CAN MY HOME SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OF MASONRY?
The stone, brick and mortar used in the construction of masonry systems can be incredibly heavy, so with a masonry fireplace and chimney, you must have the proper support/foundation. Prefabricated systems, on the other hand, are typically made of much lighter materials and imitation stone, meaning they can be installed in homes that aren’t capable of supporting a heavy masonry system.
HOW MUCH AM I WILLING TO SPEND?
Because prefabricated systems are made of lighter materials and imitation stone, the systems are less expensive than their masonry counterparts. Installation is also much quicker and much easier, so you can save on labor costs, too.
WHAT TYPE OF LONGEVITY AM I LOOKING FOR, AND WHAT LOOK OR FUEL TYPE DO I WANT?
The prefabricated chimney and fireplace systems we install are well designed and well built, but the truth of the matter is, well cared for masonry systems can far outlast any prefabricated system, which means for longevity a masonry system might be best. However, there are many things to consider including a good foundation when considering masonry fireplaces. Call us to talk through the pluses and minuses of your situation. With that said, factory-built systems are a bit more flexible for someone that’s not committed to a certain fuel type, because it’s rather painless to replace a prefabricated unit with a new prefabricated unit. You also have some additional style choices when dealing with a factory-built unit, so this might be an additional consideration.
If old fashion masonry has your heart head on over to our masonry page for a few more details. Also, don't forget, perhaps you like the look of a masonry surround, but the ease of gas appliances, we can often times, dependent upon your home's foundation, combine the two. That is, construct a masonry surround, which houses an efficient gas appliance.