When it comes to choosing the right type of fireplace within your new custom home, understanding the available options may assist you with determining the best fit for you and your family. There are several types of fireplaces available, the most popular include electric, wood burning or gas supplied.

A wood burning fireplace can be designed as a full masonry fireplace. This traditional, classic way to create a fire burning area is designed with brick, stone or concrete. Wood burning fireplaces are designed with an 8” flue used to vent the heat out of the home. If the fireplace is designed to help heat the home, adding a blower motor is recommended. In this case, some of the heat would be pushed back into the home, while still allowing some of the heat to vent out.

If you have chosen a masonry fireplace, it will be possible to convert this fireplace to a gas fireplace at anytime in the future.  This may be a selling feature for those people who prefer gas over wood burning units.

Another type of wood burning unit is the pre-fab self-contained fireplace unit. These units come in many styles and sizes and are designed to allow for wood burning units to be installed while keeping costs low compared to a full traditionally built masonry fireplace. The prefab units can still have brick, stone or other surrounds and in most homes built today with wood burning fireplaces, the pre-fab unit is the common choice.

If you prefer a gas unit, there are still a few options to choose from. The vented gas log fireplace is a gas fireplace that is designed to vent out of the home.  This unit looks similar to the wood burning prefab unit, however has a 6” flue, therefore if you ever wanted to convert this gas fireplace back to a wood burning fireplace it would not be allowed, as wood burning fireplaces require an 8” flue.

Another type of gas fireplace unit is the ventless gas unit.  The ventless unit has no flue and while it burns more efficiently, these units are known to increase humidity in the room where the unit is being used.  It is recommended in these areas to crack a window or make sure other interior doors within the home are opened to assist with circulation of the by-product released into the air.  It is also recommended that these units are not installed in small areas, as it could promote mold growth due to moisture content in the air.

A direct vent gas unit is a commonly installed unit within many homes today.  The direct vent gas unit is a prefab unit which is sealed and designed to vent out of the house.  The vents are typically straight and either vent out of the roof, when the unit is on an interior wall and vent out of the wall to the exterior of the home when the unit is installed on an exterior wall.  If the unit is installed in an area within the home which would require the venting pipe to be anything other than straight, then a B vent fireplace is recommended.  This type of unit is designed with angles and can be useful with properly venting this type of unit.

Regardless of which type of unit you decide to install within your home, you will have plenty of options to design your fireplace surround.  Feel free to discuss your options with  your building consultant to select the best fireplace unit for your new custom home.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com