Custom Masonry and Fireplace Design San Diego

Custom Masonry, Chimneys, and Fireplaces
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Fireplace Design and Repair  

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Brick Face Fireplaces  

Brick Fireplaces
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The warmth of a brick fireplace

In "traditional" homes, a brick fireplace can provide charm and old-fashioned elegance. When you're building a fireplace or chimney for your home, there's simply no substitute for genuine, clay brick. Brick is naturally beautiful. It has warmth and human scale. Put into place by hand, one by one, only brick gives that touch of craftsmanship, authenticity, and timeless elegance you want for your home.

Brick comes in a wide range of colors, tones, and textures, from the soft, historic look of a classic handmade, to the clean, precise lines of a wire-cut. And when you consider all the different colored mortars that are available, your design possibilities become practically endless."
"A heritage of "hearth and home" that goes back thousands of years. Strength, durability and richness that will make your fireplace the centerpiece of your home. That's the beauty of genuine clay brick.
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Stone Fireplaces  

Stone Fireplaces
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The unforgettable look of a stone fireplace

Rural undertones. Or strikingly contemporary. Whatever your style, chances are there’s a stone veneer to match. Create an environment that emits warmth. A place that is perfect for get-togethers with family and friends—or simply for enjoying the peacefulness of solitude. These are times spent near the fireplace.

Choose from hundreds of varieties of Cultured Stone® or Eldorado® manufactured stone veneers to begin your fireplace or chimney project.
Cultured Stone
Cultured Stone
Eldorado Stone
Eldorado Stone
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Stucco/Plaster Face Fireplaces  

Stucco Fireplaces
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The perfect fireplace - inside and outdoors

Custom Masonry and Fireplace Design are experts in building a variety of inside and outside fireplaces made of stucco and plaster. Whether it's a custom stucco fireplace in a southwest motif nestled in a cozy corner of your home or on full display in your backyard intertainment center, we have a "custom" "one-of-kind" design for you.

By incorporating various stone, tile, and brick elements within your outdoor fireplace, we can build the perfect outdoor retreat for you and your family. Warm yourself by the fire, barbecue, and entertain your friends.

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Tile Face Fireplaces

Tiled Fireplaces
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Designing fireplaces in tile....the possibilities are endless.

With millions of styles, types, and textures, tile is a very popular building material to complement any fireplace design.

Custom Masonry and Fireplace design will work with you to create the perfect tile fireplace surround that fits the needs of your home. We will work with your design expert or offer our services to make your fireplace custom and unique.

We guarantee quality workmanship from every piece of tile we set until the finished product is completed.

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Marble Face Fireplaces  

Marble Fireplaces
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Living with Elegance

Marble is found in the mountainous regions of Canada, Italy, Germany, Spain, the U.S., and other countries worldwide. Marble adds a sophisticated element to your home, and its wonderful appearance, beauty, elegance, superior engineering characteristics, and ease of maintenance makes it a natural choice for floors, countertops, floors, foyers, windowsills, and of course fireplace facings and hearths.

Because marble comes in hundreds of different styles or types and is readily available from local suppliers in the San Diego area, Custom Masonry and Fireplace Design can build you a custom marble fireplace to your exact specifications.

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Batchelder Tile Fireplaces  

Batchelder Tile Fireplaces
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Historical Elegance of a Batchelder Tile Fireplace

Batchelder Tile Fireplace Restoration involves a great deal of patience and expertise. Working from drawings or photos our supplier can reproduce tiles
in any style, pattern, or color to match your existing Batchelder Fireplace.

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Outdoor Fireplaces  

Outdoor Fireplaces and BBQs
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Outdoor entertainment just got better

An outdoor fireplace is the perfect compliment to your backyard patio. Entertain your freinds and family by the warmth of a custom outdoor fireplace designed and built by Paul Walker.

The Outdoor "Masonry" Fireplace
We build the genuine outdoor patio fireplace. We use traditionl masonry construction materials including block, brick, natural stone and stone veneers.

We build them to last a lifetime!

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 Fireplace Design - Construction


Paul Walker

licensed C29 masonry contractor
# 851233

Rumford Fireplace Construction

Building a Rumford Fireplace - by Paul Walker
A Rumford fireplace is a work of art.
It's appreciated for its unique design and elegance, and well known for its superb heating efficiency.

I began building Authentic Rumford fireplaces in London, England many years ago, and continue that tradition today in San Diego dedicated to old-world expertise and quality workmanship.
It's my pleasure to share with you just one of the many Rumford fireplace projects that have brought warmth and beauty to the homes of many of my friends.

Fireplace Location - Initial Layout
When we begin your Rumford fireplace project we make sure it's safe and meets modern building code standards.

We work with you to meet your needs, and assure you that your Rumford fireplace is a "new technology fireplace" that meets or exceeds the U.S. EPA Phase II emissions standard. It's California Certified!
From start to finish.....we guarantee quality workmanship!

