Home Garden

How to Design Stone Fireplaces

Everyone loves the romantic idea of a toasty, warm fire on a cold winter night. A stone fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home. Designing a stone fireplace for your home starts with great ideas and then a reality check to make sure the dreams and aspirations are going to work. A stone fireplace is heavy and needs to be designed with efficiency and precision in mind to actually be safe and useful.

Things You'll Need

  • Building codes for your area
  • Graph paper
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    • 1

      Check with your county commissioner's office for any permits or codes you need to follow before you begin your design.

    • 2

      Decide where the fireplace will be located. It will need to have a chimney.

    • 3

      Check your foundation. Design extra footers or support for the area under your fireplace.

    • 4

      Decide on the style of fireplace that will enhance to look of your room. ZFor example, field stone might enhance a country look. Hand-carved limestone will set off a contemporary design.

    • 5

      Measure the height, width and depth of the area where you are planning to build. A fireplace will take up space outside as well as inside. It can be designed nearly flush with your existing wall. On one piece of graph paper, draw the width and depth measurements of your intended fireplace in feet and inches, using one square of the graph paper to equal one foot. Measure the rest of the room's wall space and mark it on the same paper. On another sheet of graph paper, measure the height of your intended fireplace and the height of the room itself to generate a visual representation of how the fireplace will fit in the whole room.

    • 6

      Choose a fireplace inset that will fit the space you need. The inset is the part of the fireplace in which the fire will burn. The inset can be totally open or have glass doors. The stone surrounding the inset will make the fireplace bigger. Choose an inset smaller than your finished space allows. Pencil the inset measurements onto your graph paper.

    • 7

      Design your chimney to be at least 10 feet tall with a flue that is large enough to handle your fireplace inset. A flue that is too narrow will not allow the smoke to leave the room fast enough.

    • 8

      Choose a chimney cap design that will protect your chimney flue from animals, rain or windy downdraft.

    • 9

      Choose real stone that is selected at a quarry or a field. Faux stone can be purchased at most home improvement centers. Add stone veneer to the walls surrounding your fireplace inset for a more inexpensive and more lightweight stone fireplace. Pencil the width of the surrounding stone on your graph paper.