Average Cost Estimate
Note: This page is about running a set of gas logs into your existing fireplace. It does not cover costs for adding a free-standing gas fireplace.
Gas logs are a staple of new homes, in favor of the older wood burning fireplaces. While some homeowners may prefer the smell and appearance of a traditional wood fireplace, gas fireplace logs are much easier to light, cleaner to run, can provide more heat to your home, and depending on your budget, can look almost as real as their counterpart.
This page of Costimates is going to help you learn more about the features and accessories that will affect gas log retail prices and installation costs. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a good understanding of gas logs, the cost variable from vented and unvented, accessories that will add to your bottom line cost, as well as factors within your home that will help you estimate installation cost in your area. Finally, you’ll get our opinion on DIY installation, as well as a comparison of purchase an installation costs from other leading sources on the web, and a table where homeowners like yourself have shared their own costs related to putting a set in the fireplace at their own home.
Related Cost Estimates
Parts and Supplies Cost Details
Retail Price Factors
The following features and factors will help you understand why some gas fireplace logs cost more than others. Once you understand the features and how they affect the cost, you can decide if you want them or not.
- Vented of Vent-Free – As this feature suggests, some units require you to keep the chimney flue open so they can vent out of your chimney. Vent free heating systems do not require your chimney to be opened and emit no dangerous gases to your home. Vented logs do provide some heat to your home and look more realistic, but non-vented logs provide 100% of the heat, making them higher efficiency. In addition, the latest logs on the market look just as real as vented versions.
- BTU Heat Output – Both style of logs are rated in BTU’s, for the amount of heat they give out. You can expect a range of 20,000 btu to 60,000 btu. A vent-free set with 20,000 btus can heat an area of about 800-1000 square feet, operating at 100% efficiency. The same gas logs in the vented version would only heat 200 square feet.
- Appearance – Likely the most important factor for anyone buying a set of gas logs, is the appearance. Many lower-cost sets simply look like a set of fake logs with a gas flame. The more expensive ones look as close to realistic as possible with multiple burners for both the logs and embers that glow beneath.
- Comfort Features – There are many features available for gas log fireplaces. From wireless remote controls to fireplace inserts that have blowers installed, and can distribute heat to larger areas of your home.
Retail Cost Range
- $100 – $275 – Vented fireplace logs with very few accessories and a heat output of 20,000 – 60,000 btu.
- $150 – $425 – Basic, vent-free gas logs with a few accessories and a heat output of 20,000 – 30,000 btu.
- $475 – $1,500 – Feature-rich set of vent-free gas logs with remote control, hand-painted realistic logs and flame burners, heat output of 20,000 – 40,000 btu.
Cost of Installation Supplies
Unless you’re replacing an existing set, there will be some preparation work and installation supplies needed before you can install a set into your fireplace.
- $25 – $50 per foot | Solid or flexible gas line run to the fireplace, including shut off valve(s). This will vary depending on the type and diameter of line needed to provide gas to the gas fireplace.
- $40 – $100 | Regardless of which logs you install, it’s highly recommended that you install a Carbon Monoxide detector.
- $140 – $260 | Before installing any new appliance into your fireplace, it’s important to have it inspected and/or cleaned to assure proper safety.
- $15 – $30 | Miscellaneous supplies like touch up paint, Teflon tape, pipe dope for gas fittings, etc.
Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs
Installation usually requires an inspection for safety. Along with the gas line bringing fuel to the log set, venting and other factors will be inspected. If your set requires electricity, an electrical inspection may be required as well. Talk to your installer to determine if this project will require a permit or inspection.
- $50 – $200 ea. | Local permits (if required). You will likely require electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspections.
Installation Labor Factors
The cost of installation for your gas log fireplace will be determined by several factors.
- Gas Supply Line – If there is no gas line at your fireplace, a new line will need to be installed by a plumber. The cost the gas line will depend on the btu rating, or heating capacity of the unit, as well as the distance from where the plumber has to tap into the existing line to your new gas logs.
Note: If you don’t have natural gas in your home, a propane bottle can be installed as conveniently as possible to your fireplace.
- Electrical Installation – Some gas log sets as well as high end fire box inserts may require electricity in order to run. If you need electrical run to your fireplace, the cost will be determined by the distance from the nearest outlet that will support the added requirements. If a new line is run from the circuit panel, a new breaker and other costs will factor in as well.
- Condition of Fireplace and Firebox – If you’re having vented logs installed you may need to have the fireplace cleaned, or in cases where the flue liner is in very poor condition, a chimney liner installed.
- 2 – 8 Hours | Even if a new gas line or electric source has to be installed, most pros will complete the install within 1 day. If an inspection is required, the plumber and/or electrician may need to be present during the inspection. This usually occurs at a later date.
DIY or Hire a Pro
If you already have a set of gas logs in place, this is easily a DIY project that most handy homeowners can accomplish in just a few hours. If gas or electric lines need to be run to the fireplace, I would suggest hiring a pro to handle at least that portion of the project.
Regardless of which route you take, natural gas and fire are two very serious things to consider, since a faulty installation or preparations can both result in death. Even if you install your own set, you should call in a pro and pay the service call fee to inspect your work and assure you’ve done it right.
- If you’re buying your own set from a big box store, make sure you purchase the right kind for your fireplace, as well as the right size for the firebox. Learn more about buying the right logs at North line Express.
- I suggest talking to a local pro before buying any set of logs. Not only do you need to know if your gas line can accommodate the new gas logs, many dealers get better pricing on higher quality sets than you find in stores.
I have installed my own logs many times, as both replacement sets and new installation. I’ve always used a pro for running the gas and/or electrical lines, as well as the initial startup and leak testing! In this case… I’m going to suggest using a Pro, since you really can DIY and use a pro on one project!
Installed Costs from Around the Web
Compare the retail and installation costs around the web.