Floor cut prior to foundation
In this example we were working on an older home restoration project and needed to cut through the floor in preparation for laying a sturdy foundation for the fireplace and chimney.

We cut through the floor and dug a twelve inch deep hole in the ground for the foundation. Then we reframed new floor joists to resupport the pieces that we cut out.

The next step involves pouring the concrete fireplace foundation.

Fireplace foundation - chimney support
The foundation (or footer) for a masonry fireplace is made of reinforced concrete poured at least 12" below undesturbed ground . If the fireplace is built in a house with a slab-on-grade foundation, the slab under the fireplace and extending 6" outside the fireplace walls must be 12" thick. Here we have half inch steel framework horizontally with six bars rising vertically in hole.
Next we get inspection from the city and after inspection we then build up the fireplace structure with blockwork .

Laid up block work
When we get to the required height with block we place another pad of steel on top of block which will serve to support our cantilevered hearth ,we then pour a new minimum four inch concrete hearth which will support the outer edge of the fireplace , this area is called the hearth and its purpose is to keep combustible materials away from the opening
When building up the back wall we extend any vertical steel. Most chimneys only need four. Building code requires more steel depending on the size of the chimney brest.

Going through the roof
Next we go to the roof and cut out holes for the chimney breast. We need a two inch clearance here to combustible. Then we place two earthquake straps onto two by fours and tie off onto at least four joists in roof. We also need to reframe through the roof with two by six studs to reinforce and strengthen any studs we had to cut out.
Then we finish the construction of the chimney adding the flues as we build the blockwork, add a concrete crown, and place a spark arrester on top of chimney.

Firebox construction - reinforcing your fireplace with steel
Every eighteen inches we place a horizontal tie through the masonry. We use a quarter inch steel pencil rod for this. We leave out at least eighteen inches of the rod protruding from the block to tie into the stone face as we build it ,we will add more quarter inch steel to the stone face also on eighteen inch center which will make a continuous loop around the vertical steel.
Next, we begin laying the first course of split firebrick within the firebox.

Building the firebox
At this point we've double checked our Rumford firebox dimensions, and in this case we used a spectacular "herringbone" design with split firebrick.

Later we installed a Rumford throat damper and smoke chamber as we built up on top of firebox leading to the first flue.
Steel rods extend out from the block used to make the firebox wall and will tie into the stone face as we build it.

Building the stone face
Here we began building up the face with decorative stone in this case with an arch.

At a desired point at least twelve inches above fireplace opening we place the Mantle. We have this distance for combustible reasons.
Next, we continue to add charm and beauty to the fireplace by adding more decorative stone and embelish the hearth with tile.

Fireplace nearing completion
With our mantle installed we continue the building process with decorative stone above the mantle all the way to the ceiling.

> Chimney construction is nearly complete and the home owners are almost ready to enjoy their new Rumford fireplace.
Next, we will finish the hearth to complement the work we've done and tie everything together.

Finishing the hearth
In this case we used spanish tile to add contrast to the decorative stone and cut the flooring in a gentle arch to fit.
With our fireplace almost done and built to code, the homeowners can be very proud of their quality-built "certified" Rumford fireplace.

Rumford Fireplace - finished project
Custom Masonry and Fireplace Design

A San Diego Rumford Fireplace builder.

"We take pride in our work and guarantee quality craftsmanship on every Rumford fireplace that we build"....Paul Walker
"Thanks Paul, I love my fireplace. All the best!"
Greg Andrews San Diego   > read testimonial

Rumford Fireplace - Design and Construction

      Quality Craftsmanship

Fireplace Refacing Project

Typical reface of a fireplace - by Paul Walker

click photo for larger view
In this project, using Eldorado stone and hearthstones, we created a rustic and beautiful warm fireplace this family will enjoy for many years to come.

In this two-day project we took down the old face, rebuild it back up, and covered it with Eldorado Stone.
(Mantle was installed at a later date.)

Below we will show a series of photos from a typical reface of a fireplace.
If you have any questions please call me at 619-287-6464.

Taking down the old face
We started with a typical brick fireplace and hearth. Next, we isolated the working area with a protective screen and began removing brick from the old face.

As we carefully removed the old brick we checked the structural integrity of the wall and looked for any signs of deterioration.



Removing the old hearth
This was an illegal hearth, where the wood was too close to the firebox, so we removed the wood and prepared to build a new hearth foundation to code.

Rebuilding the Hearth and Face
At this stage in the process it is important to build a safe and sturdy foundation in preparation for the masonry face. Our masonry face provides a suitible surface to apply our stone. Before we begin a refacing project we have to determine how we will bond the stone to the surface. If the surface were brick or block we could apply stone straight over the existing material as long as the surface has no sealer, as the sealed masonry would not provide a strong enough bond to the surface and would eventually fall off.

