How Easy is it to Add a Fireplace to a Home That Doesn’t Have One?
A lot of homes built over the past few decades didn’t include fireplaces in their floorplan designs. That’s kind of odd, when you consider that a growing number of home buyers consider a fireplace to be a key amenity on their checklists. If you’re living in one of those homes, you may want to add a fireplace and are wondering if this is a feasible idea. Well, you’ll be happy to know it is.
A huge variety of new fireplace designs and styles
Of course, a fireplace can mean many different things. The type of fireplace you want to add to your home will dictate how simple or complex the job will be as well as the expense involved. If you want an old-fashioned, expansive masonry fireplace with an elaborate brick or stone façade, you’re looking at a sizeable construction project that’s going to cost a sizeable amount of money. For most homeowners, there are better options.
Modern fireplaces – both wood-burning and gas-fueled – are much easier to install than building a traditional masonry unit. Fireplace inserts are even easier, because they’re pre-built from the factory and require only an opening to fit in to.
When you visit your local hearth retailer, you’ll see a variety of sizes and styles of gas and wood fireplaces that could make perfect additions to your home.
Building and zoning considerations
As you plan for your new fireplace, it’s important that you understand the building codes in your area and any restrictions or specifications that would apply to your project.
Some counties and municipalities regulate the allowable emissions levels a home-heating appliance may produce. If you’re going with a wood fireplace, the height and design of the chimney may be regulated in some areas. You can make sure you comply with these and other codes by working with a qualified local contractor or installer who knows the regulations in your area.
Gas vs. wood
This is an important consideration in adding a new fireplace to your home. As mentioned, a wood fireplace requires a chimney, which will increase the project cost and will need to meet local codes. Still, for lots of homeowners, nothing beats a roaring wood fire with its crackling logs and leaping flames.
Gas is an ultra-convenient fuel, and the venting requirements of gas fireplaces make them much easier to install. Some gas fireplaces are vented with a simple pipe, not a full-on chimney. Others require no venting system at all.
Finally, the location of your new fireplace will affect the complexity and cost of the job. Gas fireplaces, because of simpler venting needs, can be placed in many areas within a home that wouldn’t work for wood fireplaces. Smaller gas units are ideal for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
A wood fireplace typically will go against a main outside wall so that a proper chimney can be constructed. Talk with your contractor or installer to understand the placement options that would be best in your specific home.
You definitely can add a new fireplace to a home that has never had one. When it’s time to shop for the style and model that’s perfect for you, stop by the Chimney Solutions showroom at 1155 McFarland 400 Drive in Alpharetta, GA. We sell and install fine gas and wood fireplaces from the top names in the industry. If you have questions, you can reach us at (770) 255-1300.