If what you have in your home is an old fireplace, you might have considered doing some remodeling ventures. Reinforced concrete chimneys, on the other hand, have steel bars within the concrete walls to support it, the ventless fireplace that use fuel or natural gas instead of firewood and the prefab or the factory built fireplaces which are built before hand, purchased and installed into your own home.
The building code also limits how far these materials project from the face of the fireplace, how large the hearth extension must be, and so on. Codes vary around the country – it is important to evaluate your project relative to the codes enforced in your area.
The most dramatic change you can make, one that will really bolster the entire look and feel of your fire place, is to add or replace the tile around it with something that’s elegant and matches the decor of your home, especially around the living area where the fireplace is located.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been asked to look at smoking fireplaces, and looked up the chimney to see a nicely constructed gather, and a good sized flue, which is abruptly reduced to less than Â½ its area by an 8″ or 9″ pot, which itself is often partially obscured by slates or whatever other bearers the fitter has used during construction.
Talk with a fireplace contractor or a home designer or just spend some time shopping home improvement stores to learn about the different types of lumber, the types and styles of moldings and pilasters (columns) that are available, and the other materials you may want to use, such as stone, brick, drywall, etc.