Managing Your HVAC System

Fitted Fireplace Inserts For Class And Comfort

Do you have an existing fireplace? Do you want to come as close as possible to a fireplace design that goes into the wall and looks like a cozy hearth? Fitted/socketed inserts are the way to go. Here are a few details to help you understand the different features and placement concepts that come with fireplace inserts: 

Fitted Or Standalone?

A fitted insert is installed in a wall alcove just as a normal fireplace would but without a giant chimney stack. They can be vented or ventless, meaning that you can choose to have a ventilation system that goes through the walls and out of the building or a completely standalone insert. 

With the standalone, ventless insert, the only difference from other designs is that it is set inside a precision-shaped hole. Installation professionals can design wall changes and work with construction contractors or home remodeling professionals to get the right measurements.

Contract measurements are important because you don't want to break into any load-bearing walls. Putting in a decorating fireplace insert on a load-bearing wall should be the last choice you make, but if it absolutely must be on a wall that is loadbearing, there are ways around it.

Around the fitted insert area, new beams need to be installed that support the upper level, lower level, and side walls. This needs to be engineered to be as strong as or stronger than the wall that was previously unbroken.

Home Modification And Safety

Such engineering is far from impossible, but it will be an extra cost. The contractor making the calculations is a high-tier professional, so it's not just bringing in a crosstie or 2x4 board and propping it up where the wall used to be.

Along with the safety engineering point, you will need to figure out how the supporting beams look. If you don't want to see the beams, the wall will need to become thicker as a new layer of drywall covers the entire setup, which will require documentation for legal purposes.

Even if you don't plan on selling the home, it's still something that people need to be warned about. It could be a contractor you or your children hire in the future, or you may simply forget that the load-bearing wall matters.

None of this needs to be left up to memory, so it must be noted on official paperwork and added to blueprints. It's not just your private property at risk here; contractors have a right, too.

If the pillars or beams are visible, you may want to choose a specific style and painting for the supports. This can be in the form of columns, wood carvings, or anything that you would do with a pillar or frame.

Since these beams are near a heat-emitting device, the beam material, paint, or finish must be selected with heat in mind. Something that burns away with residue-fueled fumes can be a health risk that seeps in over time, and it's best to at least know what that strange smell is and whether it's safe before choosing any old material.

Contact a fireplace installation professional to discuss other heating options with an aesthetic touch.