A fireplace won’t only bring warmth in the cold season, but it’ll also add value to your property and help create a welcoming ambiance. It also gives your friends and family a chance to relax, particularly during winter. However, before you install a fireplace in your house, there are several things you should understand.
While a fireplace has the added benefit of increasing your home’s value, you can’t just install one wherever and whenever you want. You should think about the entire process. That said, below are some of the things to consider before installing a fireplace:
- Know Your Style Preferences
There are various styles of fireplaces. Before you start with fireplace installation, monitor growing trends of the best fireplaces you can consider for your home.
Generally, a fireplace has three core elements, which include the opening, hearth, and firebox.
- Hearth: It can be raised, level with your floor, or located below your floor level.
- Firebox: A firebox, on the other hand, is an area that can complement the hearth styles and where the fire sits. Sometimes, there are dropped, raised, or flushed fireboxes.
- Opening: Commonly called the fireplace surround, it defines the fireplace’s aesthetics and houses the mantle. Depending on your preferences, it can come with a finish of Nouveau, traditional art, or ultra-contemporary styles. It can also be constructed using various materials such as tiles, timber, granite, natural stone, marble, and bricks.
Now, depending on your preference, you can choose how to construct these elements. However, you must ensure that functionality meets aesthetics to guarantee a desirable result that won't waste your money and hard work.
2. Choose The Best Type Of Fireplace Wisely
Affordability, upkeep, and aesthetics will all play a role in determining the best fireplace for your property. If you want to make your home look more expensive but are confused with the options available, here are the three kinds of fireplaces you can consider:
- Electric Fireplace: Electric fireplaces don’t have the ambiance and natural look of wood. It also depends on the power grid, which can be susceptible to disruptions. But unlike other types of fireplaces, an electric fireplace is much easier to operate and install, especially in a limited space. It’s also slightly more efficient when heating smaller rooms.
- Gas Fireplace: Gas is more convenient than firewood. You don’t need to deal with removing ash and burned material. You also don’t have to think about looking for quality dry wood to make a fire.
You can consider two primary gas fireplaces: a ventless system and a vent system. A ventless system has no chimney to redirect the burnt air outside your house. Most ventless systems are designed with a sensor that turns off the gas once they detect carbon dioxide, making them a safe choice. Unfortunately, they’re not suitable for properties with limited space.
On the other hand, a vent system comes with a chimney or vent that directs the air from the fireplace to the outside. A vent gas fireplace is also considered a safe option because of the harmful gas buildup or reduced smoke risk.
- Wood-Burning Fireplace: The classic wood-burning fireplace is what most people prefer because it creates an ambiance that makes your house feel cozy and warm. Another essential benefit of a wood-burning fireplace is that it can be energy-efficient once appropriately constructed.
When quality firewood burns, it gives off radiant energy that heats the room faster. Depending on the style of a wood-burning fireplace, a fan is installed to push the air through the vent. However, if you worry about maintenance, a wood-burning fireplace is not for you. Typically, it requires regular cleaning and a constant supply of firewood.
3. Understand The Local Building Codes
Safety is an essential consideration when installing a fireplace. For this reason, it’s crucial to check your state’s building codes to install your fireplace with safety in mind.
Every state has different building codes when it comes to fireplaces. For example, combustible materials should be placed inches away from the firebox. Other regions even have mandatory requirements that dictate the gas line position, permissible emission levels, chimney height, vent location, and more.
To ensure safety, work with professionals knowledgeable about the local building codes. Not only will you get your desired results, but you can also guarantee that your fireplace is installed correctly.
4. Keep Location And Size In Mind
The total area where you plan to install your fireplace will dictate its size. For example, the bigger the space, the bigger the fireplace you’ll need to install to increase the temperature of the whole area. So, before you install one, assess and measure your space to choose the right size for the fireplace.
