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How to Move a Gas Fireplace

Installing your own gas fireplace is one of the best ways to save money on home heating costs. It’s also a great chance to learn more about how your home operates and how you can improve its energy efficiency. One of the best things about moving gas fireplaces is that they are generally easy to install following the manufacturers manual. 

An existing gas fireplace can be moved to the room of your choice by carefully storing the gas bottle safely (preferably outside, away from your house) and making sure to turn off the gas line before moving the fireplace.

The decision to move a gas fireplace may seem difficult, but it’s actually not that bad if you ask me. 

If you’re looking for ways to enhance the look of your living space or to provide a heating boost, but don’t want to spend a lot of money hiring a professional or a gas company, I bet it’s a good place to start.

A gas fireplace is likely your home’s pride and joy. 

From the warm, radiant heat they generate to the cozy, comforting ambiance they provide, they make for the perfect centerpiece of any room.

Getting a new fireplace is an exciting yet daunting project. 

Moving a gas fireplace requires careful planning, and it’s best to have some experience under your belt before trying to tackle this job. 

Some gas fireplaces are easy to move, but others are not. 

If you have a fireplace that is not mounted to the wall, moving it can be as easy as disconnecting the gas line and removing the fireplace doors, but if the fireplace is built into the wall you may have an extra job doing yourself or you’ll need to hire a pro to move it.

Here are some things you can do to ensure your fireplace move goes as smoothly as possible.

Why you may consider moving a gas fireplace 

If you’ve ever thought about moving a gas fireplace to another location in your house, you aren’t alone. 

I find the question asked a lot in online forums on home improvement

There are lots of reasons for wanting to put a gas fireplace in a different room, from changing the general appearance, to moving it to a more convenient location.

I remember in the past when I was young, the only time people thought about moving a fireplace was when they were looking to remodel their home. 

With the increased popularity in gas fireplaces in the last decade or so, many homeowners find that they want a fireplace in a location that was not typical (in a great room or family room) and end up moving it.

If your gas fireplace is in the main living room or if you have a gas fireplace in the basement and the smell of gas lingers for a long time, you may want to move your gas fireplace to another location with or without the assistance of a professional. 

The location you choose should be one that has at least 3 feet of clearance between the fireplace and any ceiling or wall that is adjacent to the fireplace. 

You should also choose a location that does not have a lot of furniture to the left and right of the fireplace.

Steps to move a gas fireplace

Modern home interior with sliding glass doors leading to a small porch and an unfinished gas fireplace log insert in the wall.

There’s nothing quite like having a working fireplace. 

But if you have a gas fireplace, you’ll know all too well the effort (and expense) involved in moving it. 

Even if you have a professional do it, moving a gas fireplace still takes a lot of work. 

It’s not the kind of thing I’d want to do after work on a Friday night. 

It can be a huge pain in the neck, but it’s not impossible. 

Moving a gas fireplace is a job you can do yourself, but you’ll need to plan ahead and know what tools to use, and you’ll need to follow the steps carefully.

1. Find an appropriate location 

Fireplaces are a beautiful focal point in any home, but not every home is designed to have a fireplace. 

Older homes may not have the necessary chimneys, while newer homes might simply not have enough wall space for a fireplace. 

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fireplace! 

With a gas fireplace, you can easily get that cozy fireplace feel without the hassle or significant cost of installing a traditional chimney in your home. 

Gas fireplaces are extremely efficient, usually only using one gallon of propane an hour, and they can even be installed in rooms with low ceilings!

Another thing I would consider when deciding where to place a gas fireplace is where the gas line is located.

If the gas line is near the fireplace, you should be fine. If it is in the middle of the room, however, you might want to reconsider.

The next consideration is the amount of space you have. 

Most fireplaces are about 24”-34” wide and 23”-46” high, but that doesn’t include a mantel (which can be up to another 34” wide and 12” high). 

The width and height may not be a concern in a large room, but a fireplace can easily overwhelm a small room. 

You also need to think about how your furniture will fit around the fireplace, and whether there’s enough space to move around the fireplace easily.

Before you decide on a new place to install, it is important to note that a gas fireplace should not be located near other heat sources, such as a wood stove, and it should be at least 3 feet from drafty windows

Furthermore, it is not advisable to locate a gas fireplace near furniture, such as a couch.

2. Disconnect the Gas supply

After you find a perfect location, the next step is to remove the gas line that supplied gas to your old furnace. 

The gas line has a gas shut off valve that you can use to turn off the gas supply completely to prevent any possible gas leaks or at the very least reduce the chances for an explosion. 

The first step is to shut off the gas supply to the house. 

This can be done by turning off the gas meter. You can find the gas supply valve under the fireplace, or in the basement, depending on the model.

Once the gas supply has been shut off at the meter, turn off the gas to the fireplace by unscrewing the gas line

Waiting a few minutes for the gas to dissipate while you’re working.

You should also unplug your fireplace from its electric source, and disconnect any utility elements.

3. Disassemble the fireplace and remove the unit 

When you are moving a gas fireplace, one of the most confusing parts is how to remove the unit to complete the job. 

You will also need to remove any protective shields around the fireplace to give you access to the unit.

Open the fireplace doors and disconnect the unit from the wall.

Next, remove any decorative elements, wall casing and glass.

To avoid frustration, you must transport the fireplace carefully. 

A fireplace can weigh hundreds of pounds and is dangerous to move. 

Some older models have glass doors that are breakable and must be removed carefully, while newer models may have a glass fire that can crack during transport.

4. Move the fireplace to the new location 

The gas fireplace unit you bought at Home Depot is a significant investment, and you don’t want to risk damaging them while moving from one place to another. 

In case you need to know how  it is quite simple to carry a gas fireplace unit when moving. 

All you need is a moving dolly and a solid upper body. 

First, you place the moving dolly beneath the unit, then you lift the unit and place it on top of the dolly. 

Once the unit is on the dolly, you can push it wherever you want. 

Sounds like a simple task, right? If you’re not sure you can lift the unit by yourself, you can always hire a moving company to do it for you.

5. Assemble the fireplace

Moving a gas fireplace unit comes with new responsibilities, and getting it up and running is one of them. 

Fortunately, all you need to assemble a gas fireplace is a screwdriver and a friend willing to give a helping hand.

First and foremost, you’ll need to read the instruction sheet that’s included in the kit when you bought it, as each gas fireplace is a little different. 

Pay special attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of gas you’re going to be using (propane, butane, or natural gas), the size of the unit, and the amount of clearance required for the unit to safely operate. 

Be sure to check for gas leaks by using a carbon monoxide detector.

Final words

Before you relocate a gas fireplace, you should make sure that the one you have is movable.

If you have an old freestanding gas fireplace, you may have to rewire it to make it safe to move.

Moving a fireplace is a do-it-yourself task that requires two people and a good pair of lungs. 

It involves unscrewing the fireplace from the wall, moving it to a new location, and plugging it back up. 

Depending on the design and age of your fireplace, you’ll need a few extra items, like fireplace cement or straps to secure the fireplace to the beams. 

Or, you could hire a professional to do the whole job for you.