A common problem with fireplaces in the home tends to be that at some point the face has been painted ,this once again would prevent the stone from bonding properly .When presented with this problem, it is generally quickest and easiest to take down the existing face and rebuild back with block and brick and apply stone over the new surface.
Refacing with Eldorado stone
Now, we begin laying the first course of Eldorado stone to the face of our fireplace, spaced above the hearth foundation to accomodate the thickness of our hearth stones which will be layed down later.

During the installation process we moisten the surface and using type s mortar we apply the stone. Depending on the color of stone would determine if we would apply any color to our mortar.
As we install the stone, we usually use a cakemix type bag called a blow bag to fill any joints that need more mortar and then we use small trowels to finish off joints, making them uniform and continuous. Finally we would use a wisp broom to clean off the face.



Laying down the hearth stones
On most refacing's we tend to use the hearthstones supplied by Eldorado or Cultured stone. These stones are twenty inches square, about two inches thick and come in a variety of colors. They are also layed with the type s mortar. We also have the option of using a real stone here to compliment whatever stone we would use on face.  
They are also layed with the type s mortar.We also have the option of using a real stone here to compliment whatever stone we would use on face.

Finally, the last course of facing stone is applied below the hearth stones as our refacing project comes to completion.

The finished fireplace refacing project was completed in two days...ontime...and on budget. Photos: courtesy of the happy homeowners! Thankyou - Paul Walker

Before After

A Fireplace Refacing Project

If you have a fireplace that needs remodeling please call us today at 619 287-6464.

We can transform your old fireplace into a beautiful showcase for your home.

Before: Old Fireplace

large photo click here
After: New Stone Fireplace

large photo click here

Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds

At Custom Masonry and Fireplace Design we work together with local San Diego carpenters and furniture builders to produce custom handmade wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds to fit your specific requirements. A fireplace mantel designed for you for your living room, study or family room will reflect your personal taste and character.

The Wood Furniture Factory

Combine our custom fireplace mantels or fireplace surrounds
with built in bookcases or other fine cabinetry.

"We are committed to the highest quality for our fireplace mantels and surrounds!"

Click here to see our Mantle and Surround Portfolio

Oak Fireplace Mantel and Surround


The Wood Furniture Factory

Maple Mantel and Surround Bookcases


Fireplace Tile Installation
A common way to use tile on a fireplace is to install it on the fireplace surround where the tile is applied to the area directly surrounding the fireplace box below the mantle. Here the tiles can be of uniform size or mixed and matched with a variety of sizes, decorative tile types, mosaics, and in combination with straight and diagonal patterns.  

Tile can also be installed on the fireplace hearth.
Tile can be applied to hearths that are level with the flooring  to shield the floor from heat and sparks. Raised hearths are built as an elevated seat and individual tiles or stone slabs can be installed on the face and seat portion of the hearth. Often we can add a contrasting natural or manufactured stone material to add interest to make your fireplace unique.

Tile can also be installed above the mantle adding height to your fireplace creating a breathtaking floor-to-ceiling  focal point in your home. Integrating tile with stone above the mantel is also possible.

Creating a unique eclectic look with tile can be accomplished by tiling your fireplace surround, adding decorative tile accents and combining other materials such as stone and a wood mantel.

The possibilties are endless with a custom fireplace from  Custom Masonry and Fireplace Design


San Diego Masonry Contractor: Paul Walker
Trained in England, he has 24 years of experience in masonry construction. The first five years were in and around London, where he served working with tradesmen who passed down their skills and knowledge acquired from previous generations.

Paul has been building fireplaces in San Diego since 1992 and is a recognized expert in fireplace refacing, fireplace repair, and relining chimneys to prevent fire hazards.  

He is trained in all areas of masonry construction focusing mainly on the comprehensive aspects of  fireplace and chimney construction, including outdoor cooking ovens and barbeques using real stone stonework, True stone, Rox Pro rock, Eldorado and Cultured stone.

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"We take pride in our work and guarantee quality craftsmanship."

- Paul Walker

  • New construction masonry fireplaces
  • Chimney inspections
  • Acquire permits from city
  • Reline existing chimneys
  • Reface with brick, tile, veneer stone, precast mantles
  • Repair existing chimneys, crowns
  • New dampers, Spark arresters, Heat shields
  • Custom Masonry Barbeques
  • Expert Masonry brickwork, wainscots, piers
  • Eldorado and cultured stone specialist Truestone,Rox Pro rock
  • »Masonry cooking ovens
    (Pizza Ovens)

Call us today!

Custom Masonry & Fireplace Design Inc BBB Business Review

Licensed C29 Masonry Contractor # 851233

Liability Insurance $2 million/$1 million per occurance
Member Golden State Chimney Sweep Guild California
licensed C29 masonry contractor # 851233
Liability Insurance $2 million/$1 million per occurance

Custom Masonry & Fireplace Design Inc BBB Business Review
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