Framing for a fireplace insert
Do I need to use metal studs to build the front wall for a gas fireplace insert when I already have the old firebox in place?
You don't need to frame with metal studs for a fireplace insert.
Fireplace inserts do come with manufactures recommendations on how to frame out the opening for the fireplace insert.
Clearances are specified in the instructions for the original construction and framing for the fireplace.
Since you are replacing a fireplace insert, if it is the same size, you should be able to remove the old fireplace insert and install the new fireplace insert in its place.
If you are changing the original opening to enlarge or reduce the opening for the fireplace insert, refer to the manufacturer instruction for clearances. I didn't see any special requirements for metal studs on the last installation I made.
For reference, see the many images of fireplace insert framing.
In my opinion, if I were to change fireplace inserts, I would try to find a near exact replacement size for ease of installation.
Changing sizes of the fireplace may require changes in the chimney size of the original insert.
The advantage of using fireplace inserts over the open fireplace is there is a space between the firebox and the outside walls of the insert.
Other considerations for the front wall of the fireplace could be if you want to use masonry, stone, or brick.
You would need framing (metal or wood) for the manufactured (man made) type of stone or brick.
Real stone or brick is much heavier. Framing would not be needed however, a solid footing to support the weight of the stone or brick would have to be provided.
Additionally, check with you're Municipal Building Code Department to follow Safe Building Practices.
Manufacturer recommendations usually surpass Building Code although I would recommend contacting your Local Building Department Inspector for any additional or alternative building practices that may benefit your remodeling project.
Just a reminder to check with your insurance Agent. Fireplaces usually add additional costs to your homeowner's insurance.
Additionally, if your fireplace insert is installed without pulling a permit, should there be a failure or fire, it wouldn't be unheard of for the Insurance Company to deny payment of a claim.
I probably gave you more information than you wanted, but I would make a call to the
Pull the Required permits,
and if you're hiring out the project,
be sure to get proof from your building contractor,
their license number and proof of insurance.
Hope this helps you,
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