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Gas Fireplace Insert advise/recommendation

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[OP]
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Jun 5, 2007
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Toronto

Gas Fireplace Insert advise/recommendation

Hi,

We are looking to change our wood burning fireplace with a direct vent (through the existing chimney) gas fireplace insert. Some say our fireplace opening is small (24" wide x 25" height x 19" depth) which limits our options a bit. My question is what is the average cost (parts and labour) to install one of these inserts? What should I be looking for in terms of specs/features? And any brand/model recommendations would also be helpful.

Thanks.
18 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2008
1141 posts
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Toronto
If I have fireplace questions I would contact Odyssey Fireplaces and ask for Frank (i think). Just ask him all the questions you have and he should give you specs for a number of different fireplace companies.
[OP]
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Jun 5, 2007
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Toronto
Thanks Faemow. How did you come about Odyssey Fireplaces? Did you use them before?
Deal Expert
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Dec 12, 2009
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OP, your opening seems rather small. I got a valor insert 3 years ago. Paid around $3k installed. Prices are quite close from one shop to another. The thing that can really bump up price is all the fancy add-ons. Visit a few fireplace centers and you will see. I went with valor because they are a Canadian company, their units had the widest range of flame control. My room is not that large and I wanted to be able to dial down the BTUs as much as possible. The remote control unit is kinda handy. I can turn the pilot light on and off using the remote.
[OP]
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Jun 5, 2007
211 posts
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Toronto
will888 wrote: OP, your opening seems rather small. I got a valor insert 3 years ago. Paid around $3k installed. Prices are quite close from one shop to another. The thing that can really bump up price is all the fancy add-ons. Visit a few fireplace centers and you will see. I went with valor because they are a Canadian company, their units had the widest range of flame control. My room is not that large and I wanted to be able to dial down the BTUs as much as possible. The remote control unit is kinda handy. I can turn the pilot light on and off using the remote.
I double check my measurements and its accurate. Where did you buy your valor and which model? One dealer said that the valor portrait series could fit in our fireplace. Also, what time of the year did you get it? I'm just wondering if these things go on sale. Thanks.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
1074 posts
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Markham
Fireplaces usually don't have much of a sale season. I would suggest the capella by Marquis (also a canadian company). They are priced around $3K installed, but the options are usually less expensive than the competition. The best value fireplace out there..
Newbie
May 12, 2006
84 posts
3 upvotes
baluyot wrote: Hi,

We are looking to change our wood burning fireplace with a direct vent (through the existing chimney) gas fireplace insert. Some say our fireplace opening is small (24" wide x 25" height x 19" depth) which limits our options a bit. My question is what is the average cost (parts and labour) to install one of these inserts? What should I be looking for in terms of specs/features? And any brand/model recommendations would also be helpful.

Thanks.
I have been thinking of doing this as well. However, when you say you are switching to gas direct vent, then my understanding is that you no longer need the chimney. The venting goes straight out the exterior wall. Is this not correct?
[OP]
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Jun 5, 2007
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Toronto
live wire wrote: I have been thinking of doing this as well. However, when you say you are switching to gas direct vent, then my understanding is that you no longer need the chimney. The venting goes straight out the exterior wall. Is this not correct?
I still want the direct vent intake/exhaust to go through the chimney. I think they are calling this setup "co-linear". I rather avoid punching more holes through the exterior walls.
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Jul 29, 2007
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OP, look up a place in Vaughan called Tradeia, they seem to have super good prices for Napoleon fireplaces. I was getting dcked around with in Sudbury here so I just got it done myself. I picked up the top end fireplace insert (GDI44, gorgeous) from Tradeia and then got it installed and ticketed locally for $700. I was getting install quotes in Sudbury of 4400. I managed to do it myself for $3500. A cheaper model fireplace would have been a lot less, maybe even 1000 less, so i prob coulda done it for $2500.

One thing though: be very VERY sure it will fit before you buy it yourself. I almost got killed on that as my lintel was very deep and the front exhaust pipe was very close to not being far enough back to clear it. It's not one of the things you think about when you are considering dimensions, but it almost got me good.

Also, make sure you buy everything you need if you're doing it yourself, Tradeia is a big help with this. you'll need twin pipes doing up chimney, fireplace, roof termination kit and any optionals (andirons, rocks, reflective panels, remote controls).
[OP]
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Jun 5, 2007
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Toronto
Can anyone suggest any good reputable gas fireplace insert dealer/installer in the GTA?
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Dec 12, 2009
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baluyot wrote: I double check my measurements and its accurate. Where did you buy your valor and which model? One dealer said that the valor portrait series could fit in our fireplace. Also, what time of the year did you get it? I'm just wondering if these things go on sale. Thanks.
I got mine at Marsh's fireplace. The model is a G3, there was no G4 back then. The features that impressed me was a low dial down to 6500 btu and the remote control. I followed pricing for a few months while I was doing my due dilligence. It does not look like fireplaces go on sale like electronics. The best I saw was like $100-150 off. I had it installed in late September. You should be fine with installing it anytime before the snow comes. It would not be nice to have the installer climb onto slick rooftop.

