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Walsh Remodel

Overview of Remodel

Having grown up in a home with woodburning fireplaces, the Walsh’s decided to disconnect the gas log set that had been installed in their woodburning fireplace and return it to its original function.  Before searching for a retailer, the Walsh’s hired fireplace inspector, Chimney Medics, to determine whether their fireplace could be changed back to a woodburning fireplace and to check the chimney for proper working order.  Once Chimney Medics approved the change, which included the installation of a heat shield and recommended Vince Herbert of Coastal Fireplace to make the switch, the work began.  The first course of action was to remove the gas logs.  “We took out the logs, removed the gas line, and then filled the hole in the firebrick with high-temperature mortar,” explained Vince Herbert.

“Since Vince is an NFI-certified technician, he could double-check and verify that the fireplace could be converted back to wood use,” said Shane Brown, owner of Chimney Medics. “If you’re going to deal with installing gas, or removing gas, you want somebody who is certified to do it.”

Once the switch was made from gas to wood, Coastal Fireplace remodeled the face (floor to ceiling) and hearth using cultured field stone with a wood mantle.  The new living room hearth is the focal point of the room where cathedral ceilings and a sloping roofline with skylight windows create a dramatic angled fireplace effect.


From start to finish, the changeover and hearth re-facing took three days to complete.  And, the Walsh’s documented the entire process.  “I took pictures throughout the entire job, and it was amazing to watch,” said Lisa Walsh.

Estimated Cost of the Remodel

To changeover the fireplace and reface the wall cost $4,200, and worth every penny, according to Lisa Walsh.  “It’s so beautiful,” she said, “We get compliments all the time.” 

Comments About the Experience

The Coastal Fireplace website is fabulous.  We had to measure for the hearth and we were able to refer to their website for guidance.  We wanted a very rustic mantle and couldn’t find anything, so we asked Vince and he was very helpful in locating one for us. 

Retailer information:  Coastal Fireplaces, Tuckerton, New Jersey,  Or for a retailer near you, visit HPBA’s retailer search at

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