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4 Essential Questions You Need to Ask Your Fireplace Installer

You’ve selected a stunning, front-facing modern fireplace for the living room. Or perhaps a corner fireplace for the bedroom. You know where you’re going to place it. You know it’s going to look stunning. Now it’s time for installation. That may sound easy enough, but it gets complex quickly. Before adding a fireplace to an interior wall, be sure to ask these four questions of your installer.

Are You NFI Certified?

Every fireplace installer must have a license, but that’s neither a guarantee of quality or a sign of integrity; it’s merely proof of competence. If you want to ensure the work is done right, you should make sure your installer has a National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certification. In order to obtain NFI certification, contractors must display a high degree of skill as well as specialist knowledge in one of three areas: gas fireplaces, wood-burning fireplaces, or pellet fireplaces. When it comes to fireplace installation, NFI certification is the gold standard and the best way to ensure that you are getting the best service possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Gas Fireplace?

Calculating the cost of fireplace installation can be tricky. There are many factors to consider—venting, labor, time, installation complexity, travel distance, and unforeseen circumstances. Installers must plan every detail and consider every pitfall. They have to install not only the firebox but also run the vents through walls so they can connect the fireplace to the exterior of the house. When you get a price, be sure it’s comprehensive so you don’t get hit with hidden or unexpected costs after the fact.

What Do the Building Codes Say?

It would be great if you could just stick the fireplace in the wall and be done, but, alas, that’s not how the world works. There are rules and regulations, safety concerns, and practical considerations. Is the vent powerful enough to create combustion and release exhaust? Can it reach the exterior of the building? Does my gas shutoff valve have to be in the same room as the fireplace?

There are also emissions limits and clearance zones and restrictions on what materials can be used. Installers should be familiar with all of the local codes and how they apply to your situation. They should know how to install a gas fireplace that meets both manufacturer instructions and government building codes.

Do You Have Experience Installing This Fireplace?

The builders or contractors you hire may have spent the past few decades installing fireplaces, but it pays to dig a little deeper into their background. Have they dealt with fireplaces made by this manufacturer? Have they ever installed that particular model?

Since each factory-direct fireplace comes with its own specifications and installation instructions, it helps if the installers know a bit about the exact fireplace you’re putting in your home. If they don’t, ask them if they’ve at least done their homework.

Rethink Fireplace Installation

At Ortal, we make it easy by offering extensive resources for professionals—fireplace specs, installation manuals, builder’s guides, clearance figures, mounting instructions, venting data etc. Double check to make certain your installers know their stuff before you jump into the project head first.

Want even more info? Contact Ortal to schedule a face-to-face meeting with one of our fireplace experts.

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