a professional to do the installation; not doing so could end in a house fire.
- Life expectancy: Here is one place that masonry fireplaces take the cake. Even though prefabs have come so far in the last decade, they still only last about 10-15 years under normal wear and tear. This doesn’t include any fires or destruction that may occur to it. Making sure that your prefab is coming from a reputable source will give you peace of mind that it will hold up under normal wear and tear. Masonry fireplaces are built to last a lifetime, and with regular chimney sweeping and maintenance, they will.
- Price: For those with a budget, a pre-fabricated chimney is a tempting choice. With a variety of styles and sizes, they are the perfect choice when you want a lovely ambient glow that can even be ventless. They are easy to install and require much less time than it takes to build a masonry chimney and fireplace. Both versions still have to be inspected yearly, regardless.
- Convenience: Gas log sets can be installed in both types of fireplaces, and if you already have a masonry fireplace, it is an easy step to take. Also, if the prefabricated chimney ever becomes damaged due to a lightning strike or a chimney fire, or reaches the end of its lifespan, the entire system has to be replaced. They have to be treated with more care, which includes never using liquid fire starters & keeping the screen closed when in use. With a masonry fireplace, it doesn’t damage as easily, and definitely isn’t as replaceable.
It is important to do your homework before you decide on this important decision. The Fluesbrothers want to help. Give us a call with your concerns and questions and we will do our best to assist you in figuring out the best option for you. Don’t forget to schedule your inspection and sweeping if you haven’t yet!