Cost Guide And Materials
Fireplace & Chimney Costs
Many people love the warm glow of a fireplace, but they may find themselves purchasing, inheriting or otherwise living in a home that does not have one. Fortunately, a fireplace can be added to a home, and there are options that suit variety of budgets. Fireplace options that involve installing a chimney also require the services of a licensed professional. Chimney installation is one of the most important considerations when installing a fireplace due to the potential for fire and health hazards as well as the potential for legal issues. For this reason, fireplaces that require chimney installation are easily the most expensive.
Select Your Fireplace & Chimney Project
Most homeowners' search for a new fireplace will begin with traditional wood-burning models. These allow for the enjoyment of seasonal sounds and the smell of burning wood. Fireplaces that burn wood are typically constructed of brick or stone and usually require the work of a mason. For this reason, wood-burning fireplaces are the most expensive among fireplace additions, and ensuring they are properly built and comply with the local laws and code can cost more than $10,000.
A less expensive alternative to a wood-burning fireplace is installing a gas-burning unit. These are popular because they do not require the purchase or manual chopping of wood. Gas fireplace users must purchase propane, which can fluctuate in price. Although installation is easier and faster than the process of having a wood-burning fireplace installed, a gas fireplace may still cost thousands of dollars. One disadvantage to having a gas fireplace is the lack of nostalgic wood-burning smell that many fireplace lovers desire.
To enjoy the look of having a fireplace without the need to purchase wood or fuel, an electric fireplace can be a great option. These units are portable and can be moved from room to room, and they are available in a variety of finishes to give the appearance of wood, brick or even stone. They are also suitable for people who wish to save space. Installation is easy and does not require home renovation, which allows renters to enjoy the benefits of installing a fireplace without making alterations to the property. As the cheapest among all the fireplaces, electric units may cost only a few hundred dollars. Many electrical units also offer the ability to enjoy the appearance of the flickering flame and glowing logs without producing heat. This feature is useful for creating cozy ambiance in a room when the weather is too warm for a fire. Electrical fireplaces are generally not the best option for those who wish to have an outdoor fireplace.
Safety and Upkeep
Apart from the added warmth and aesthetic value that fireplaces can bring, there are also responsibilities associated with having one. Safety is paramount, and the procedures for keeping a unit safe will vary based on the type of fireplace. Regular chimney cleaning and inspection should be performed on wood-burning and gas-burning fireplace chimneys by a professional. This can prevent the buildup of potentially deadly gases inside the home and may reduce fire hazard. People who wish to buy an electrical unit should ensure that the fireplace they purchase does not emit harmful gases and that it includes safety features, including an exterior that remains cool to the touch even during operation and automatic shutoff in the event of overheating. These features are common and can go far in preventing personal injury and damage to property. Furthermore, if an electrical unit is not functioning properly, the owner should discontinue use and consult a professional repairman.
Last updated on Nov 14, 2013