Housebloggers: Has anyone used ISOKERN pre-fabricated fireplaces and/or modular chimney systems before? And if so, how did you like 'em? Did you put them together yourselves? How easy was it? Mike and I had a modular type chimney system to vent our furnace previously - and we thought it was a nifty and likely cost effective, so I googled it.

ISOKERN came up as one of the only companies to make these pre-fab and modular fireplace & chimney kits. (www.isokern.net) Plus, they have an office in Auburn - which is relatively close to us. I printed out a brochure with all the types and measurement specifications, plus a sample of their installation instructions.

Now, theoretically, you're not supposed to f around and install these yourselves. But technically, Mike and I were probably not supposed to install our own heating, electrical, windows, etc. And we definately weren't supposed to rebuild our own second floor and redesign the layout of half the house. I think with the help and support of our many friends in the trades, plus our intimate knowledge in a variety of fields - we can do it.

Ok - so I ringaglinged ISOKERN this morn and told them I wanted pricing on a DM 44 appliance modular chimney for the furnace, standard 36" fireplace, DM 54 fireplace chimney, and of course, another DM 44 chimney for the wood stove.

The DM 44 is $54/ft
The fireplace is $1275
The DM 54 is $65/ft
Plus, we'd need their mortar - one big 'ol size at $60 per project

They don't really have a showroom, but they can deliver the goods within 1 to 2 days, depending on when you get your order in. (Major credit card required, of course.)

So - now we need to do some measurin' & calculatiing to figure out how many modular sections of DM 44 we need. We need this stuff like, toot sweet. I'm freezing my bum off and not feeling too good about it. I'm sick - seriously - I hope Mike doesn't need me to work on stuff tonight. *yaaawwn*


Anonymous said...

We make a Fire Rock - a competing product to Isokern.

Check out the website at www.firerock.us.

The manufcatuing palnt is acutally in Atlanta. The product was originally designed for interior applications but is now also used for Outdoor fireplaces.

Also check it out at Youtube...



Anonymous said...

ISOKERN is a top of the line fireplace! DO NOT USE Fire Rock as they are a "knock off" Isokern. Isokern fireboxes are made from pumice from a volcano in Iceland, Fire Rock's product is mostly concrete with some pumice fill.I had a great experience with an Isokern dealer and am building another house and will most likely put more than one ISOKERN in this house. Please post what product you end up using. From a satisfied customer I recommend Isokern!

kitrainia said...

I really appreciate all the advice!! We decided to go with a local product, purely on the fact that we'd be saving over $1000. It was a little more work, but the savings were worth it.

Jeff Stevens said...

Please allow me to set the record straight.

While Isokern did come first, Fire Rock is not a "knock off" but a continuation of the concept. A third generation mason, Joe Micelli of Long Island, NY was retained to develop the first Isokern. Mr Micelli also developed the first Fire Rock with the help of a nationally prominent home builder and architect.

Jeff Stevens opened the Atlanta Distribution center (Isokern East) and now is an owner of Fire Rock. The differences between the products are a result of the difficulties Stevens had while distributing Isokern. Larger openings, compressive strength issues, etc.

Fire Rock is made from pumice and has no cement/concrete in it whatsoever. Our mix recipe includes Calcium aluminate and Class C Fly ash.

Isokern is a fine product, I obviously believe Fire Rock to be just a little better for the reasons cited, plus we offer a wider selection of models.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Jeff Stevens
Fire Rock Mfg.
Atlanta, GA

Josh Link said...

I have installed several Isokern and more than 30 Firerock Fireplaces, along with several Rumford Kits and more fireplaces from scratch than I care to mention. I have been in the Masonry business for 15 years. The only advantage to Isokern that I see is that the pieces are light weight and the fit together very nice. However, with the Isokern system the pieces seem to break very easy and I am not impressed with the overall strength. several pieces break while installing, and I don't like to take chances with a fire in a home. That being said, yes the Isokern and Firerock are almost identical but the Firerock makes me feel safer and I would hate to have a lawsuit on my hands and that is why we do not install Isokern any longer.

kitrainia said...

Wow - great to know! I am still in fact looking for a product like FireRock - though I'm not going to purchase for a little while. It's great to hear from so many experts on the subject!

Anonymous said...

i am about to build an outdoor fireplace....what do you suggest for an outdoor fp? also looking to incorporate a pizza oven/fireplace combo but have not seen anything???

kitrainia said...

An outdoor fireplace with a pizza oven sounds awesome! When are you having a party - I'll be right over! LOL

Anyway, I'm sorry to say I don't have any idea about what to use for an outdoor fireplace. I'm still working out the intricacies of an indoor fireplace!

But if you want some real good info - get off the internet and head to your local masonry shop. That's what we ended up doing and boy did they have some good advice that saved us thousands of dollars on our chimney. Trust me - find a real live actual expert and you'll be glad you did.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to post in regards to these products.My name is Lee and I have installed both products, it has been several years but I do know Jeff and the Firerock product. The FireRock Fireplace is by far the leading in the pre-cast area.I have 20 yrs in masonry and have seen many different fireplace designs but I have and will always recommend the FireRock System over any.

Lee B.

Findley House said...

Thanks for the useful information people, I've been looking into fireplaces recently for my mum and we were considering getting a FireRock one. After your recommendation Lee, we're probably going to go for it, in general I've come across some strong reviews and they seem to be pretty great to be fair.

Anonymous said...

I have a FireRock and would not recommend the product. I have had nothing but problems with the unit - cracking - movement - etc.

I find that when you have FireRock issues the company approach is to "wear you out." They act as if they never have issues but I do not believe that. The way they respond when there is an issue seems like they must be dealing with plenty of issues.

Unknown said...

I know this is an old thread but I wanted to help anybody that reads it. DO NOT BUY A FIREROCK FIREPLACE!

We bought a FireRock 48" Rumford that has NEVER functioned properly even though FireRock certified it was installed properly and the chimney was the correct height and placement.

It pours smoke out into our home and does NOT HEAT : ( It was supposed to be the centerpiece of our dream home but instead, its our biggest disappointment. FireRock will do NOTHING.

Avoid the pain folks and don't buy FireRock.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Stevens is a liar and is no longer associated with Firerock. Joe Micelli, who ever he is, didn't develop the first Isokern. Isokern was developed over 70 years ago in Denmark, not Long Island. It is not made purely of pumice. If it were, it wouldn't weigh considerably more than Isokern.

Francis Casini said...

no fireplace I know of especially those kits with glass doors boast their throat "area to fireplace opening area" .i.e the throat ratio

The absolute best ratio for a Rumford with a straight back is 1:20. I am a 4th generation mason whom has been experimenting with smoke patterns in my slanted back Rumford, also called an Orton. I have acheived a 1:30 ratio which is just a 1-3/4" throat gap and we burn avidly all winter long in all weather....even staring the fire at this setting.This is fireplace wood burning eutopia to me now and after burning this very same fireplace for 20 years with a fully open 4" damper throat. Visit casini masonry on facebook or see videos on fcasini on youtube.you'll be amazed I also have a site on the houzz showing my various made dampers and customized vestal dampers.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Casini-Masonry/159609824086030?ref=br_rs