Fireplace Installations

What information and photographs are required for my installation and why?

With our experience, all the information that we request from you is relevant to your installation. By supplying us with it, we are able to speed up the process of quoting, planning and scheduling your installation. We have fine-tuned this process to an art to provide you with the best service.

We use the photographs or building plans to assess, plan and prepare your installation. It enables us to confirm the prices quoted on our website for your unique installation. During our peak season between (March and August) we do all our quoting and planning off the information and photographs provided.

Information required for a freestanding fireplace & installation:

  1. A photograph of the area within the house where the fireplace is to be installed – showing floor and ceiling
  2. A photograph of  the outside of the house, showing the house with the area of roof where the flue chimney would come through, or the side of the house, including the roof and wall where the flue would exit through the wall and go up the side of the house. (Current building plans showing the height elevations are acceptable).
  3. Your name, surname, installation address and contact numbers.
  4. Measurement of the area/room you would like to heat – Width x Depth x Height?
  5. Measurement from floor to ceiling?
  6. Total height of the house?
  7. Do you have a flat or angled ceiling?​
  8. Is the fireplace being installed on the ground or first floor of your house?
  9. Which fireplace on our website would you like to purchase & install?
  10. Do you require a floor plate to protect your combustible floor covering? See accessories.
  11. Are there any stairs that our installation team will have to use between the parking area and area of installation?
  12. Invoice to be made out to / Vat no?

Information required for an insert / built-in fireplace and installation:

  1. A photograph of the area in the house where the fireplace is to be installed – showing the fireplace hearth.
  2. A photograph facing up the chimney, showing the chimney opening.
  3. A photograph of the outside of the house, showing the house and the area of roof with the chimney.  (Current building plans showing the height elevations are acceptable).
  4. ​Your name, surname, installation address and contact numbers.
  5. Measurement of the area/room you would like to heat – Width x Depth x Height?
  6. Measurement of the fireplace hearth / opening – Width x Depth x Height?
  7. Total length of the existing chimney?
  8. Does your chimney run straight up without any obstructions/bends?
  9. What is the chimney’s inside diameter?
  10. Is the fireplace being installed on the ground or first floor of your house?
  11. When last did you use the chimney and is it functional?
  12. Which fireplace on our website would you like to purchase & install?
  13. Do you require a floor plate to protect your combustible floor covering? See accessories.
  14. Are there any stairs that our installation team will have to use between the parking area and area of installation?
  15. Invoice to be made out to / Vat no?

If we feel that your installation is not straight-forward after accessing your information, we will then contact you for a site visit. We charge a small fee for this, but it will be deducted from your total when you purchase and install your fireplace with us. However, this is usually unnecessary, as most installations are straight-forward for us. During peak season, March to August, site visits are only done at our discretion and then only in the Helderberg area.

What measurements do I need to supply for my quote and installation?

For a freestanding fireplace:

  • The measurement of the area you would like to heat – Width x Length x Height?
  • The measurement from the floor to the ceiling in the area where you want to install?
  • The total height of your house to the apex/pitch of roof?
  • If you already have a fireplace and are only purchasing a flue kit and installation from us, we need the diameter measurement of your flue (across the hole), or the measurement across the inside of the spigot (the hole on top or on the back of the fireplace): e.g. size 125mm, 130mm, 150mm width?

For an insert fireplace:

  • The measurement of the area you would like to heat – Width x Length x Height?
  • The inside measurements of the fireplace hearth / opening – Width x Depth x Height?
  • The total length of the existing brick chimney?
  • If you already have a fireplace and are only purchasing a flue kit and installation from us, we need the diameter measurement of your flue (across the hole), or the measurement across the inside of the spigot (the hole on top or on the back of the fireplace): e.g. size 125mm, 130mm, 150mm width?
Why do I need to give an email address?

We try to gather all the information required for your installation with ‘first contact’, in this way we have streamlined our in-house system to be far more efficient for both our staff and our clients. Although we also correspond with our client telephonically, we always confirm everything by email. Our quotes and invoices are also emailed. In this way we have a record of correspondences and information that our sales team can access should you contact us at any time. It saves both of us time.

Why do I need to give my address?

We try to gather all the information required for your installation with ‘first contact’, in this way we have streamlined our in-house system to be far more efficient for both our staff and our clients. We often use the address to accesses google maps, if we are looking for further assessment photographs of your roof or house structure. The area you live in could be a high wind area, which means that you’ll need a storm cowl. Your address will determine if you are within our installation area and if there will be any additional costs for travel distance. Your address also helps us to plan, as we often have 2 installations scheduled in a day, and with 4 teams on the road, we try to plan as efficiently as possible. It saves both of us time.

Why do I need to provide photographs?

