This prefabricated fireplace was no longer operable and Ronnie, the homeowner, had her heart set on installing the Windsor front with the Portrait electric fireplace. This would have been impossible without the help of her very knowledgeable local installation crew at FIREPLACE & CHIMNEY AUTHORITY in Elmhurst IL.*
Because the electric fireplace needs to sit on the floor of the fireplace behind the Windsor front, the prefab's raised floor presented a challenge.
The installation crew devised an innovative solution: cut out part of the prefab, leaving the rest intact. Since the old fireplace is no longer usable, altering it for installation of the electric was a viable option. **Under normal circumstances we wouldn't advise totally gutting a prefab fireplace, and it just wouldn't be necessary for retrofitting most electrics**
The PORTRAIT ELECTRIC INSERT is small, but too tall for the fireplace. Cutting out the prefab's floor provided extra height to accommodate the Portrait engine, greatly reducing the amount of work that would need to be done to entirely remove the fireplace and its metal chimney. The installers were even able to cut through the framed floor below to run an electrical line to provide a hidden plug for the electric insert.
At left the electric insert has been installed into the fireplace. Note how nicely it now fits below the vents of the old prefab fireplace.
The next challenge is the size of the bricked opening. Ronnie wants to use the Windsor cast iron front but the width wouldn't quite cover the sides of the opening and yet is also just a bit taller than the brick opening. The installers came up with the perfect solution and were able to cut the top of the back panel just enough that the Windsor front could recess into the brick opening.
Ronnie's installation crew did a fabulous job of meeting the challenge to customize her fireplace and give her just the look she wanted. Her fireplace looks like it was originally built this way and is just stunning!