A frame house in the valley. The rain spatters the glass windows. You recline on a rocker, favorite book in hand, coffee mug steaming by your side. A fire crackles, roars, burns. The wood surface gleaming as it smolders, tiny particles flickering before they turn to ash. Everything is warm and toasty. Sounds magical, right? Welcome to the power of a wood-burning fireplace.
Wood fires have been around for ages. They date back to the primitive man, the cave dwellers using firewood for warmth, food, and protection. The wood fireplaces continue to hold their value in recent times, be it for an efficient heating system in the house, a place for family gatherings, or a decorative design.
Before you indulge in some good old wood-burning luxury, it is important to know How Much Does It Cost to Install a Wood Burning Fireplace. We have done our research, so you don’t have to. So let us dive into the world of wood hearths, mantelpieces, and chimneys and see how much they are worth.
A variety of crackles
While the term wood fireplace may entail a variety of furnaces, it is important to understand the key differences before we continue to decode the price ranges. A wood fireplace insert is usually an addition to a pre-existing mantelpiece and chimney. The encased wood fire provides efficient heating.
An open masonry fireplace is the good-old brick and stone design that we see in ancient homes; more of an aesthetic piece than an efficacious warmer. Wood stoves are heaters fueled by wood. And finally, our wood-burning fireplace, a basic system with a firebox and a chimney, where you can feed the wood, ignite it into flames and build a fire for comfort.
Other types include EPA-certified and decorative fireplaces. Certification is usually required for fireplaces intended for burning purposes. The manufacturers need to adhere to strict standards, and the product needs to pass emission testing before they are approved. A clean-burning keeps environmental hazards to a minimum.
The decorative ones are naturally for ornamental purposes, enhancing the value of your property and providing aesthetic value to your home.
Now that you understand the nitty-gritty, let us get on to the key question: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Wood Burning Fireplace?
How Much Does It Cost To Install a Wood Burning Fireplace?
Looking at the big picture, installing a fireplace usually costs around $1600 to $2000 for the unit and an additional $2100 for the installation and fitting.
The installation costs usually comprise around 25- 50% of the total expenditure. A prefabricated, ready-to-install wood-burning fireplace usually costs $2,900 on average for insertion and fitting.
Taking specifics into account, a wood-burning fireplace that has been prefabricated (i.e. manufactured and assembled in a company) and entails a 9’ – 24’, 9” chimney costs around $1,200 to $4,500 for complete installation with finishing.
The expenditure of installing a 36” wide piece with a 9’ to 24’, 9” chimney sums up to $1,900 – $3,300; while getting a 42” wide fireplace with a 9’ to 24’, 9” chimney costs anywhere from $2,050 – $2,530.
A Quick Breakdown:
A detailed look at the cost analysis would tell us that the firebox or the unit of a wood-burning fireplace retails at $1,250 – $2,063 while installing the same costs anywhere from $670 – $1,463 in terms of labor fee.
This leads us to an average value of $1.7k for the firebox and an additional 1.1k for the professional help.
Ignition- building from scratch:
Do you want to install a fireplace with a bit of a twist and your personal style statement? The cost of a masonry piece ranges from $3,500 to $5,600, while the high-end Authentic Mason-built Brick can cost you more than $10,000 for the building and installation. The value of the fireplace will depend on the degree of customization and size of the structure.
Prefabricated brick builds are the most economical, with a price range of $2,000 – $3,000.
If you have a gas fireplace that you no longer require, how about turning it into a cozy, aesthetically pleasing wood-burning fireplace for that warm and homey ambiance? Guess what, it is possible, and not that expensive.
With a mere $100 to $300, you can get your gas fireplace transformed into a blazing wood-burning arena, perfect for snowy days and winter nights. However, a proper ventilation system is vital before the conversion. Also, put your trust in a professional to avoid any flaws in the system leading to unprecedented events.
Going out and about:
So you are an outdoorsy person. The sight of the sky and the touch of grass under your feet makes you feel alive. You can still indulge in the coziness of a fireplace through an outdoor unit. On average, a wood-burning outdoor unit costs around $140. The installation, fitting, construction of a chimney and a mantelpiece will add anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 to your expense.
The more features you add to the fireplace, the pricier it will get. For a start, if you do not have a pre-built ventilation system in the house, getting one will cost you around $200 to $3,000. Building a chimney comes to $1,000 and $3,500 with a cost per linear foot of $100 – $300 for a single flue (pipe) and $200 – $400 for a double flue.
Generally, flues are valued at $58 to $80 per linear foot. A chimney liner kit retails at a price ranging from $90 to $700.
The alternatives and comparison:
Wood burning fireplaces are unique in structure and function. Relating them to gas or electric fireplaces would fail to do justice to the aesthetics and warmth they provide. However, let us make a comparison among prices for educational purposes.
We have already established that on average installing a wood-burning fireplace amounts to $1.7k for the unit and $1.1k for labor. A gas fireplace values at $2.0k (unit-fee) and $2.7k (labor-free), while a masonry fireplace costs $1.3k for the unit and $2.6k for labor fee respectively.
This makes the wood-burning fireplace the cheapest and most economical amongst them all.
Is it lit (read: worth the hype)?
Seeing that it costs a few thousand dollars for installation, one must ask: is a wood-burning fireplace really worth it? We would say yes, thousand times over. A wood-burning fireplace renders an archaic aesthetic value to a place. An ambiance knitted with feelings, emotion, warmth, and nostalgia.
It provides a niche- a place to rest and nestle. A place where the family gathers, S’mores are melted, marshmallows are toasted. Hands warmed, tea brewed, emotions enlivened. Wood burning fireplaces also add economic value to your real estate, so your property sells for more.
Do you need the help?
Can fireplace installation be a DIY project? We would say a definite no to that. While installation may cost you quite a few extra bucks, we would advise you to always be vigilant and choose the best for yourself and your family. Any minor flaw in the system, interruption in ventilation, wrong linking of pipes, or inefficient dissipation of smoke can lead to serious consequences.
And even if you don’t plan on burning wood in the fireplace, the next person who buys the house might want to. So think of the greater good and always hire a reliable professional, with certification from the concerned department to install your wood-burning fireplace.
It is also important to keep up with the maintenance through a regular chimney cleanup by a professional sweep every year. This may cost around $100 to $200.
Let us conclude with ablaze.
We would like to conclude with facts. Building a wood-burning fireplace may cost anywhere from $800 to over $3000depending on the masonry you use, the height of the structure, and labor costs. Getting a high-tech ventilation system and extravaganza like smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and alarms will cost extra money.
However, health and human life are invaluable, and there should be no compromises on safety. So, figure out your priorities, map out your home and invest in a piece that looks flaming hot and functions in a super-efficient way. Oh! And do not forget to check in with your budget. Happy shopping!