Fireplaces: 10 Things to Consider

Home Renovation, Interior

Randy Glazer

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FireplacesThe first cold weather has settled into Atlanta making this the perfect time to snuggle up to a fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace and Atlanta home renovation project can take care of that.

According to an article in Realtor Magazine, ¼ of homebuyers consider an indoor fireplace important when searching for the perfect house. In 2011, over 50 percent of the homes in America had fireplaces. Is a fireplace right for your house? Like all things, there are benefits and drawbacks to having one.

Here are 10 things to consider when thinking of adding a fireplace to your home.

  1. Fireplace Use

    Knowing the intended use of your fireplace – added heat, architectural enhancement, ambience – will help you better budget and select the type of fireplace that’s most appropriate for your needs.

  2. Budget

    Many homeowners see the investment of installing a fireplace returned in resale, but building within budget is important for anyone. Some fireplace units are more expensive than others and based on the level of demolition and renovation needed to install it properly, the price will vary. Discuss your concerns and aspirations with your contractor and get a quote before work begins.

  3. Gas versus Wood

    Wood burning fireplaces require more manual labor once installed – lighting the logs, maintaining a chimney properly, cleaning. Gas fireplaces, especially direct vent fireplaces, can be installed in many places throughout the house that wood burning ones cannot. You somewhat lose the natural feel, crackling and ambience without wood.

  4. Retrofitting

    If you have a wood burning fireplace and are tired of the hassle, consider retrofitting it. An air recirculation system can improve the efficiency of your chimney’s draw and gas log sets can easily replace wood.

  5. Codes

    Most all areas have building codes to ensure that fireplace installation and remodeling is performed safely. Discuss with your contractor the building codes in your area, especially if the fireplace installation is expected to be intensive – the mantling, hearth, firebox and floor joists are involved.

  6. When to Schedule the Work

    Homeowners typically think about fireplace installation when temperatures drop. You’ll enjoy leisurely scheduling and a fully functional fireplace once cooler months arrive by having the work done earlier in the year.

  7. Kitchen and Bathroom Fireplaces are Popular

    While it’s possible to add them once the rooms are in tact, it’s easier to put the fireplace in first when plumbing / water lines, wiring and appliances are involved. It’s easier to build around an already installed fireplace in these rooms.

  8. Cleanliness

    This is crucial for wood burning fireplaces to prevent the build up of ash and debris. If you have glass doors, they will likely condensate with both gas and wood fireplaces. Use simple glass cleaner if the moisture doesn’t dissipate. Be sure to dust gas units before each fall / winter to remove accumulated grime before igniting.

    New fireplaces should be used once or twice while temperatures are still warm so you can vent the room. The burning off of excess debris and the curing of paint will result in fumes and sometimes smoke that should be let out of the room.

  9. Electric unitsIf you want flames simply for aesthetics, the portability and versatility of an electric unit can’t be beat. You can plug it into an outlet in any room and transport it easily. Affordable units are available, but don’t expect any warmth from these guys.

Fireplaces are a great addition to your home. They set a cozy atmosphere to relax in. they provide added heat and a heat source should the electricity go out. Finally, if you have children, building a fire is an event. Add some warm cookies, a favorite board game or movie, and you have a special night with the family.

If you have questions about adding a fireplace to your contact us at 404.683.9848, email or complete our Fast Form below. We’re happy to help.

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