Masonry fireplaces are the focal point of many living spaces. Aesthetics are the big draw when it comes to masonry fireplaces, and many prospective buyers consider masonry fireplaces to be the top amenity in a home. However, homeowners who want to install conventional masonry fireplaces need to understand several things about them:
- They are expensive to install.
- They usually require additional floor support due to the heavy materials used to construct them.
- They do not heat a home as efficiently as compared to other fireplaces.
Typical Costs for Masonry Fireplaces
- Low-End Estimate: $3,500
- High-End Estimate: $20,000
- These prices are only for the cost of materials.
- Most masons will tack on about 25% in labor costs, taking into consideration the fireplace size, material type (brick, natural stone, or manufactured stone), hearth construction, and the installation of a metal damper.
- Masonry chimneys, mantelpieces, and glass doors/screens are usually separate and cost more.
- MasonryMagazine.com reports that in today's market, about 70% of fireplace jobs are manufactured stone; about 25% are brick; and about 5% are natural stone.
Additional costs for masonry fireplaces
Masonry Heaters: Masonry heaters are composed of stone used to conduct and preserve heat for up to 24 hours after the fire goes out
- Low-End Estimate: $20,000
- High-End Estimate: $25,000
- Low-End Estimate: $2,000
- High-End Estimate: $5,000
- For the mantel of your masonry fireplaces, you can have one that hangs on the wall or a free standing type.
- If you prefer the built-in type, make sure that it has the right support such as blocks of wood mortared into the stone fireplace at an ideal height. Inform your contractor about the need to put these blocks in place as they will be the mounting blocks that will support the mantel's weight.
- Glass Doors
- Low-End Estimate: $200
- High-End Estimate: $3,000
- Glass doors help increase heating efficiency that is often lost through the fireplace when the damper is open and the fire has died down.
- Glass doors improve the aesthetics of a masonry fireplace and prevent burning debris from flying out into the room.
- Chimney Caps
- Low-End Estimate: $30
- High-End Estimate: $40
- A chimney cap prevents leaves, debris, and animals from getting into your chimney.
- Contractors will charge $100 to $175 to install a chimney cap on your roof.
What to Expect from Masonry Fireplace Installation Services
Professional masonry fireplace installers will:
- Help you design or find the right fireplace design for your home (including a sketch that specifies the size of the fireplace, hearth, flue, and other dimensions).
- Determine the thickness of the firebox wall and how it should be built.
- Determine the proper clearances for the metal damper and air space for the chimney.
- Build the clay flue liners of chimneys, enclosed with at least four inches of solid masonry.
- Build out the front and hearth of the fireplace.
- Include any add-ons that you've purchased and agreed to have installed.