Whether you’re looking to add a fireplace to your home or you simply want to renovate the existing façade, flue, and chimney setup, there are several considerations to be made before you start tearing out bricks. You’ll certainly want to look into a variety of styles and setups that can offer not only an appealing aesthetic, but also options to save money and potentially even reduce your carbon footprint.
And of course, everything has to be up to building codes so that you don’t have to replace it again when you go to sell your house later on (there will be different requirements for gas versus wood-burning options, for example). In fact, a lot more goes into installing, upgrading, or converting a fireplace than you may have bargained for. But if you follow a few simple design protocols you can certainly have the beautiful, functional heat source that is right for your home.
For starters, you should consider the fireplace you already have. Is the chimney sound, or will it have to be replaced in order to be functional? This could be a huge expense that makes other options (like sliding an electric burner into the existing fireplace) more appealing. While replacing the façade with new tile or brickwork and mounting a mantle is relatively simple and inexpensive, replacing or restoring the entire chimney will likely come with a hefty price tag and a demand on your time that you may be unwilling (or unable) to fork over. And if you don’t yet have a chimney and flue system in place, it could be equally costly.
But there are quite a few attractive options that will offer a variety of benefits to the average homeowner. Free-standing stoves or fireplace boxes are one option to introduce a rustic or modern heating element (respectively) to your space. They traditionally utilize gas or electricity as a means to create the heat you crave, but eco-friendly options like stoves that burn pellets (generally made from sawdust that would otherwise go to waste) or clean, green bioethanol are also available. And of course, you don’t have to stick these in the middle of the room. You can easily build a faux fireplace to safely house your unit along a wall space, or get a box that will seamlessly fit into your existing fireplace structure.
When it comes to fireplace designs, you may have a hard time choosing the one that is right for your home. But as long as you mimic the design elements already in place and work with the existing aesthetic, you can easily add functional fireplaces throughout your space that look like they’ve been there all along. Whether you want to refurbish the gorgeous stone fireplaces that came with your property or you’re looking to modernize by installing updated methods of heating your home, you should be able to meet all of your design needs. So assess your current fireplace situation, look into some of the many options available on the market today, select the fireplace that suits your space, your budget, and your heating needs, and check in with a licensed contractor to ensure that everything is up to code and in good working condition.