Fireplace install

The fireplace hunt had us looking near and far (mostly far) for the right model. The process required contacting Stuv to see if they would sell a fireplace directly to us (rather than through a dealer because there wasn’t one in the immediate region). They were happy to oblige, but told us they were interested in having a rep in our area. They asked if we would be willing to work with someone local for the install and we said we were open. Stuv reached out to Forshaw, the preeminent dealer of all things fire in the St Louis area. Seriously, if you live here, you know the Forshaw jingle from their radio commercials. When I told my mom they were involved she said, “Oooh! They’re very high end.” Long story long, they were interested in the project. The owner actually came out meet with Aaron and give us a bid.

Ultimately it was a win-win-win for everyone. We bought the fireplace from Forshaw and basically got the installation (setting it in place) for free. They also beat the quote we had for the flue installation. Score!

Forshaw bought the model at a subsidized cost and can now install the Stuv model throughout the city. I’m sure after this blog post there will be a run on Stuv fireplaces… And Stuv has a company they can refer and sell too in St Louis, and ultimately they sold another unit.

Because of our layout, there was still some framing work for Aaron to do.


First, he drilled holes and anchored the base.

001fireplace_install 002fireplace_install

Then he constructed the rest of the structure. You can actually see the fireplace in the photo below. It’s the silver box with the blue plastic hanging off.

003fireplace_install 004fireplace_install 005fireplace_install

Next, he needed to create a sturdy, heat-resistant base for the fireplace to rest on. We wanted to keep the fireplace low to the ground, so he added some 2x4s and topped those with two sheets of cement board.

006fireplace_install 007fireplace_install

Then it was time to get rid of the glass blocks! A chisel attachment on his hammer drill made quick work of it.

008fireplace_install 009fireplace_install 010fireplace_install

Here’s how things were looking from the outside.

011fireplace_install 012fireplace_install 013fireplace_install

With everything prepped, the crew from Forshaw came out to set the unit in place and install the new flue! As a DIY-er it’s always exciting to see OTHER people working on your house, especially when those other people are as courteous and professional as the crew from Forshaw.


Code requires a 45 degree angle for flue vents, so that required removing a few additional bricks above the window.


This part of the project has been complete since early September. I’ve been waiting to tell you about it because we’ve had a HUGE HOLE in the side of our building! The mason we used for the window cutouts majorly flaked out. It took some time to find a new contractor we liked and who wouldn’t charge us an arm and a leg for this project. Then it took a long time schedule the work… but finally on Sunday a mason arrived and made our building whole again!

016fireplace_install 017fireplace_install

The mason did a fantastic job and got even closer to the flue than we expected. There’s a small gap at the top, which is hard to photograph, that Aaron will insulate. Forshaw is coming back out to add a collar and then we can call this phase of the installation complete!


The mason is also coming back out to give the new section an acid wash that will help it blend in better. Even without that step, we’re thrilled with the work and how everything looks.

019fireplace_install 020fireplace_install

Here’s a view from the inside. If you watched the most recent walk through video you got a peek at this already.


Basically this is how things will sit until we do the finishing work. That involves covering the framing with our choice of cladding and running the vents (you can see the holes on the right side of the fireplace).


All of that is going to wait until we get some of the other bones done in the room: HVAC, boxing out the windows, electrical, lighting and paint. So we’re on the cusp of winter with an 80% installed fireplace. I keep walking by and muttering “next year… next year” Which is to say that this feels like much needed progress at the firehouse.