Thinking About Installing a Gas Fireplace? Here's What It Will Cost…
As much as I loved the look of my traditional wood burning fireplace (especially when it was decked out with our Christmas stockings,) it simply wasn’t functional. The few times we went through the effort of bringing in wood and trying to light a fire on a chilly winter night – it usually ended up with our smoke alarm going off (and me frantically opening every window to air out the house).
The fireplace is supposed to be the focal point of our living room, but for most of the year it goes unused and sealed off to prevent drafts. Needless to say, when my husband and I heard about how easy it could be to install a gas fireplace into our existing space, we were sold.
With the touch of a button our gas fireplace comes to life. Now my kids and I can cuddle up and watch movies in the perfect setting with a cozy winter meal.
If you’re thinking about installing a gas fireplace, here’s everything you need to know about how much it will cost.
The price of comfort
The overall cost of installing a gas fireplace is broken down by materials, installation, finishing and labor, as outlined by Fixr.com.
- Firebox installation - $600.
- Vent pipe installation - $750.
- Full installation and finish - $2,750.
- Gas line - $150 - $800.
Altogether, you should expect to pay anywhere between $3,650 - $7,800 to install a gas fireplace.
Ventless fireplace vs vented fireplace
When we went to purchase a gas fireplace, I was surprised to only have two options. We had already considered an electric fireplace, but preferred the look of real flames and the ability to heat a room quickly which gas fireplaces offer.
Ventless and vented fireplaces are competitively priced so one isn’t necessarily more or less expensive than the other. Doityourself.com breaks down the difference between the two if you’re curious:
- Direct-vent - The easiest way to convert an existing home fireplace into a gas fireplace. A professional will need to install a vent pipe to draw combustion air from the outside and release exhaust through the roof. Because of the additional work to install a vent pipe, it may cost you more up front. If you already have a fireplace in your home, it's easy to hide the venting in your chimney. With these models, gas logs can be used to add a more realistic look to your gas fireplace, but come at an additional cost of between $300-$500 dollars.
- Ventless - Can be installed anywhere, even without a chimney in place. They have a ceramic plaque burner that provides heat. Just remember, you cannot use gas logs in a ventless model. Since gas fireplaces need natural gas to function, you may have to add room in your budget to install a gas line. Always have a professional installer come to ensure your gas fireplace is set up correctly, in accordance with local building codes and brush up on your gas safety knowledge.
The pros and cons of a gas fireplace
While gas fireplaces may set you back more than electric fireplaces, they are much more efficient at heating a room and provide immediate gratification. While an annual inspection is important to uphold safety, these units are actually pretty low-maintenance.
Unlike a wood burning fireplace, there’s no ash or soot that needs to be cleaned up (a major win in my fight against dust bunnies). Maybe best of all, when the power goes out, a gas fireplace still works to provide heat!
Like any fireplace, safety is the biggest concern. The doors of a gas fireplace, Fixr.com reports, can reach a temperature of 400º F and take about 45 minutes to cool down enough to touch. For the safety of my kids (and even myself) I installed a safety screen.
Being prepared for any heating systems repairs is always a good idea. See how plans from HomeServe can help offset the costs of covered home repairs.