What is the Cost to Install a Fireplace?
Fireplaces add a host of benefits to your home. They not only increase your home’s value, but can also reduce your heating costs and provide a nice, cozy focal point in any space. Since fireplace installation may involve electricity or gas, consult an expert before you begin if you plan on doing it yourself. Depending on the type of fireplace, some installations may involve clearing out wall space for the unit itself, adding the proper ventilation system or running gas lines.
If you need help along the way, ImproveNet can connect you (for free!) with up to four fireplace pros in your area.
National Install a Fireplace or Woodstove Costs
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Table of Contents
- Cost of Fireplace Installation
- Fireplace Types
- Additional Costs to Fireplace Installation
- What to Expect from Fireplace Installation
- Indoor Vs. Outdoor
- Wood Stoves Cost
- Fireplace Repairs Cost
- Reasons to Install A Fireplace
- How to Install A Fireplace
- Find A Pro
Cost of Fireplace Installation
If you’re thinking about having a fireplace installed, you may be wondering just how much it’s going to cost you. Costs will vary depending on the specific type of fireplace you want to install. The most popular model is the traditional, wood-burning fireplace, but there are also electric fireplaces and gas fireplaces.
In general, the average fireplace installation cost is roughly $2,000. However, since there are various types and situations, the price can increase up to $5,000. Furthermore, if ventilation or walls must be added, your fireplace installation may exceed the average above.
If there weren’t variety in the world, every home would look exactly the same. Fortunately, there are three types of fireplaces, all offering their own costs, advantages and disadvantages.
The traditional wood-burning fireplace will never go out of style. Whether it’s the smell of burning wood, the sweet crackles or the enjoyment of chopping and lugging in wood from the backyard, wood-burning fireplaces are still the most popular option across the country.
Unlike the alternatives, wood-burning fireplaces will not affect your energy costs, as it does not use any electricity or heat. Moreover, it can actually help you save on energy costs by lowering your heat in the winter.
Unfortunately, wood-burning fireplaces are the most expensive among fireplace additions. If you have to add a chimney as well, it could cost upwards of $8,000. Additionally, these traditional fireplaces require more maintenance than electric or gas fireplaces. Cleaning your chimney is not a fun job, but one that must be done if you add a wood-burning fireplace.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, electric is the way to go. They are easy to install and do not require a big renovation. They are ideal for small apartments or condos where a chimney is out of the question. While they may not produce as much heat as wood, homeowners are delighted to hear that the average installation cost is only a few hundred dollars.
However, unlike wood-burning, where the only maintenance cost is wood (and time), electric fireplaces bring other consistent costs. Since your new fireplace is tied to your electricity, expect your utility bills to increase after you install an electric fireplace.
If you want simplicity and heat, consider a gas fireplace. With the switch of a button, you can turn your fireplace on, experience as much heat as a wood-burning fireplace, mimic the look of a wood fireplace and avoid all the messy cleanup that comes with real wood.
The average gas fireplace installation cost is similar to electric, but if you have to install a gas line, the installation will indeed go up. Likewise, monthly utility costs will be added due to the gas required.
Additional Costs to Fireplace Installation
As we just touched on, there are a few additional costs that can come up with any fireplace addition or repair. As always, it’s important to review all costs that come with the project, whether it be professional installation, repairs, maintenance costs, insurance, permits and so forth. Below are a few of the common expenses homeowners ignore before making the big purchase.
No matter what type of fireplace you install, the air must be cleaned and cleared out. If not, your living rooms would be full of smoke every time you lit that fireplace. There are three types of fireplace vents:
- Natural Vents
- Direct Vents
Depending on the type of vent you add, your fireplace installation bill could increase by as much as $3,000. To read more about ventilation, please see below.
If you’re installing a gas fireplace, you may have to add an extra gas line to your home. Additionally, your fireplace professional will have to ensure that the line runs outside the home to the street line. All gas lines are different in terms of the location. As such, we have seen gas line installations run as low as $200 or as high as $2,000.
Just like a gas line, you may need extra wiring if you’re adding an electric fireplace. Luckily, most fireplace wiring projects only cost a few hundred dollars. However, some fireplace contractors will seek electrical help. Luckily, ImproveNet can connect you with four local electricians, so you can get the right pro for your project.
