How can I build a fireplace in an alcove that we can remove?

Joel Hayes
by Joel Hayes

How can I build a fireplace in an alcove that we can remove when we move out? I want it to look like its built in but the height of the alcove is 9 ft. We have considered buying an electric fireplace but it costs too much.

  13 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Dec 08, 2018

    Hi Joel,

    My name is Linda. I found a video that should help you. She does give her measurements during the video but you'll have to measure your space to make it fit properly. Even though it's a tall space, the whole fireplace doesn't have to go to the top of the wall. A mantle is part of the fireplace and above it you be painted and your picture could be hung there. I hope this helps you. Wishing you the best!

  • Judith Judith on Dec 08, 2018

    Try the buy and sell or kiigii sites. My daughter picked up one in the kids playroom for 100 dollars. It's safe and keeps the room at a nice comfortable temp for the kids. Close to Christmas walmart always have a really great sale on them too.

  • Mindshift Mindshift on Dec 08, 2018

    First, you must get your landlord's permission before you can make any change to this house. There is no sort of wood or gas fireplace that won't require a chimney. That means you would be cutting a hole in the ceiling and the roof, and you would not be allowed to remove anything when you move. I cannot see how this would be less expensive than an electric fireplace.

    If you still want a fireplace insert you need to buy one. There are less expensive models. They vary in both height and width, and you need to know these measurements before you can build a frame. Look for one that plugs in rather than one that is hard-wired. You also have to decide how high above the floor the bottom of the unit should be. Standard heights are 6, 8 and 12 inches.

    Measure the opening where you want to put this insert. Is the opening the same width at the top, middle and the bottom? Framing can be off, which is important when you want to make an addition look built in. You need to consider how you will conceal any variations using trim.

    Start by building a base frame that will hold the insert above the floor. The framing can go all the way to the ceiling if you want. Across the front of this framing you will put a decorative facade. This facade can look like brick, stone, wood, or whatever you fancy. Your inset is very wide so consider building in some storage on one or both sides of the fireplace insert. Below are links to videos that may help.

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Dec 09, 2018

    Hi Joel. If you can build a box, you can build a faux fireplace. Using 2x4 lumber, build a frame with the 2 back vertical pieces the height you want in the alcove to which you can attach faux brick or stone panels. Attach a horizontal piece to attach a mantle at whatever height you want. (think chair frame with 8 legs on top of a long box.) Sheath the frame with 1/4 inch plywood, faux brick, or stone, paint the inside black, add electric logs, sit back and enjoy. Tip: use screws to assemble so you can take it apart easily when the time comes to move.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 09, 2018


    It is as easy as piling bricks up in piers and placing a Timber across between them. Or Try Looking on eBay or your local Thrift Store.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 09, 2018

    Have you looked into electric fire place inserts? They tend to run less then standard electric fire places. Have you received permission from your landlord for this yet? I don't know many land lords that would be okay with their tenant cutting a hole in the wall and/or ceiling.

  • MTzilla MTzilla on Dec 09, 2018

    I’d recommend an electric fireplace and then build a free standing mantle surround to fit it. Not attached to the wall and can go with you. I just bought a Grand Aspirations 50” elec fireplace that is stellar and was under $200. It’s free standing, or can be hung. I’m going to build the surround & mantle to fit it as weather permits. Google ‘Grand Aspirations fireplaces’. I ordered mine from menards. It arrived quickly. You’ll be amazed at how real the fire looks and it’s an impressive size!! . I’ll try to attach a video. This solution is cost saving and portable. It’s a win win.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Dec 11, 2018

    I agree with using an electric fireplace in the space.

  • Joel Hayes Joel Hayes on Jan 06, 2019

    Hubby gifted me an electric fireplace that gits perfectly!!!

    comment photo
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2024

    Make a Cowl over the top/ Add Mirror or Painting or Shelves.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 02, 2024

    An electric fireplace is a perfect solution.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 02, 2024

    Hi Joel, hope this helps you out. Measure your opening for the correct size, and put any finish on it that you like.