I have a gas fireplace in my basement which I was told had a small crack in the side and was told it was unsafe. Can this be repaired? Can the wall either be welded or the frame replaced? I can't even see the crack but the gas company told me it was there. I would prefer to replace with a wood stove. Which company can assist please?
This is a tough one because there are lots of unknowns in order for us to give you a clear answer. If the gas company told you it was unsafe, it's probably unsafe. However, it's not the end of the world. While I doubt it can be realistically fixed, a replacement is probably not that expensive. Without knowing specifics of the installation, how it's finished, how it was installed or how it is vented it's a complete guess as to replacement method or estimate. A woodstove may not be a feasible replacement option depending on how the gas fireplace is vented. If it simply vents out of the side wall of the house, then a woodstove would not be suitable. You would get into installing a chimney above the roofline. There may be some high efficiency wood heaters on the market (I'm not an expert) that can vent through the side wall, but my guess is they are probably very expensive and likely not the aesthetic product you are looking for. My suggestion is to call a few heating contractors who install fireplaces and get some quotes to remove and replace the fireplace you have.
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