You need to provide photographs so that we can use them to discuss your installation with the team dedicated to your installation. Photographs help us identify possible problems we might encounter and also give us an idea of height elevations and gutter positions etc. We do most of our quoting and assessing off the initial photographs provided by you, and will request a site visit only if your installation doesn’t look straight forward to us. We can determine all of this from these initial photographs. These photographs will be saved on your profile as ‘before and after photographs’. In this way we have a record of every installation for every client for future use.

I would like to have a fireplace installed, but I’m not sure where the best place is to position?

Your fireplace should be installed about 1 meter away from curtains, plug points and furniture. Preferably, there should be no roof beam obstructing the path of the flue above the fireplace, although we can always use bends to direct the flue away from the beam. It would be best not to install the fireplace in front of a window or sliding door, as you would lose valuable heat. With kids, a corner installation is sometimes easiest to cordon off and limit access to little fingers. When planning to use an existing hearth and brick chimney, please ensure that your brick chimney is functional and in good, safe working order. Ideally you should also be able to install a flue pipe of 200mm width up the chimney.

How soon can I have ‘it’ installed?

We will schedule your installation on our system once you have accepted our quote and paid the invoice for your fireplace and flue kit. Depending on the season, we can usually install for you within a week to 10 days, however in high season the lead time for installations can be 2-3 weeks. So, it’s best to start the process early, and in summer. If there is a cancellation or an opening in our schedule we will always shift your installation to an earlier date.

Do we install for free?

No, unfortunately we do not. All our installations are charged for. We have experienced installation teams permanently employed at our company. We do offer free installation design and advice, and we’ll sit down with you to help you make the best choice. We are also willing to liaise with your builder if he needs tips on installation.

Is installation included in the price?

No, the installation is quoted separately on your invoice with the cost of the fireplace and flue parts. The prices on the website depict the cost of the fireplace only. Under each fireplace profile, you have the option of ‘adding a flue kit’ and/or ‘adding installation’. This will give you an approximate total cost. Contact us and we will then send you an itemised quote specific to the requirements of your installation.

Can you reserve a fireplace, braai, flue kit or parts for me?

No, unfortunately not. Not without payment.

What time will the installation team arrive at my house?

Our installation teams leave our offices in Asla Park, Somerset West at 08h00 daily. All our installations are scheduled early in the day, so that we can complete the installations as scheduled. We don’t normally do any ‘late start’ installations. Work out our arrival time using Google Maps, by adding in a 08h00 departure time. Allow for travel time and traffic.

How long will my installation take to complete?

With a straight forward, simple, single story installation through the roof, the team can complete the installation before 14h30. For complex installations the teams may be busy until 17h00. We will let you know in advance whether your installation will take more than a day and you’ll be quoted accordingly.

What guarantee is there on the installation?

All our installations have a 12 month guarantee on the waterproofing.  This guarantee covers the labour and parts. However, we may charge a call out fee to cover travel costs. This is at the discretion of GC Fires and is dependent on the kind of claim and distance to be travelled.

Please make sure that you do not overheat your fireplace as this invalids both the installation and product guarantee. Any cracking of plaster work, tiles or the warping of metal, or damage to electric’s (alarm sensors, plugs, TV’s) is due to too much heat and is at the risk of the person who uses the fireplace and not GC Fires.

To avoid overheating you can purchase a stove thermometer.

Please do not use your fireplace for the first 36 hours after installation. The waterproofing needs this time to dry. Failure to do so invalidates your guarantee.

Should my builder core drill through the wall or floor in advance of my installation?

No, we prefer to organise this on the day. The reason why is because it’s precision work and it is best done when the fireplace is in its position and the hole is marked in exactly the right spot and angle by our team members. We install to strict safety standards.

The position of the spigot on top of the fireplace, the width and depth of the fireplace, the flue kit diameter and the distance installed off the wall need to be considered before marking the hole to be cut. This can far better be seen when the fireplace is in its position. If it’s not done on the day, then we find that it is seldom exactly right, and sometimes this will delay the installation of your fireplace to a later date.

We use a professional core drilling team, who accompany our installation team for that portion of your installation.

(Core drilling is the process whereby precise, circular holes are cut through concrete surfaces).

Which areas are your installation and delivery costs valid for?

Installation and delivery costs mentioned on this website are valid for the following areas: Cape Town (city bowl), Northern and Southern Suburbs, Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Peninsula, West Coast area (up to Melkbosstrand), Helderberg, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Hermanus, and Caledon. Any other areas will be subject to an extra charge for the travel cost.

Do you share my contact or personal information outside of GC Fires?

No, it’s against our company policy. We would never share your contact or personal information with anyone outside of GC Fires. We do however keep your installation profile on our system, as this saves time if you contact us and it provides a record of your installation.