BTW, I did get a blower even though valor claims that their unit is very efficient without a fan. The fan spreads the heat a lot better.
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Dec 12, 2009
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baluyot wrote: I still want the direct vent intake/exhaust to go through the chimney. I think they are calling this setup "co-linear". I rather avoid punching more holes through the exterior walls.
I missed this part. IIRC, co-linear is the piping used to vent out the side wall, where one tube sits inside another. If you vent up the chimney, they use two separate tubes, one for fresh air and another for exhaust air and they join to a common cap that will replace the current cap. Although not as popular and a bit cheaper is a b-vent unit that draws fresh air from the room and exhausts up the chimney. This is not a good idea because it makes the room drafty.

I went for the chimney option because I already have a chimney. I too hate the idea of punching more holes in the wall. The only hole I needed was to run the gas line into the house. Luckily, my meter is 6 feet away.
[OP]
Member
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Jun 5, 2007
211 posts
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Toronto
will888 wrote: I got mine at Marsh's fireplace. The model is a G3, there was no G4 back then. The features that impressed me was a low dial down to 6500 btu and the remote control. I followed pricing for a few months while I was doing my due dilligence. It does not look like fireplaces go on sale like electronics. The best I saw was like $100-150 off. I had it installed in late September. You should be fine with installing it anytime before the snow comes. It would not be nice to have the installer climb onto slick rooftop.

BTW, I did get a blower even though valor claims that their unit is very efficient without a fan. The fan spreads the heat a lot better.
will888 wrote: I missed this part. IIRC, co-linear is the piping used to vent out the side wall, where one tube sits inside another. If you vent up the chimney, they use two separate tubes, one for fresh air and another for exhaust air and they join to a common cap that will replace the current cap. Although not as popular and a bit cheaper is a b-vent unit that draws fresh air from the room and exhausts up the chimney. This is not a good idea because it makes the room drafty.

I went for the chimney option because I already have a chimney. I too hate the idea of punching more holes in the wall. The only hole I needed was to run the gas line into the house. Luckily, my meter is 6 feet away.
Thanks for the info! So, did your G3 unit w/ fan cost $3k (taxes and installation incl)? Also, how noisy is the fan?
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baluyot wrote: Thanks for the info! So, did your G3 unit w/ fan cost $3k (taxes and installation incl)? Also, how noisy is the fan?
I don't have the receipts anymore (warranty is over long ago) and so I can't quote an exact price. Going on memory, it was a touch over $3000 with taxes included. The fan cost something like $250. The fan is pretty quiet. It has a speed control. If you crank it to max speed, it can be noisy. About half speed is enough to push the warm air out. I find the noise level is be quite reasonable/tolerable. Best thing to do is find a show room that has a unit with a fan installed and test drive for yourself. Worst case, get the fan option and if the noise bothers you so much, don't run it. It is not a huge expense. Anyway, no regrets whatsoever getting the fan because it gets used all the time.
Newbie
Mar 3, 2010
77 posts
18 upvotes
got a good deal in Mar2012, very basic black front fireplace, with fan, vented up the old chimney, intalled, $2200. Fireplacedepot.com, call Riz at 416-255-3838
Deal Addict
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Dec 18, 2004
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Mississauga
Avalonboy wrote: got a good deal in Mar2012, very basic black front fireplace, with fan, vented up the old chimney, intalled, $2200. Fireplacedepot.com, call Riz at 416-255-3838
Seems like they're out of business. Any other suggestions by folks? I'm getting about $3800-4100 installed for a Valor G3.5 from two vendors.
Sr. Member
Jul 20, 2012
745 posts
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Guelph
Try Marsh's Woodstoves and Fireplaces. They are in the Dundas West/Runneymede area.
Member
Dec 11, 2009
414 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto
Classic Fireplace
1828 Queen St. E. 416-698-3473 (416-283-2783- Scarb store Joshua)
E of Lockwood Rd W of Woodbine
Newbie
Dec 7, 2012
1 posts
Ajax
Looking into a replacement for my old Instaflame Direct vent gas fireplace. My local fireplace salesmen is recommending some American made companies. However I am having difficulty getting any reviews on them for their quality and reliability. I am hoping someone on this forum has some info. Keep in mind they recommended them as I want to use all existing opening sizes and rear vent locations. In other words a simple remove old and replace with as little construction to drywall cavity and hole in brick location.

They recommended the Astria Scorpion 35, The Heat and Glo SL-5 and SL-5X, and the most expensive recommendation, Fireplace Xtrordinair 564ss. According to the installer/salesman these units will fit my current needs for a simple Remove and Replace.

I am currently leaning towards the Astria Scorpion 35. Does anyone have info about these products and how they compare with say a Cdn. made Napolean or Valor product?

Thanks

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