One Room Challenge Fall 2021: Week 4

As part of the One Room Challenge, I’m adding a fireplace to our living room. And this week, we get to see the actual fireplace unit install!

I did not do this myself either. Because I just…feel like a pro should handle installing something that’s going to have fire burning in it inside the house 🙂

So we ordered an Ambiance Elegance 36 unit from our local fireplace store (The Flame Center). They came out to install it after I did the framing.

The Install

It was very exciting when they came out to do the install. It took two guys pretty much the entire day to get everything in place.

Fireplace unit installation in progress

They had to install the unit itself, but they also had to build the chimney for it.

Installing the Chimney

Our house has an upper floor, and luckily there was a closet right above where we wanted the fireplace. So we just sacrificed a small part of that for the chimney to run through. Of course that meant they had to cut several holes.

They cut holes in the:

  • living room ceiling
  • 2nd floor closet floor
  • closet ceiling
  • roof
  • plus one in the living room floor / basement ceiling for the fresh air supply

Then the chimney was connected up in sections. Here it is being connected in the upstairs closet:

As part of the process we found out that there is a parquet floor under the carpet upstairs, so that was neat.

And after a hard day’s work where I tried not to bother them too much with photos, the fireplace unit was in place!


Next up was a quick inspection for code compliance. The inspector came over, checked things out, and added a sticker showing that it passed. He also gave me tips on the kinds of requirements I needed to follow and pitfalls to avoid when finishing it, so that was nice.

This that meant drywalling could commence! (Plus actually figuring out the rest of how I want the fireplace to look.) So that will be up for next time, but in the meantime I want to leave you with why we chose the kind of fireplace we did.

Why We Went the Wood-Burning Route

The short version? My husband really, really prefers real wood fireplaces. I probably would have been ok with natural gas, but do agree that it’s just not the same. So that was fine by me.

I initially looked into having a traditional wood-burning fireplace added on an exterior wall. But I nixed that idea for a few reasons.

One, it would have been super expensive. Probably $20,000+. Two, getting contractors out for anything quickly is hard to say the least. And finally, we would have had to lose three windows. (One on each floor.)

Then I looked into a wood stove, but that just…wasn’t a fireplace!

But finally, after much googling, I landed on a zero-clearance wood-burning fireplace. That basically means that it comes with its own built-in fire protection. And that means it can be installed in areas that have combustible materials. So we had a winner 🙂

And that’s it for now for me. Be sure to check out the other One Room Challenge participants!

Categorized as DIY

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