When choosing to remodel your fireplace take into consideration that controlling fire, smoke, and high heat is how the fireplace was made to building codes.
Fireplace design uses drafting, smoke shelves, non-combustible materials, mantle heights in relation to how far the mantle projects from the face of the fireplace, and hearth design measurements.
A remodeled hearth can be altered in size and height but should never be removed completely unless you are planning on adding a sealed gas or electric fireplace insert.
Fireplace hearths for wood fuel type fireplaces are there to protect your flooring and house and have minimal requirements that should be closely followed.
Fireplace surrounds need to be correctly built. Never should the construction add more chimneys to the design. Wood should never be installed under any surface not visible that is covered by drywall or some other surface. NO FURRING STRIPS OVER BRICK.
Brick fireplaces have their own foundations and should have no load from the house structure placed on the fireplace foundation. The house and the fireplace would have been built at different phases of construction. This allows for replacing or remodeling of either structure where the house and fireplace join. When the house was being built and rough framed the wall opening for the fireplace would have resembled a rough framed door opening with a header, jack, and king studs. The measurements determined by the size of the fireplace and K values.
Bricks used to finish the outside of your home were then used by the mason to build your fireplace as the exterior of your home was being bricked.
The interior of the house was finished by various crews installing insulation, drywall, and trim. The area around fireplace brick is an irregular surface and generally not finished well and covered by a piece of wood trim. Ever notice spider webs at this location? Spiders only build webs where there is air movement. Most drafts felt around the fireplace are from the brick meeting the wall. Remodeling your fireplace can help with heat loss and bugs.
Brick on a fireplace conducts heat and cold. In the winter months a brick wall fireplace is cool or cold to the touch as the heat from inside your house is pulled to the outside. In the summer months the heat from the outside is pulled to the inside of your brcik wall fireplace. Remodeling your brick wall fireplace can reduce this heat transfer dramatically.
Fireplace dampers on a brick fireplace is a thick piece of steel. This steel rotates open and closed by either a lever or pull chains. Gravity keep the fireplace damper open or closed. As you use your fireplace heat may slightly distort the shape of the steel damper and cause it to not close completely and thus allow the exchange of air and heat. A good set of fireplace doors will stop the loss of heat and improve the look of the room. Fireplace doors can be purchased on line at a reasonable cost. The problem with most doors is that they are made as a one size fits all and look like fireplace doors added to a old drafty fireplace. When you fireplace is remodeled by an experienced fireplace remodeler, fireplace doors can be set into the fireplace surround to look like they came with the house. When fireplace doors are installed with a fireplace remodel, the date is taken out of the fireplace and improves your homes value.
Fireplace surrounds can be remodeled with various types of stone around the firebox. Generally and 8" to 12" band, depending on the size of the fireplace firebox opening. Fireplace wood surrounds and wood mantles can be added for as long as the projections out do not exceed the 1"/1" rule.
Televisions above a fireplace mantle can be perfomed with a fireplace remodel. Power must be added and chases built to allow for media cables. We have installed many televisons above fireplaces and have all the cables hidden from view.
A brick fireplace does not match the decor in the house no matter how many times the fireplace brick is painted. A professionally created fireplace remodel can create the surround to match your decor. Most fireplace surrounds incorporate Granite, Travertine, or Ceramic tile around fireplace openings. Select hardwoods should be used and never soft woods such as pine. Oak, Poplar, Maple, Cherry, and Ash are the most popular choices. Poplar hardwood does not stain well but is a great surface for painting as it has a smooth grain free surface.
when chosing a remodeler for your fireplace make sure they have experience remodeling fireplaces. Ask to see pictures of remodeled fireplaces that they did and not photos of fireplaces remodeled they found on the internet. A lot can go wrong with an unexperienced fireplace remodel, which is the last thing you want as you cozy up to your fireplace for the evening and then go to bed.