Most fireplaces are installed as the living room’s highlight piece, where guests and family can relax and enjoy the mesmerising flames and warmth. However, a double-sided fireplace has also made noise, typically serving as a divider between two adjoining living spaces, like the dining and living room. These are excellent as they can feed both spaces regarding the fire’s temperature and warm aesthetics.
5. Consider The Cost
The cost is a crucial factor to consider before installing a fireplace. The overall cost of fireplace installation may vary because of several factors, such as type, labor, and style. To get an accurate estimate, shopping around and asking various professionals is essential.
Generally, a fireplace is costly, but some types are less expensive to install. For instance, a freestanding unit is less costly than a built-in one.
If you don’t want to be surprised about the final cost, it may be handy to set your budget. This way, you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on the fireplace of your dreams.
6. Consider Energy Efficiency
Another thing to consider before installing a fireplace is energy efficiency. If you prefer something that will reduce your energy consumption, opt for an energy-efficient fireplace known for its high heat output while minimising energy loss. For instance, a direct-vent gas fireplace uses less energy, unlike standard pilot ignitions, since it utilizes an intermittent pilot ignition system instead.
If you choose a wood-burning fireplace, install a fireplace that burns wood efficiently and reduces the outside air particulate emissions. Moreover, instead of the traditional masonry fireplaces, you can use fireplace inserts to minimize heat loss.
7. Decide Whether Or Not To Hire Professionals
For most homeowners, it’s fulfilling to do-it-yourself (DIY) install a fireplace. However, while establishing a fireplace may seem like a simple DIY project, it’s one of the home improvement projects you should leave in the hands of professionals.
Even if a DIY approach is more affordable, mistakes can make the process costly. So, to avoid expensive repairs or installation mistakes, you might want to let professionals do the work for you.
There are some benefits to hiring professionals, and these include the following:
- Ensure Efficiency And Safety: Professionals can ensure a smooth installation process to avoid possible problems that may cause damage to your house and pose a risk to your household members. Experienced professionals can also complete the project promptly.
- Fit Your Chimney To The Fireplace: Chimneys are a vital element in your fireplace's efficient and safe operation. If your chimney is installed improperly, carbon monoxide or smoke may enter your house once the fireplace functions. To ensure ventilation, the chimney should fit the heating stove or fireplace insert. Moreover, several chimney liners aren’t compatible with particular kinds of heating fuel, so it’s vital to consult an expert if you want to replace your fireplace with a new one.
- Follow The Building Codes: Professionals can guarantee that your fireboxes and chimney liners properly clear the wall support and some house materials that surround the fireplace. They may also determine if a metal fireplace insert or heavy masonry needs extra foundation support. Since professionals know the building codes, they can ensure that your fireplace exhausts safely and burns efficiently.
- Install Proper Infrastructure: Other than an open-style fireplace, additional infrastructure, including fireplace inserts and heating stoves, will be necessary for stable and safe operation. Wiring and gas line installation is also needed to install a fireplace, which requires expertise and skills to complete properly.
Safe operation and proper installation are factors to remember when installing a fireplace. That is why it’s crucial to consult with professionals for fireplace installation.
The Advantages Of Installing A Fireplace
Regardless of the type of fireplace you select, installing a fireplace can provide the following benefits:
- Ambiance: The fireplace’s warm glow creates an unmatched soothing ambiance for any décor item or home appliance. It can also be an impressive focal point for your living room.
- Warmth: The fireplace’s added warmth makes your house cozy and removes the chill during the coldest days. Most fireplaces are used for zone heating, so you can turn off the thermostat and save more energy.
- Improve Design Aesthetics: Whether you want to install a new fireplace or upgrade an existing one, a fireplace will improve your home’s design aesthetics. It can be an attractive focal point that can give your living room a makeover.
A fireplace is no doubt an excellent addition to your home. It doesn’t only boost your home’s value, but it also improves its charm while providing an inviting and warm atmosphere. However, before installing one, you must consider the above considerations to make a well-informed decision. Just remember that pricing may vary depending on your preferred fireplace type.