*This blog post was sponsored by Clayton for Sarah Blankenship to write on behalf of Clayton in an agreement for Sarah Blankenship to be a brand ambassador.
There is nothing quite like the snap and crackle of a fire in the fireplace during a long and cold winter day. Having a wood burning fireplace is an economical way to heat our prefabricated home*.
It also provides the warm, cozy and inviting farmhouse feel that our family is trying to achieve in our home.
Installing a wood burning fireplace** was a great advantage for our family. We live in an area where ice storms can happen and potentially leave us without a way to heat our home for an extended period of time. It also helps in keeping our electricity cost lower.
*Check with your home consultant and local, licensed contractor before adding a wood burning fireplace to your prefabricated home.
**Please reference the PREPARE FIREPLACES section of the Site Construction Manual that came with your home for important instructions pertaining to wood stoves. Wood stoves must be listed for use with manufactured homes and must be installed in accordance with the stove manufacturer’s instructions.
When we purchased our home, it came with the fireplace that was built for it. After several years of neglect from the previous owners, we knew that we would need to replace the fireplace or put in a completely new one that still followed the rules and regulations for a prefabricated home. It’s important to take care of your fireplace properly so that it will last. Since we wanted to be able to heat our home entirely with wood, we chose to install a new wood burning stove.
After doing some research, we knew that we had to look for a wood stove that was approved for use in a manufactured home. One of the major differences between a regular stove and a stove approved for a prefabricated home is the air intake system. Prefabricated homes are built using tight construction to prevent unwanted air infiltration. You can tell a stove that has been approved for use in a prefabricated home because it will be listed for usage with prefabricated homes, and must be installed according to their listing – including a vent to the exterior of the home.¹
Preparing for a New Fireplace
Since we were completely tearing out the original fireplace, we also chose to move the wall that it was on back three feet to enlarge our family room. Moving the fireplace back three feet meant we would have to cover the existing chimney hole and create a new hole for the chimney and stove pipe. I recommend hiring a professional to do this. You can search online for licensed professionals in your area.
The next step was to build the hearth and tile it – which you can also build a faux fireplace mantel. Building a hearth gave the wood stove a place to sit and it also provided a way for us to ensure that the weight of the stove was evenly distributed and supported. This also ensured that the wood floors would be protected from any hot embers that may fall from the fireplace. Always make sure that the materials you choose are rated to withstand the heat that the fireplace or stove will generate.
These are the steps we took to build the hearth base: • Decided how big we wanted the hearth and used 2x4 boards to build the base. • Put down a layer of plywood over the 2x4 base. • Next, we put a layer of concrete board over the top of the plywood. • Finally, we laid the tile over the top of the concrete board. To tile the wall behind the stove we: • Removed the existing sheetrock pieces. • Then, put up a layer of concrete board. • Finally, we laid tile on the wall after the stove was in place.
Laying the tile on the wall was probably one thing that I would change if we were to do the process over again. It would have been easier to tile the wall first and then put the stove in.
Installing a Wood Burning Fireplace
With the help of a contractor, the last step was to install the wood stove and put in the stove pipe. The stove pipe that we used was double-wall black stove pipe placed further than 18 inches from the wall. When installing a wood stove in a prefabricated home, the wood stove has to be attached to the floor. There are several rules and regulations to follow when installing a wood burning stove. We felt that it was important to make sure things were done the correct way to ensure that our wood burning stove would be safe for our family to use.
Installing a wood burning fireplace in our home was a good choice for our family. We are able to keep our heating costs low and we have a way to heat our home in case of power outages. Our entire family enjoys gathering together on cold winter days in the family room to play games, read books, sip hot cocoa and to simply enjoy watching the fire in the fireplace as we stay toasty warm.