I have been working my way through my summer “chore” project. No I am not that passionate about it however I am still able to get my head into it and find some enjoyment. The job at hand involves building a wood burning fireplace in the back yard.

By this time I already had the fireplace set in place and it was time to run the ventilation and then close the whole thing up. I’ll state it up front and admit that I have no qualifications when it comes to fireplace building. I understand there are strict codes that I need to abide by and I have followed the manufactures installations instructions. Apparently when building an outdoor fireplace one needs to ensure that there is a constant supply of fresh combustion air. Therefore the manufacturer states that intake air plumbing needs to run 6 feet up though duct work to vents located on the backside of the surround. I admit I do not fully understand why and outdoor fireplace can’t get it’s oxygen from the big hole that the wood goes in and the heat comes out however who am I to question.

So…as per manufacturers specifications I ran the required duct work for both the fresh air as well as the chimney cooling. Heat N Glo had supplied me white plastic vents to use on the façade where the ducting would plumb to. I am not a big fan of plastic, especially white plastic built into an outdoor structure that is exposed to the elements. Instead I opted to switch them out for the typical galvanized metal ones available at my local hardware store.

Since the fire place will be finished in a darker colored brick and stucco I decided to make some money back on my powder coating equipment. The galvanized vents got a sandblasting and then were powder coated matte black to allow them to withstand the weather as well as blend in with the rest of the fireplace colors.

So with the vents mounted and the ventilation ducts plumbed there was nothing left to do but sheet the structure. I admit I have done more exciting projects however for the time being this is what is consuming my “garage time”. Next I’ll move onto prepping the plywood to take on a scratch coat and then eventually stucco and brick.

  1. raceman says:

    hm just curios is it ok to build a fireplace of wood in us?
    and you should hav powdercoated the airduc without blasting them for better corrosion protection

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey raceman, I am not sure of the legalities of building a fireplace made of wood is in the US, I suspect it is governed on a local level and therefore every place would be different. Up here in Canada in the neck of the woods I live in it is legal. Heat N Glo sells the kit and there installation instruction cover both US and Canada. The manual specifically states where combustable and non combustable materials can be used. All the houses up here that have fireplaces built on the inside are always framed in wood. Whenever I do anything that may impact my house insurance or resale I always make sure I talk to the insurance company first and get the required permits to perform the work.

      I had considered not sandblasting the vents however my thought process was this. If the powder coating has good adhesion to the substrate then the protection would be in the powder coating and not the metal. If the galvanized metal was to be relied on for corrosion resistance then the only time it would come into play is if the powder coating breaks down and allows the moisture in. To ensure that the powder coating grabs to the best of its ability a sandblasted surface is what I went for. If the powder coating is done right then the substrate should not have to be relied upon for protection.


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