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Before building a fireplace

Do you want to add a fireplace to your interior? We can already guess what your first question is: “Where do I start?” You may be good with your hands, but building a fireplace is not the same as renovating a hardwood floor or building a wall. Not many handymen can boast that they built a fireplace in their home.

If you’re looking for a guide to build or renovate a fireplace, Marie-Pierre Dubois Petroff, architect by training, shows the steps to take in her book, La cheminée, plus de 120 réalisations.

From the beginning, she obligates you to ask the fundamental question. Do you want a central fireplace, a fireplace connected to the wall, one that is built-in or suspended? Or do you want to install it in a corner of the bedroom, the kitchen or the living room?


All these fireplaces have their have their decorative charm, but each one imposes its limits on renovators, due to their location and the structure of the building, especially if the idea is to add a fireplace in an existing room. Questions arise as to the evacuation of the smoke, the air intake, the heat radiation if the fireplace is more oriented towards heating than the spectacle of the burning flames. Continue reading