Check back often for tips and articles on fireplaces, historic renovation, home decor and more.
Who wants to lug wood up the stairs or tote ashes down? We're often asked about installing or renovating fireplaces in bedrooms so they can burn gas. It is a controversial issue as building inspectors sometimes don't like the idea due to safety concerns.
Posted by Karen Duke on 9/1/2018
Learn about the primary safety concerns with old wood burning prefabricated fireplaces
Posted by Karen Duke on 8/31/2018
We don't hire out as chimney sweeps any more, so here's some advice on how to find the right company to take care of your chimney cleaning.
Posted by Karen Duke on 8/30/2018
Smoke stains on the outside of your fireplace are proof of a smoking problem. This is a primary safety concern because soot stains are CARBON particles. If you have soot stains inside your home, you have also had CARBON MONOXIDE fumes in your home.
Posted by Karen Duke on 8/30/2018
Has a pilot light become obsolete on gas fireplace products?
Posted by Karen Duke on 8/29/2018
Historic homes were not built like they are today, with a solid masonry base below. Over time the weight of the hearth combined with the house settling over the decades can lead to serious fire safety issues.
Posted by Karen Duke on 8/28/2018
Confused about the difference in gas logs versus gas inserts? Vented gas logs are just a pretty fire that provide little to no real heat gain while a gas insert can use your fireplace to heat your house! Learn more.
Posted by on 8/15/2018
Yes, you CAN have an electric fireplace with vintage style!
Posted by Karen Duke on 4/27/2018
Sometimes a gas insert will produce too much heat and can damage the finish on the mantel. Here's how we address that.
Posted by on 3/3/2018
It may seem like a good idea to remove the rear wall of a fireplace to make it a see-through, but here's why it doesn't work.
Posted by on 2/15/2018
Expert tip on how and why to paint a fireplace black
Posted by on 1/18/2018
1911 Building codes specified that chimney liners shall be used, but other specifications offer unsound advice. Get a link to the code and some further information from us.
Posted by on 1/1/2018
Luckily, there are many different directions you can take with home decor to personalize your own vintage style.
Posted by Karen Duke on 12/14/2017
Posted by on 11/17/2017
How to make a brick fireplace work with the Windsor Arch gas insert
Posted by on 11/7/2017
Posted by on 11/6/2017
Here's the reason you CANNOT convert your wood stove to burn gas.
Why a vent-free gas appliance is a bad idea in an unlined chimney
Posted by Karen on 11/6/2017
Posted by on 11/3/2017
Here's our highest recommendation for a chimney sweep in the Richmond, VA area.
I've found some great old antique fireplace accessories, now how do I clean and restore them?
Posted by on 8/24/2017
Before central heating, all rooms were warmed with a fireplace or, in the latter part of the Victorian era, with wood or coal stoves. So who kept all those fires going?
Posted by on 3/22/2017
How do you fit a fireplace into a room that's just 12' x 12'?
Posted by Karen Duke on 1/28/2017
Choose a small model and mount it farther up the wall! Here's how we did it.
Laying tile on a
fireplace wall - especially an old fireplace that isn't flat and level -
can be a challenge. Let us share our secret method with you.Save
Posted by Karen Duke on 12/31/2016
Posted by on 10/24/2016
Direct vent stoves and fireplaces offer versatile venting options for a fire in nearly any room
How to clean soot stains from brick (and how to prevent that soot from happening again!)
Posted by on 10/17/2016
In many turn of the century homes it's common to see a coal fireplace with a door that's an open grate. Usually this was never a proper fireplace but was a passive heating system that made use of the hot vented air from a downstairs fireplace.
Posted by on 10/7/2016