Is it possible to replace my old built-in, open fireplace with a closed combustion fireplace?

Yes. We can cut out and remove the old built-in fireplace for you for a small fee.  We’ll even remove it from your property for you. This type of removal and replacement is usually booked over 2 days, because we need to cut out and remove the old one, then take the internal hearth measurement and then suggest a replacement model. You may want to neaten up the surrounding brick work as well. We don’t do any brick work or wet works.

If you are installing a freestanding model in an existing hearth, you may want to neaten up the inside of the hearth (plastering, brick work or tiling).

In most cases the old flue will have to be removed and replaced as well because the size of the old flue often doesn’t fit the spigot size of the new fireplace.

What things do I need to consider if I want to install an insert fireplace?

If you have an existing fireplace that need to be removed, then the internal hearth measurement can only be accurately taken after you have removed the old fireplace.

There is sometimes a lintel running across the inside top part of the chimney opening and its position will have to be taken into account for installation (because the flue pipe needs to be installed). Check that there are no electrical wires or wooden beams running through the upper chimney. The height of the hearth opening needs to be high enough to comfortably fit the new model in. Please contact us for the hearth dimensions required for your installation model. We don’t do brick work or wet works, so your builder would have to do this first. Your brick chimney should be in good working order and there should be no holes from the chimney through into the roof space, as this could be a fire hazard. Check whether the chimney is sealed on top or needs to be sealed on top, and what kind of cowl would be required. All repairs that you would like to do to the hearth opening needs to be completed before the installation, as they can’t be done afterwards.

Is an insert fireplace built-in with brick during installation?

 No, we finish the installation off with a grey or black steel cover plate (finishing frame) to give it a sleek look.

Is it possible to replace my old, open, freestanding fireplace with a closed combustion fireplace?

Yes. We can cut out and remove the old freestanding fireplace for you for a small fee.  We’ll even remove it from your property for you. Please be aware that we don’t do any brick work or wet works. In most cases the old flue will have to be removed and replaced as well, because the size of the old flue often doesn’t fit the spigot size of the new fireplace.

What is the minimum distance that my fireplace can be installed away from the wall?

No less than 15 cm’s, with the option of a Nutec fireboard to protect your walls should your installation require it.

When do I need to install a heat resistance board behind my fireplace?

You need to install a heat resistance Nutec fireboard against your wall if your walls are made of Crete stone or Gibson plaster, because they’ll crack due to the high heat from the fireplace. If the fireplace is being installed in a log home or wooden house, you would have to install the Nutec fireboard for fire and safety regulations and insurance purposes. A heat resistant fireboard can also be used where there is rising damp in the wall, because the heat from the fireplace can cause the plater to crack and pop because of the moisture expanding in the wall.

Can you install my fireplace without the legs so that it will fit into the installation area or opening?

No, because installing it without the legs would void the warranty, a there will be no air circulation to cool the fireplace down. The only exception to this rule are the fireplaces in the Kratki Brand, as they have adjusting bolts underneath the fireplaces which add height, so that air circulates underneath the fireplace body.

Can you install my fireplace near a plug point?

No, it would be best to install your fireplace about 1m away. There should be no plug points or switches behind the fireplace installation. If the position of the installation cannot be changed, then the plug point will have to be blanked off by your electrician.

Cast Iron, Vermiculite, Skamolex / Scomolex, Thermofix, Accumote and Chamotte?

Cast iron is a carbon-rich iron alloy, used in the traditional way by casting it in moulds to manufacture the individual parts of a wood burning fireplace. It heats up much quicker than plate steel and retains it heat a little longer after the fire dies down. It’s durable and long lasting providing that you use dry wood and maintain it.

Vermiculite is a natural mineral that has undergone a heat treatment. It’s a very good insulator. It is usually replaced every 2-3 years if it crumbles or falls apart, but that is dependent on how you use your fireplace. The main advantage is its very rapid temperature rise.

Skamolex or Scamolex is made from exfoliated vermiculite. It is non-irritant, odourless and clean to handle. It’s used for lining stoves, fireplaces and gas fireplaces and is capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1100ºC.

Ceramic Thermofix is light-coloured, superior performance refractory cement. It’s manufactured from Chamotte mixed with crushed clay and it is used for the manufacture of refractory bricks. It makes great insulation. When the wood stove reaches its operating temperature, it returns to its original colour which is a guarantee of ‘good use of the appliance’. It is also one of the most resistant materials that can be found on the market. Although it sometimes cracks it doesn’t lose its properties. It’s slightly more costly in price.

Accumotte or Chamotte is a raw clay baked between 1300 and 1400°C. It is found in most medium to high-end wood burning fireplaces. It’s usually white in colour, looks great and it reflects the light and heat of the fire nicely into the room.