Barndominiums are a trending residential style with their rustic feel and open-plan living. They can be converted barns or new construction. One thing that can complete and add to the sense of coziness in your barndo is a fireplace.
You can install a fireplace in your barndominium if you have the budget and space and adhere to building code regulations. These factors will affect the type of fireplace you can get for your barndo.
This article will discuss the things that could hinder you from getting a fireplace, factors to consider, and the cost of the different types of fireplaces you can choose from.
Things That Might Prevent You From Getting a Fireplace
You must consider certain things that may limit or prevent you from having a fireplace in your barndominium.
The Layout of Your Barndo
Fireplaces need space, especially wood-burning masonry fireplaces. They include the firebox and the chimney going up to the roof. If your barndo has two stories, locating a chimney might be difficult as it will cut through the upper floor.
A spare closet can be allocated for this. Another way to do it would be to use the broad side of the chimney surface as a decorative wall.
Even if you choose a different type of fireplace – masonry, wood-burning, gas, or electric – you need to dedicate a space or area for it. Choose a room you use the most in your home, like the living room.
You can also choose a smaller, easier-to-heat room, like a study, office, or main bedroom.
Fire Safety Concerns
When you think of a barndominium, a converted barn, you may question the safety of putting a fireplace in a wooden construction.
However, modern barndominiums don’t just include converted barns anymore, but new constructions. Barndos are now made of steel framing with metal sheet siding, which are fire-resistant materials.
Even if your barndo is constructed of wood, following building regulations, proper installation and maintenance, and fire safety precautions will keep any fire risks to a minimum.
If you want a few safety tips when enjoying your fireplace, check out these lists from Healthy Children.org and West Bend Mutual Insurance.
This is most applicable to wood-burning fireplaces. Some states have restrictions such as any wood-burning installation, especially inserts and wood stoves, adhering to certain standards. For example, in Oregon, installing wood stoves that aren’t certified is prohibited.
In other states, like Colorado, vent-free gas fireplaces are completely banned.
Do your research and ensure that the fireplace you plan to install isn’t prohibited by regulations in your state. Different states have varying codes that may or may not affect your fireplace installation.
Your Budget for a Fireplace
Adding a fireplace to your barndominium is no small thing. Once confirming that you can legally get a fireplace for your barndo, set aside a large enough budget for it.
Here are some of the costs that you will need to consider:
- Price of the unit/ insert
- New gas/ electric lines
HomeGuide.com puts the cost of getting a fireplace at $100 – $5,600, depending on the type that you plan to get. You don’t want to make plans and preparations for a fireplace, then suddenly stop in the middle of the project because of a lack of funds.
More detailed breakdowns of the costs will be discussed further below.
Factors To Consider When Getting a Fireplace
Now that you know you can get a fireplace for your barndo, here are some things to keep in mind:
Building Code and Regulations for Fireplaces
Codes and regulations for fireplaces vary from state to state. However, there are a few general codes that are mostly applicable across the United States. You’ll need to check your local council’s guidelines to see what regulations you’ll need to adhere to.
The Cost of Different Types of Fireplaces
As stated before, the type of fireplace you plan to get for your barndo will affect the cost. The types of fireplaces will be listed, along with average costs such as labor and other expenses you may encounter.
This is the most romantic of the fireplace types and what usually comes to mind when picturing a cozy fireplace. However, it’s also the most expensive due to the construction being labor-intensive with masonry work.
- Material Cost (Firebox only): $1,136 – $1,454
- Labor Cost (No Flue/ Chimney): $2,210 – $2,941
The average cost to build a masonry fireplace can range from $3,500 – $5,600. If you plan to make an authentic mason-built brick fireplace, you can spend $10,000 or more.
Prefabricated Wood-Burning Fireplace
You still get the ambiance from a wood-burning fire but save on the labor costs that come with a masonry fireplace since this is prefabricated. This fireplace type also has a chimney and flue.
- Material Cost (Firebox only): $1,250 – $2,063
- Labor Cost (No Flue/ Chimney): $670 – $1,463
The average cost to install a wood-burning fireplace, including the flue/ chimney, ranges from $1,200 – $4,500.
One advantage of this type is that you don’t burn any wood, which means no smoke, soot, or ash. It only takes the flick of a switch to start these fireplaces too.
The maintenance of these fireplaces is pretty minimal. Still, the installation cost may be quite high, especially if you need a new gas line installed.
- Material Cost (Firebox only): $1,085 – $2,861
- Labor Cost (No flue/ Chimney): $2,500 – $2,822
- Gas line installation: $12 – $25 per linear foot (30 cm)
- Cost to run per hour: Natural Gas- $0.70, Propane- $2.30 (depending on utility costs per state)
The average cost to install a gas-burning fireplace is around $2,300 – $4,000.
Duluth Forge Ventless Fireplace Insert (available on Amazon.com) can run on natural gas or liquid propane. You can control the heat via remote control and warm up a space as wide as 1,500 square feet (139 square meters).
This type is the cheapest and easiest to install. They’re portable too. The only thing is, they won’t run when there’s a power outage, and you don’t get the ambiance you would get from a real wood-burning fire.
- Material Cost (Firebox only): $100 – $2,200
- Labor Cost (No Flue/ Chimney): $0 – $365
- Wiring: $140 – $200 or $6 – $8 per linear foot (30 cm)
- Cost to run per hour: $0.15 – $0.22 (depending on utility costs per state)
The average cost to install an electric fireplace is $100 – $2,565.
If you don’t want an LED screen display, you can try out PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert (available on Amazon.com). This product mimics the look of a real burning fireplace with resin logs resting on an ember bed. It can provide heat for a space up to 400 square feet (37 square meters).
Whether you can have a fireplace in a barndominium is only one of the concerns you may have. Thankfully, I’ve compiled a list of things you should know about a barndominium before building one. Read it to avoid the common mistakes many people make.
A fireplace can be a perfect addition to your barndominium. Make sure to do your research first, especially regarding regulations, cost, and the type of fireplace you want. It’s safe to enjoy a fireplace in your barndo when it’s constructed well, maintained properly, and you adhere to fire safety tips.