The challenges of buying prefab fireplace doors
With cooler weather coming soon, it’s never too early to start thinking about your fireplace. Do you have worn out, scratched up fireplace doors that you’ve been intending to replace for years? Well, now’s as good a time as any to purchase a classy looking set of doors that will add a finishing touch to your fireplace just in time for fall. Buying prefab fireplace doors online is a convenient and easy way to get the right doors for your fireplace at a great price.
You may be thinking, “I don’t know a thing about ordering fireplace doors. Where do I even begin?” Well, you’re not alone. Making a fireplace door purchase is not something you do often, especially if you invest in a quality set in the first place. Getting the right doors for your fireplace involves taking into consideration the manufacturer, model and size of your fireplace.
The most common fear is that you’ll order doors that don’t fit and you’ll be stuck with them, unable to send them back for a refund. Reading the fine print is essential so you know what return policies each company has.
Questions to ask when buying prefab fireplace doors
Be sure to write down your questions and have them handy when ordering your doors. A fireplace professional customer service representative will be able to walk you through the steps you’ll need to take to ensure you’re getting the perfect set of doors to fit your fireplace.
How do I know if I have a prefab or a masonry fireplace?
Prefab fireplaces have a metal firebox. Masonry fireboxes are made of brick
What is the firebox?
The firebox is the area of the fireplace where the fire burns.
How do I measure my firebox opening correctly ?
Measure straight across your firebox opening horizontally and then measure vertically from top to bottom.
What color fireplace doors should I order?
Black prefab doors are the most popular choice because of their timeless style.
What if I receive the doors and they don’t fit?
If your prefab doors don’t fit properly, call the company and they can instruct you on how to adjust. If they can’t be adjusted, you may need to return them.
What’s a good middle of the road door that’s high quality but not too expensive?
A quality black aluminum door with clear glass is commonly priced around $400.
Should I send in pictures of my fireplace when I place my order?
Sending pictures when you place your order is a good idea since it shows the fireplace representative exactly what type of fireplace you have. If stone is sticking out into the firebox opening, for example, it will affect what door will work.
How do I know the manufacturer and model number of my fireplace?
The manufacturer and model number are usually located in the upper corner of the firebox on a metal plate. Common manufacturers are Superior, Heatilator, Marco, Temco, and Lenox.
What if I can’t find the make and model number?
It’s okay if you can’t find the manufacturer and model number. You doors can be built based on the measurements of your firebox.
What information will I need to gather before ordering fireplace doors?
The manufacturer, model number, firebox measurements, and a picture of your fireplace.
What if the doors I order don’t fit or I don’t like the way they look?
Make sure you ask about the return policy even on custom orders. Some companies charge a restocking fee or do not allow any returns or exchanges. However, there are some companies that have a more liberal return policy allowing returns on all doors even custom orders. Look for companies that have 5 star customer service and allow returns.
Why can’t I purchase prefab fireplace doors at Home Depot or Lowe’s?
Prefab doors need to fit inside the firebox opening with about ⅛” space around the perimeter to allow for proper airflow for safety reasons. There are so many sizes of prefab fireboxes, it would be difficult for these type retail stores to stock all sizes.
How Much Do Prefab Fireplace Doors Cost?
Prefab fireplace doors with a frame can cost between about $400 to over $1000. Doors without a frame which are glass panels that attach to the sides of the firebox cost around $200 but these doors will work on only certain fireplace brands and models. Your customer service rep will be able to let you know if these type doors will work for you. Steel doors cost more than aluminum doors and custom options such as tinted glass can increase the cost.
Where to Purchase Prefab Fireplace Doors
You can purchase prefab fireplace doors at a local fireplace shop where you can have someone come to your home and measure your fireplace, take your order, and then deliver and install your doors. That sounds good but it will cost you. A typical charge for this personal service is usually around $500.
Another way to buy prefab fireplace doors is online. Fireplace customer representatives know what questions to ask to get the information they need to order the right doors for your fireplace. It’s a good idea to go on the company’s website before you call to get an idea of the style and price of the doors you prefer. Have a tape measure handy and be located near your fireplace when you call in case you need to give more information before placing your order.
Make sure the company you deal with accepts returns even on custom orders. You don’t want to be stuck with doors that don’t fit you don’t want to keep.
Popular Brands of Prefab Fireplace Doors
Superior Fireplace Doors and Heatilator Fireplace Doors are two of the most popular brands. If you can’t locate the exact brand doors for your Superior or Heatilator fireplace, you can find doors that will fit these fireplaces. The doors must have about a ⅛” space around the perimeter to allow for adequate air flow.
Another important point to remember is the doors MUST remain open when a fire is burning. This is because the fire can get too close to the glass and cause it to shatter. The doors can be closed as the fire dies down to keep embers from popping out onto the floor.
Seeing all the fireplace doors ads with the burning fire behind the glass can be misleading for homeowners who might think it’s OK to burn the fire with the doors closed. The pictures are taken that way for aesthetic purposes only.
Check out this free E-Book on fireplace doors for tips, tricks and more information on fireplace doors.