Frequently Asked Questions

My fireplace smokes constantly. How can I correct this problem?
One usual reason a fireplace will smoke lack of air. It's easy to check if the problem is lack of air. Just open a nearby window to create a draft and see what happens. If this is the problem, the air coming in the window will feed the fire and allow it to burn hotter and cleaner, sending smoke up the chimney. In an airtight home, you may need to open a window just a smidge any time you have a fire. An upstairs window is best.

Can I improve air flow without opening a window?
Yes. If your house is too airtight to get a good fire going without opening a window, you can install an "outside air kit." This kit is just what it sounds like. It draws in air from the outside to help the fire burn. You can keep all your windows closed. You can get this kit from the manufacturer of your prefab fireplace or from a brick yard for your masonry fireplace. Many certified chimney sweeps sell them and will install them as well.

Can I repair the mortar in my own fireplace? I've got some cracks I'd like to get rid of.
Yes, this is actually something you can do yourself. You can buy fireplace mortar in an easy to use caulking tube. Chisel away the old mortar. Spray the area with water to get rid of the dust and help the new mortar adhere. And apply the mortar. The first fire will cure it.

I've heard that fireplace inserts are not safe and can damage the fireplace. Is that true?
Depends on the insert and the fireplace. If you've got a masonry fireplace that was built with the home, an insert shouldn't be a problem. If you've got a prefab fireplace, you'll need to be more careful. Make sure the insert is rated for use with your model of fireplace. You may need to call the manufacturer of your prefab fireplace to make sure.

Unvented Fireplaces - A Bad Solution

Unvented fireplaces add to the pollution in your home. The fire consumes indoor oxygen and exhausts fumes, soot, and odors. Right back into your home. You get to breathe the end results.

Unvented gas fireplaces can result in as much as a quart of water released into the air per hour of operation. The moisture can condense on window glass, making it difficult to see out. More problematically, the moisture can find its way under carpet, leading to mold and mildew.

For these reasons, many builders will refuse to install unvented fireplaces in homes.

Direct Vent Fireplaces - The Healthy Option

A good, vented fireplace will do two things to combat these problems. It will take its air from the outside to fuel combustion. And it will vent the resulting fumes and pollutants back to the outside.

Direct vent fireplaces can expel virtually all of the moisture, carbon monoxide, and other unhealthy byproducts, leaving your indoor air just as clean as when you lit the fire. Newer, more sophisticated models can actually improve your indoor air quality. They can bring fresh air in while expelling the stale and unhealthy. A direct vent fireplace with a heat recovery ventilator will draw fresh air into your home, creating a more comfortable and healthier environment for you and your family. The same ventilator will act as a dehumidifier, actually removing some moisture from the indoor air, thus reducing the risk of mold and mildew.

What is the difference between Brass and Brass plated?
Many hardware items are usually made of pure brass. Brass is a fairly soft metal and it is weatherproof. It can be used inside or outside the house. Brass has to be used with great care around salt water, because this can make it corrode. Brass plated is steel that has been coated with brass and it is not weather proof.

What is Living Finish on door hardware?
Living finish has no protective coatings. It is designed to change with time and use. The finish may rub off when it is frequently used and darkens where it is not. This is considered to be a normal evolution of the finish and cannot be considered as a defect. Any item or liquid that comes into contact with the finish can affect the color. With time, living finishes will vary in color and tone, adding character and uniqueness.

How do you determine the lever handing for your door set?
Handing for lever door sets is determined by standing outside facing the door. If the hinges are on the left hand side, you need a left handed lever set. If the hinges are on the right hand side, you need a right handed lever set.

What is the difference between a "Slab" and a "Pre-hung" door?
The "Slab" refers to the door without anything being done to it. It is a blank without hinge prep or door knob prep. "Prehung" means the door has been prepared, mounted on a frame, with hinges, and prepared for door knob and strike.

Can I use a storm door in front of my entry door?
Storm doors can be used, but should NOT be used in conjunction with doors painted or stained with dark colors or in areas of high heat or intense sun exposure. We strongly recommend using a vented storm door which allows the trapped heat to escape, prolonging the life and performance of your door. Improper storm door applications can void the warranty on your entry door.

What is the difference between hollow core and solid core doors?
A solid core door is, as the name implies, one in which the structural inner part of the door is solid. This inner core can be made of a variety of materials. These include a mineral-based material (used in fire-rated doors), particleboard, wood blocks or composition materials. A hollow core door denotes an assembly using strips or other units of material with intervening hollow cells. Whether hollow or solid core, all doors then have face panels on the exterior.

What does it mean to mortise, in relation to hinges.
To mortise means to rout or groove a space to accept the hinge. When a hinge is mortised correctly, the hinge face is flush on the edge of the door and an the rabbet of the frame. On standard hinges, a 1/16" gap will exist between the two hinge leaves when the door is closed and in the frame.

Where are you located and what are your store hours?

Store Hours:
Mon Fri 8:00 5:00
Saturday: By Appointment
Sunday: Closed

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