Q&A / 

Tom Grote, who lives in Ivoryton, CT, has an unpleasant experience when he starts a fire in his fireplace. It's not a smoking issue, it's a sewer smell. Read what he sent me: "I live in a two-story colonial with a bathroom and fireplace on the first floor. Every time I have a fire in the […]

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David Roll lives in a very new home inBattle Ground, WA that had a water line MELT and caused a flood. You'll not believe Dave's story. Here it is unedited: "Hi Tim.  I am in a brand new home for 1.25 yrs.  House flooded this past weekend, significant damage. Plumber cut open wall to find issue.  […]

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Quick Column Summary: Problems with new house construction Correcting an off-center window Wood-burning stove exhaust stack not properly installed Checking to see if the contractor is on the run DEAR TIM: I'm having a house built and I've got some problems. It's still in the rough stage with just the rough framing pretty much complete […]

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Quick Column Summary: How to remove adhesive/thinset from brick fireplace Try adhesive removers Thinset must be chiseled off Danielle Torkensen is a new homeowner in Bloomington, California. She inherited a mess where the previous homeowner, well let her tell you: "I am a recent new homeowner & the previous owners messed up our brick fireplace.  […]

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A fireplace restoration can be a major project. Converting from a natural stone fireplace to a wood surround requires a lot of resources and skills. You will need to visit the local building department to check on current building codes for fireplaces.

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Installing ceramic fireplaces tiles to mimic a vintage tile look can take some research. You will have to visit specialty tile stores to find the right fireplace ceramic tiles for achieve your desired look. But your work will pay off with great looking vintage fireplace tiles.

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There are lots of wood burning fireplace accessories to pick for your fireplaces. Fireplace tools come in a variety of materials and finishes. Quality should be a major consideration when selecting the proper wood fireplace accessories.

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A stone fireplace can really make a room. The fireplace design needs to match the room. Before during your fireplace installation, set up a mock fireplace to see if the fireplace hearth design is comfortable for you.

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A plain concrete fireplace hearth can be covered with slate, tile or stone. Fireplace hearth designs need to consider the flooring adjacent to the hearth. Proper planning and your fireplace will look great.

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Fireplaces come in a variety of styles -  natural wood burning fireplaces,  gas fireplaces, or the newer ventless gas fireplaces. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. You must decide if the fireplace will be strictly decorative or for home heating. If you are using the gas fireplace to heat your home, then the look for an efficient gas fireplace. Water vapor can be a potentially harmful side effect of the ventless fireplaces.

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