Tom Kasper probably has built more than 2,000 fireplaces during the 25 years he has been a mason for Fragassi & Son Inc., Wheaton, Illinois. Kasper knows fireplaces inside and out and all the tricks to building them. The steps presented are not textbook rules or theoretical techniques for building a one-story fireplace. This is simply the way one mason built one fireplace. The completed fireplace is part of a stone fireplace wall. Flush with the wall, the fireplace has a raised hearth that projects into the room. On the exterior, the chimney is brick and the wall is veneered with brick. In all, this fireplace required 75 firebrick for the firebox, about 600 brick for the backup walls and throat, 700 brick for the shell and 1,100 brick for the chimney. There are 12 steps to the fireplace:
  1. The foundation
  2. The foundation top
  3. The shell
  4. The hearth
  5. The firebox
  6. The firebox slope
  7. The damper
  8. The throat
  9. The backup wythes
  10. The fireplace face
  11. The chimney
  12. The chimney cap