Fireplaces built  By RL Sanborn Masonry
    RL Sanborn Masonry provides custom masonry fireplace installation services in
    Cumberland County Maine. With 25 years experience building wood burning, custom
    masonry fireplaces, R L Sanborn Masonry is a valuable fireplace resource for
    Cumberland County, Maine Residents.

    Brick Rumford fireplaces are a popular option. Our customers may select masonry
    materials and design options that meet personal preferences. We understand that
    each individual has his or her own interpretation of what a fireplace should be.
    RL Sanborn Masonry builds fireplaces as you specify and at competitive rates.
    You may choose the dimensions or request our professional opinion, based
    on the period of your home and room size.

    RL Sanborn Masonry is home to Maine’s finest stonemasons and bricklayers.
    You can count on our experience! We guarantee 100% satisfaction.
    Building single and multiple fireplace systems with the most stringent safety
    standards and attention to detail is the only way we build fireplaces. Our fireplace
    systems are custom designed and built from the underground substructure to the cap
    or crown,  partial interior construction or full exterior construction.  Our chimneys are
    built with the strict quality standards like our custom fireplaces, using only the finest
    local masonry products and crafted expertly on site.

  • Standard traditional brick fireplaces
  • Custom mosaic cut granite fireplaces
  • Custom fieldstone fireplace construction
  • Rumford fireplaces, built to exacting Rumford specifications
  • Contemporary fireplaces
  • Fireplace hearths
  • Outdoor fireplace construction
  • Patio fireplaces
  • Cooking fireplaces
  • Beehive ovens

    Cooking Fireplaces
    This five foot wide cooking fireplace and bread oven  
    is a pretty good reproduction of a Williamsburg style
    working fireplace circa 1760.
    The date, of course, predates Rumford but there
    were many of these workhorses built in summer
    kitchens all over the East and Midwest up through
    about 1850, often coexisting with Rumford fireplaces
    in the main house. The Rumfords were for heat but
    you didn't necessarily want the fireplace you cooked
    on to heat - not in the summer anyway.
    These days when we build an early American cooking
    fireplace it is generally in the "great room", not the
    summer kitchen, and the owner of the house is
    cooking, not the servants. So we make some
    compromises. This fireplace is a Rumford fireplace
    and has an efficient rounded throat and smaller flue
    than it's 1760 ancestor  so it is much more efficient.

    Call the fireplace Pros today!
    Call RL Sanborn Masonry.

Why opt for a Rumford fireplace?

The answer: radiant heat.

The Rumford fire box is shallow with an angled back fire wall. The height of openings is equal to width. Heat is reflected in multiple directions into the room. A Rumford fireplace emits a great amount of heat. Lower primary heating costs will result.

The Rumford smoke Chamber and Smoke shelf allow a draft to enter from the flue and exit the same way, giving a continuous and even burn. The results are heat, efficiency and ambiance.

So why doesnít every house have a Rumford fireplace?

Many older homes do. In fact many large older homes have several rumford fireplaces. It is in fact possible for one chimney to exhaust several Rumford fireplaces. Have you ever noticed that homes built in the 1800ís have huge brick chimneys? It is more than likely that the huge chimneys you have noticed on old houses contain numerous flues, exhausting multiple Rumford fireplaces.

Building a Rumford fireplace requires the knowledge of angular symmetry and many years experience as a mason. A conventional modern fireplace requires far less skill and ability to design and build. This makes a Rumford fireplace a larger initial investment than a conventional fireplace. If you are looking to cut costs in the long run, the Rumford fireplace will cut costs in firewood consumption and primary heating costs. As a matter of fact Rumford fireplaces can be used as primary sources of heat. The only drawback of fireplaces as a primary heat source is the need of constant supervision and tending. A fireplace in use should always be monitored.

A conventional fireplace requires a smaller initial investment than a Rumford. Like the Rumford fireplace a conventional fireplace will add value to your home. The conventional fireplace will provide ambiance though not the show a Rumford will produce. The conventional fireplace will burn far more wood, is more likely to smoke and will provide a minimal amount of heat. In fact most of the heat will simple escape through the flue. Many homes that contain conventional fireplaces choose not to use them often or at all. The Rumford fireplace will reflect the heat far into the room. It will heat your entire body instantly when standing before its fire. The masonry will hold the heat for hours after the flame has gone.

The advent of the Franklin wood stove, the furnace and the fact that Lord Rumford was considered a scoundrel in Colonial America didnít help matters for the Rumford Fireplace.

However there is no question as to what the most efficient, effective and attractive fireplace is. It is the Rumford.

Although a wood stove will offer acceptable heating results it will never match the ambiance of dancing flame of a true Rumford.

Modern fireplaces were designed for occasional use. The drafting is often poor due to low cost designs. They are not practical for heating purposes. Though corners are cut, The fire place looks ok. The Masonry substructure which is not visible is the back bone of a fire place.

Rumford designed the most efficient fireplaces to resolve issues in London England, where poorly designed fireboxes and chimney systems smoked up city streets.

How much do they cost?

The inexpensive approach:

Prefabricated units are available for installation.

RL Sanborn Masonry recommends custom masonry construction.


Ben Rumfordís massive structures themselves retained heat for hours after the last flames withered out. The hearth is still too hot to touch and the entire structure holds its heat for hours after the flame has gone. The majority of banked heat radiates hours later still warm to the touch.

We design Our Rumford fireplace throats, Flues, smoke chambers and smoke stacks (chimneys) with exacting standards.

The large opening and shallow box radiate heat into the room much like a mirror reflecting a ray from the Sun. This heat rapidly warms anything in its path. When the flame is gone it continues to heat.

In a New England climate the exterior masonry will be susceptible to the Harsh cold, heavy rains, snow, Ice, Frost heaves, Ice heaves, hail, sleet etc and must be built to withstand.

Our aim is to build Fireplaces with the most efficient working mechanics as well as aesthetics and durability. We choose to build our Fireplaces with granite, soap stone, brick and other natural masonry materials.

How much will a fireplace cost?

Total costs depend on the choice of materials, size and location of the fireplace. Certainly brick is the least expensive way to go and do the job right. If you are thinking of field stone or granite think higher. Stone is not for everyone. There are alternatives such as veneers and cultured stone. Cultured stone has become popular as an inexpensive alternative to stone.

A brick Rumford can be built anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000 or more depending on the size of the firebox, the structural height and the foundation requirements which will vary depending on your current foundation.

Second floor brick fireplace build
RL Sanborn Masonry 2009.
RL Sanborn Masonry 2014
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Fireplaces Custom Built By Expert Masons
What is masonry?

Masonry is the
building of structures
from individual units
laid in and bound
together by mortar.
The common
materials of masonry
construction are
brick, stone such as
marble, granite,
travertine, limestone;
concrete block, glass
block, and tile.
Masonry is generally
a highly durable form
of construction.
However, the
materials used, the
quality of the mortar
and workmanship,
and the pattern the
units are put in can
strongly affect the
durability of the
overall masonry
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