Monday, September 24, 2012

Fireplaces common construction terms 10

Common construction terms 10 Fireplaces

Have you have ever been on a construction site talking to your contractor and been totally lost in the terms that they are using? Well I’m here to help, here are some common terms that contractor’s use that you might not understand.

Zero clearance fireplace. This is a type of fireplace, can be wood or gas. What you need to know is that just because it’s called zero clearance, it doesn’t mean that you can put anything you want close to it or have the hearth as close to the flame window as possible. Zero clearance refers to the rear of the fireplace. It means that the fireplace can sit up against a wall without needing an air space.
Cement board. Cement board is the sheeting that is installed on the studs of showers and backsplashes. It is installed anywhere that you want to have tile on a wall or tub deck. It is made from concrete and is usually about ½” thick. It is installed the same way that you install a sheet of drywall, with screws. Cement board is considered non combustable and is safe to use around fireplace openings.
Chase. A chase is a column in a wall that is allows wiring, mechanical or plumbing to travel from one floor to the next. It is usually framed around by wood or metal studs and covered in drywall.
Firebox. This is the area in which the fire is actually built and burnt. It is designed to withstand extremes in heat.
Viewing window. This is the part of the fireplace that you can see the flame.
Surround. This is either a metal or tile area that is around the viewing window of the fireplace.
Mantle. This is usually made of wood, it sits above the viewing window of the fireplace. Usually used to display pictures or other worldly treasures.
Damper. This is a metal flap that is in the chimney that is manually opened to allow more air into a wood burning fireplace.
Insert. This is a fireplace that is made to fit into an existing fireplace hole. It allows you to convert a wood fireplace into either a sealed gas fireplace or an air tight wood fireplace.
Bird cage. This is metal screening that is installed at the top of the chimney to restrict birds and other animals from getting into the chimney.
Clay tiles. These are what a lot of hand built chimney and fireplaces are made out from. They are oblong shapes that are made from clay and are stacked on top of each other to line the chimney. This helps to direct the heat up the chimney and out of the house.
Draw. This is the rate in which air is pulled up the chimney from the firebox, it helps create a draft so that the fire burns better and the smoke leaves the house through the chimney.
Chimney cap. This refers to the top of the chimney. It can either be made out of masonry or metal.
Liner. This is usually a continuous metal sleeve that runs from the top of insect or firebox all the way through the chimney until it reaches the chimney cap.
Hearth. This is in front of the fireplace, it is made out of a non-combustible material like stone or tile. It can be used as a seat but it’s primary job is to protect against anything overheating and catching on fire. In a wood burning stove its primary function is to protect against sparks and logs that fall out of the firebox.
Blower. This is a fan that takes the heat from around the fireplace and disperses it into the room away from the fireplace.
Fresh air intake. This is a duct that brings in air from the outside of the home. They are used with sealed fireplaces.

Look for part 11 coming soon....

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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