October 24, 2013
As seasoned home builders in New England, Hawthorn is very much aware of the importance of heat during the colder seasons. In-home warmth, by means of a fireplace, is often one of the most highly requested items from customers. Not only do fire-places provide warmth to a home, they offer a sense of rustic nostalgia that often brings a family together.
The majority of Hawthorn’s newly built homes contain at least one, if not more, gas fueled fire-places. However, there is one unique exception underway at Old Farm Road in Needham. Designed mainly by the customer, this home features a double-sided fire-place and chimney. The magic of this layout is that while one side is located in the main living area, the opposing side is outdoors, surrounded by a lovely patio in the back yard. Not only can the client enjoy the winter months huddled inside around their fire, they can entertain throughout the spring, summer and fall months outdoors!
Hawthorn’s own Mat Roth weighs in on the evolution of the dual-sided chimney as Construction Supervisor of this project:
How often do you hear about this kind of fireplace concept?
We have had a few requests for wood-burning fireplaces and we have done both full chimney and vented wood burning systems. This is the first time we have created a dual sided chimney structure.
What was the basis of the client requests?
Some customers have a strong leaning toward wood burning fireplaces over gas. I think that played a partial role in the decision. Also, the customer was trying to create an outdoor setting that will be complemented by a blue stone patio and coverings (awnings) off the house.
Was this a difficult add-on as builders?
Not at all – the customers have been very clear in what they wanted and have been easy to work with.
What is the process (layout, materials, etc) needed to complete the project?
We first had to create a design that our in-house Interior Designer and the customer worked on together. We had to make sure that we installed a proper clean out and that the chimney worked within the framing of the house. Most important was to keep water away, which we took care of with proper flashing. The mason then formed the block wall that was faced with (Boston Blend) stone selected by the customer. We are currently working on finishing a blue stone hearth that will in part accommodate wood/log storage.
Would you recommend this to future customers/clients?
Absolutely, I think this will be something that our customers will enjoy for years to come, especially considering the climate here in New England.