I am moving into a house that has an existing working chimney and holes cut into the walls in the living room and kitchen for the pipe for a wood stove. I know the chimney is good because I just bought it and the previous owner used a wood stove last winter. How could I put a fireplace in rather than a wood stove. I have a wood stove, but would like to have a fireplace in the living room. Can I build a fireplace there?

  • 4
    I know the chimney is good because I just bought it and the previous owner used a wood stove last winter you should get it inspected (and probably swept)
    – StrongBad
    Dec 13, 2017 at 20:51
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    You know nothing about the state of the flue, other than it was in use. Many a flue that should have been rebuilt, relined, or at least cleaned is in use by folks that choose to ignore it. StrongBad is right - you need to have it inspected (at least) and swept (normally both at once) or else the first thing you know about it will be when the fire department shows up.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 13, 2017 at 22:05
  • Study "freestanding fireplace" as an alternative. Also, have the flue inspected.
    – Tyson
    Feb 14, 2018 at 3:19

1 Answer 1


I would STRONGLY suggest finding a "fireplace format stove" you are kinda happy with and stopping right there. Retrofitting a masonry fireplace is a huge undertaking that generally has to start from below the basement floor.

I guess a prefabricated metal fireplace in a framed drywall box could possibly scratch the fireplace itch a bit more. Most of those are not compatible with having a second entry to the same flue, so if both the living room and kitchen enter the same flue, you'll have to address that.

  • Yes, a "zero-clearance" fabricated fireplace can be enclosed in wooden framing, drywall and brick or stone veneer.
    – Upnorth
    Dec 15, 2017 at 1:35

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