Affordable & Efficient Factory-Built Fireplaces
If you have a fireplace and your home was built during the past few decades, it’s very likely that you have a factory-built fireplace, also known as a prefabricated fireplace or a manufactured fireplace. Over the last 25 years these fireplaces have soared in popularity, thanks to their affordability and the ease of installation. Made of lightweight metal, factory-built fireplaces come as complete sets—with a firebox, whole chimney system, and various other components. When professionally installed, they’re guaranteed to run at optimum efficiency and have high safety ratings. Plus, having one of these installed takes far less time. It also costs far less than it would cost you to pay a mason to build a more traditional chimney and fireplace of brick or stone and mortar. Nonetheless, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) reports that nearly half of prefab chimney systems are installed incorrectly. Because chimney and firebox clearance specifications must be strictly adhered to, it’s important to hire a professional to install and maintain your factory-built fireplace. A yearly inspection will help ensure your safety, as well as your fireplace’s continued efficiency.
What Is The Difference Between A Masonry And A Prefabricated Metal Fireplace?
There are three major areas of difference between masonry and prefabricated fireplaces:
1. Construction Process: A prefab fireplace is built in a factory and then installed in a home or business. A masonry fireplace is usually custom built on-site.
2. Materials: A prefab fireplace is constructed predominantly with galvanized steel (and a small amount of stainless steel), while masonry fireplaces are typically constructed with brick and mortar (and a few metal parts).
3. Lifespan: The life expectancy of a prefab fireplace is generally 20-30 years. Masonry fireplaces, if built correctly and cared for properly, last for generations.
Both masonry and prefabricated fireplaces must be installed and maintained appropriately in order to be used and enjoyed. Both can burn wood or operate with gas logs (if a gas connection is available).
How Do I Know If My Prefabricated Fireplace Needs To Be Replaced?
You probably need to replace your prefabricated metal fireplace if you look at the fireplace from the inside of your home and can see rust or warped metal, or if you cannot obtain a UL listed replacement part (or an acceptable alternative).
Live in the greater Houston area? If you have a problem with your prefab fireplace or want to inquire about having one installed, call Lords Chimney at 281-497-4000, or contact us online!
If you love the look of a masonry fireplace, we would love to talk with you about how this fireplace replacement or facelift could work for your situation and your budget. Give us a call…we’re ready to help!
My husband and I purchased a 1910 Queen Anne Victorian home in the Heights which was more than just a small weekend project! One of the restoration tasks included completely gutting the old fireplace, chase, and chimney as they were not to code or functioning properly. Lords Chimney worked many hours on our "little" project removing the old brick (a very dirty job!) and retrofitting an entirely new system, even taking care to match the chimney brackets to the original brick color. The original brick was saved and placed in a nice pile for us in the back yard so that we could use it to lay a patio. We are so thrilled with our new fireplace and lovely gas logs. We look forward to hiring Lords Chimney to tackle a second fireplace upstairs. A big thank you to Lords for a terrific job!
~ Amanda S.