What to Expect from Fireplace Installation
Before you hire a company to install a fireplace, make sure fireplace permits are available. Some states limit the number of fireplace permits they distribute to existing homes without fireplaces and are also beginning to require that fireplaces be included with new construction only. Therefore, you’ll need to do your research ahead of time and obtain any necessary permits before beginning construction.
Once you have your permit and have hired a construction company, you should expect the entire process to take up to a few days. Beside the fireplace unit installation, drywall may also be knocked down to allow for ventilation systems and a new chimney directly above the fireplace itself. After the drywall is replaced, you’re ready to go.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Fireplaces
One of the hottest trends in home improvement is outdoor fireplaces. While it may not make as much sense for those in the South, those in the Midwest or on the East Coast can greatly benefit from an outdoor fireplace. Not only are they much cheaper to install versus an indoor fireplace, but it greatly expands the time you can use your backyard.
Luckily, you can install all types of fireplaces outdoors, in addition to propane. Just like indoor models, for wood-burning, you’ll need a chimney. For gas or electric models, you’ll need gas lines and wiring in place.
Wood Stoves Cost
You won’t see many wood stoves around town, but despite their aging design, wood stoves still function just as well as most traditional or modern fireplaces. They’re smaller and not installed inside a wall. In fact, all wood stoves must be at least 18” from any wall or ceiling.
The majority of their installation cost will come from the actual fireplace itself. After a quick search, you’ll see that some wood stoves cost as little as $200 or as much as $2,500. However, there are a few other expanses you should be aware before you install a wood stove.
- Chimney Installation: Don’t worry, you don’t need to install a full brick chimney for a wood stove. Most of the time, fireplace contractors will install a thin stainless steel pipe leading up, through your roof. The pipe itself can cost as little as $45, but installation is no simple task.
- Wall Covering: If you have to install your wood stove 18” from the wall, many pros will recommend a wall covering to protect the drywall from the heat. The covering itself should not cost more than $10 for a 15sf piece.
- Bases: All wood stoves need a non-combustible base. Wood stoves are simply too hot for wood, tile or stone and thus, need separation. The costs vary depending on your material, so be sure to ask your fireplace pro about the base before signing on that dotted line.
As we touched on above, every fireplace needs some kind of ventilation. However, some fireplace projects do not require vents or extra ductwork. As you can imagine, installing new ductwork is no easy or cheap task. According to our ductwork installation task estimator, the average project cost is $978. Nevertheless, the cost will largely depend on the type you install.
- Natural Vents: These are the standard chimney vents you see in most households. Bear in mind, heat may leave through the chimney while in use.
- Direct Vents: These vents take air from the outside and replace the air inside the vent and fireplace.
- Ventless: No vent required. According to HomeAdvisor, this type of ventilation uses a catalytic converter to clean the air as it is expelled from the combustion chamber. They are more expensive, but the installation process may be less costly because no venting system is required.
Fireplace Repairs Cost
The average cost of repairing a fireplace is $394, however, we have seen prices as high as $2,000. The final project cost will depend on the extent of the damage to the fireplace and chimney, as well as whether or not there was a fire that spread into the adjacent walls. If the fireplace needs additional work such as relining, capping or replacement of the cleanout door, this will add to the total cost of the project.
Reasons to Install Fireplace
Despite some of the benefits already discussed in this cost guide, there are a few other benefits fireplace owners receive with virtually all fireplace installations.
- Increased Home Value
- Added Ambiance
- Provides Romance & Scent
- Lower Utility Bills (Wood-Burning)
- Little Maintenance (Gas & Electric)
- Easy to Use
- Many Design Options
How to Install A Fireplace
Fireplace installation is a very complex project, especially if you’re working with existing construction. However, if you’re adding a fireplace insert, DIY-experienced homeowners can handle the installation without the pros.
Please watch the video below to see each and every step. For more guidance, please read Wood Fireplace Insert Installation.
Find A Pro
No one spends $2,000 lightly, but given the ample benefits fireplaces bring, such as an increased home value or added ambiance, most homeowners agree that the overall cost is well worth the investment.
If you’re ready to make such an investment, ImproveNet can quickly connect you with up to four fireplace professionals in your area for free.
Last updated on Jun 29, 2016
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