A cold winter night in the KZN Midlands is not complete without friends and family and the warmth of a fireplace. The flames and the heat from the fireplace and the smell of a wood burning stove, adds ambience to any home, no matter the size. Kids love it, while the parents relax. Even the grandparents remember the old days, while sitting around the fire.

Nearly every new home has the provision for at least one fireplace, mostly found in the lounge or living area, but some homes allow for more than one fireplace. In the kitchen, the bedroom, the dining room and even outside.

Considering all of the above, the primary purpose of the fireplace in the home is to provide an economical source of heat. This makes choosing a fireplace an important decision in your new home or when adding a new fireplace to your current home.

The styles and designs of fireplaces vary widely, and as difficult as it may seem, we will find the right fireplace for you.

Firstly, you need to determine the exact reason for your new fireplace. Is it for heating your home in the Midlands or just for decoration along the warmer coast lines of KZN. Is ease of use an important factor for you and what type of fuel do you prefer to use. This will determine if you need a solid fuel (Wood or Coal) fireplace or if gas or bio-fuel would suit you better. Wood burning fireplaces offer a cost-effective way to warm your home, but gas technology has led to easy installations without the hassle of installing a flue (chimney) through your roof.

After choosing your fuel type, the next decision is to choose a built in or a free-standing fireplace. This does depend on the design and style of your home. It is easy to install a free-standing fireplace into a corner of the room but may be more difficult to build brickwork if you do not have an original chimney breast in your home.

Open or closed combustion fireplace? The feature difference of these two options is a glass door on the front of your fireplace or not. A closed combustion fireplace allows your fire to burn in a sealed chamber, giving you full control of the air levels which are supplied to your fire. With new technology from around the world, a closed combustion fireplace can deliver up to 80% efficiently, providing loads more heat. Whereby an open fireplace loses approximately 90% of heat up the chimney.

A closed combustion fireplace does offer more aesthetics to your home and there are a variety of styles to choose from. An open fireplace is limited to style and design due to the way the fire burns.

And the last step before you go shopping for your new fireplace, is to determine how much heat you require to warm the area where you are going to install your fireplace. South African homes are built for the summer months and as much as we love the open plan living, this does prove difficult to heat during the winter months. A quick calculation of your room size will point you in the right direction of how many kW of heat you should get from your fireplace.

The cubic metres of your room is calculated by measuring the length multiplied by the width of your room. Take this measurement and multiply it by the height of your ceiling. This gives you the cubic metres of your room.

If your home has raised ceilings with exposed roof trusses, you must measure your ceiling height at the lowest point, against the wall. Then multiple this room area by another 1,5 to accommodate your open ceilings.

After calculating your room area, divide this number by 25 to calculate an average kW of heat which you may need.


Your room is 10m Long by 8m wide, with exposed roof trusses and raised ceilings. The lowest point of ceiling is 3m.


Length x width x ceiling x 1.5 =

 10 x 8 x 3 x 1.5 = 360 / 25 = 14.4kW

Please remember that this is a good guess to the heating kW which you may need. But please ensure that you speak to one of our trained staff members and ask for a home visit before committing to purchase your new fireplace. There are a variety of other elements which need to be considered when suppling heat to your home. There are also structural elements which need to be checked before we install your fireplace.

We look forward to meeting you and assisting you to choose your new fireplace. Our installers are standing by to deliver and install your fireplace for you.

Marksman – Heating the midlands, warming your hearts and homes.