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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Do it yourself or not? Install a new glass door on your fireplace

A new glass door makes a fireplace safe as well as attractive.  (Dreamstime)
A new glass door makes a fireplace safe as well as attractive. (Dreamstime)
By Gene and Katie Hamilton Tribune Content Agency

Bring a refreshing new look to an ordinary fireplace by replacing an old enclosure with a new glass door. A new glass door makes it safe as well as attractive, because it keeps kids and pets out of harm’s way and prevents runaway sparks and ashes from damaging carpeting or nearby furnishings.

At home centers and specialty stove and fireplace retailers, you’ll find a variety of stylish screens. Home centers typically have a limited range, but fireplace specialty shops and online sellers have a larger selection of styles ranging from traditional flat black to brushed nickel, polished brass, chrome and copper finishes. You’ll also find fireplace accessories, too.

Know if your fireplace is made of masonry or a zero clearance style. The stock size doors for masonry fireplaces (with a chimney made of brick and mortar and clay tile liners) are designed for an overlap. Prefabricated zero clearance fireplaces (with a metal chimney pipe and round cap) require an inside fit with a door used to space or elevate the frame so that it maintains the cooling air intake located inside the fireplace. Take a picture of your fireplace so you know the type of fireplace screen you need.

Visit for a good description of how to measure a fireplace for the correct type of door system and style. For the best fit with a masonry fireplace, measure the opening, and know the size, manufacturer and serial number of a prefab unit.

A contractor will charge $630, which includes labor and material, to install a good quality brass-plated door with bronze glass and bifold doors designed for either gas or wood burning type of fireplace. Of course, you can pay more and that depends on the size, material, finish and glass.

A handy homeowner can do the job for $450, the cost of the door and save 29%. In general, the project involves assembling the components, securing the unit in the opening, and then adjusting the door panels. That’s after a thorough reading of the manufacturer’s directions.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit

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