With the cold weather upon us, I always look forward to building a fire in the fireplace. It can be a full custom fireplace or just a freestanding stove. Personally, I’ve had them both and will settle for either one, just as long as I have one of them. Not only do they provide the heat, but the ambiance they add to a room is awesome. If you are designing your home, you can find them in almost any room these days. Some homes even have multiple fireplaces. If you already have a home and want to add one, that can happen too.
If you have a home that does not have a fireplace, there are some steps to do. First, you need to see if your foundation will support one. Are you just adding a freestanding Ben Franklin type or a full custom style? If it is full custom, you really need to have a professional do it. Talk to your builder. If you are adding a Ben Franklin or potbelly type, it is a lot easier. You will need to make sure you have some type of fire protection/insulation under the fireplace and behind it. You will need to cut a hole in your roof or side of your home for the chimney flue. There are many great resources to aid you in adding it or you call your builder to do it for you.
If you are building and want to include a fireplace, here are some things to think about. Decide where in your home design you want it, or them, to go. Do you want it to have gas going to it? The gas can work as a starter or you can add gas logs. Do you want Stone or Brick? Do you want a Mantel? There are so many mantels to select from. A mantel can even be built with the stone or brick. Do you want a hearth? The fireplace can be flush with the floor or you can have a hearth that brings it off the floor and gives you that ledge to sit on. Do you want doors or screens on your fireplace? Some people prefer nothing. Again this is a matter of preferences. The screen can also aid in keeping ambers from popping out. These are just some of the things to think about when you are designing that fireplace.
Do you need a grate? The grate is the rack that you see in fireplaces. No you don’t always have to have them. In the free standing fireplaces, most people do not have them. In the custom, it’s a 50/50 call. Personally, in the custom fireplaces, I have always used them. It helps the logs not to roll off quite as much.
Modern fireplaces even exist that have no fire. These are the electric ones that can look like a fireplace burning. They can be a freestanding device or they can fit into a wall. These can add some ambiance in a room and some actually put out heat.
Fireplaces have been so popular that people are adding them on their deck or even out on a patio. I’m talking full fireplaces, not just the fire pits. They can be enjoyed both indoors and outside. If you are designing your home and want one in that family room and outside deck, think about putting it back to back. It’s technically two fireplaces but in the same location. It might save you on the chimney design. Talk to your builder more on this design.
Fireplaces not only have the aesthetic effect, but they serve a purpose. You will be surprised at how they can cut down your electric bill. They can keep burning when you have no electricity, keeping you warm. In the olden days, a pot could be hung and cooking done (okay, some people might still do this). Yes, you might go through a ton of wood, but it is so worth it. One other thing, a fireplace can make your home insurance go up slightly. Check with your insurance carrier. Always make sure you keep your fireplace clean and the chute open. Enjoy, enjoy!
For all Your Real Estate and Building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658.