Sunday, March 8, 2009

Retrofitting Your Fireplace


My home during demolition and before the retrofit.

There are 2 types of projects we work on: new construction and retrofitting a fireplace in a home that has already been constructed. This post is for all of you who ask whether it is possible to replace or retrofit your existing fireplace with an antique mantel. The answer is yes, it is possible to refit your mantel. In some larger projects people will take out the existing fireplace and rebuild it to specifications, however, most people simply use the existing firebox and replace the fireplace surround.

This is the most challenging job for us because measurements are the key! Many times we are able to find a mantel with measurements slightly smaller than the firebox opening. This gives us some room to play and line with reclaimed firebrick or tile.

Below is an example from my own home. My building had strict codes and it was not possible to change the firebox in any way. I replaced the existing wood surround with a beautiful period Louis XIV fireplace surround.



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