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How can I add a fireplace to my home?

findastoreThere are over 180 United Fireplace and Stove member stores across the US and Canada. Benefit from the buying power of North America’s largest network of independently owned hearth stores, UFS is a brand that you can trust for dependability, value & experience.

When you’re ready to add a fireplace or fireplace insert to your home, speak with a hearth professional at a UFS Member store near you. From discount pre-fabricated fireplaces to luxurious masonry fireplace designs, we can help you from start to finish no matter what your budget may be. It always pays to buy from a privately-owned hearth store.  Our industry experience, knowledge and expertise can’t be matched by big box stores or unknown online entities.

Add a FireplcaeDid you know that adding a fireplace to your home can increase the value from 6 and 12 percent? According to the Natural Center for Real Estate Research, installing a fireplace in your home is not only a beautiful and beneficial addition but it is also a financially sound investment.

If you are considering adding a fireplace to your home, read on to find out answers to your most pressing questions.

Is it even possible?

Due to the many different modern options of fireplaces, there is a fireplace to fit every home. That being said, there are some limitations when it comes to building a new fireplace. These limitations often come in the form of local building codes requirements. Before installing or building a new fireplace, always check with the state and local building codes in your area.  Requirements will dictate the chimney height, firebox and flue construction and minimum clearances around combustible materials.  Ignoring these building codes will create a serious safety concern. The codes are in place for a reason. If you have any questions or concerns, speak with a professional fireplace company.  A UFS Store Member can be of great assistance when it comes to codes and regulations.

Another limiting factor may be the availability of fuel in your area.  Do you have quick and easy access to a wood supply?  Will you cut your own wood or buy wood all ready cut and split?  If you have to purchase wood, perhaps a natural or LP gas fireplace make more sense?  You will likely have lots of options to discuss with your UFS Member Store.

What type of fireplace should I purchase?

If you don’t already have an existing fireplace it’s likely that a zero-clearance unit will be the logical choice.  The term “zero-clearance” refers to a manufactured fireplace that can be built into a frame wall.  Zero-clearance fireplaces can be gas or wood models.  Zero-clearance gas fireplaces can be vented directly out a side wall or can be vented vertically through the roof.  Zero-clearance wood burning fireplaces require a chimney to be vertically installed above the roof.

Another benefit of these zero-clearance fireplaces:  custom wall treatments and finishing techniques that create the same look as a masonry fireplace with stone, brick, tile or marble.  Complimented with a mantle and maybe a wood “surround” around the fireplace, these zero-clearance fireplaces look great and are capable of heating the room or even the entire house!  Don’t forget the raised hearth built up around the base of the fireplace.  There’s no warmer or cozier seat in the house!

How much will a new fireplace cost?

Depending on the type of fireplace you choose, the cost can vary dramatically. There are many different factors that can affect the price of a new fireplace unit.

Equipment costs for a gas fireplace can range from $2000.00 – $5000.00.  Depending on the route, these venting components will likely total $300.00 – $700.00.  Installation charges often start around $500.00.  The other expenses will be the installation of the gas supply line ($250.00 – $500.00) and the framing and finishing costs.  This number will normally start in the $1000.00 range and go up from there.  There are dozens of fireplace options to consider . . . decorative fronts, multi-function remotes and other accessories that will enhance the look and performance of the equipment.

A masonry fireplace may cost upwards of $20,000 including materials, labor and installation, while a zero-clearance factory-built fireplace will range from $1000.00 for a basic unit up to $6000.00. for an EPA qualified model.  Keep in mind the savings for reduced energy use and saving the environment will far out-weight the higher initial cost of an EPA certified fireplace.

Some of the least expensive fireplaces units are electric models.  These often start out in the $500.00 range.

In addition to the cost of the unit, you would be wise to factor in the on-going costs of owning a fireplace.  The most inexpensive source of fuel is natural gas, followed closely by heating oil and propane. Electricity can be nearly twice as expensive as natural gas in some areas. Wood is one of the most popular fuel sources and can be very cost effective, especially if you have a economical source of wood available.  Remember that the cost of these fuels will vary regionally and with the local supplier of the fuel.  And of course, how often you use your fireplace will certainly impact your expenses.

Another cost associated with owning a wood burning fireplace that needs to be mentioned is the annual maintenance expense. Typically an annual chimney inspection and cleaning will cost between $150.00 and $250.00.  Routine cleanings and regular inspections will help keep larger scale maintenance to a minimum.

Where should I put my new fireplace?

Under most conditions, a fireplace can be installed in any room in your home. While the living room or great room are popular locations for a fireplace, you don’t have to be limited by the common areas of your house.  A fireplace can also be a great way to warm up a bathroom, the master bedroom, the kitchen or heat a room at the far end of the forced air system’s duct run.

There are fireplaces designed for the outdoors.  Your UFS  Member Store can help you create a cozy living area under stars.  What a great way to expand your living space!  Install your fireplace where it provides the most benefit for your family’s life style.

Enerzone Wood FireplaceIs a fireplace energy-efficient?

You are likely aware that an open, traditional wood-burning fireplace is not an efficient way to heat a room or a house.  These fireplaces use huge volumes of preheated indoor air for burning the wood.  Then, the heat is lost up and out the chimney.  If you are looking for an energy-efficient fireplace that is an effective heater, purchase a zero-clearance unit that uses outdoor air for combustion and has gasketed doors.   Many of these types of fireplaces put more than 70% of the heat into your living space, not up the chimney!

There are many types of fireplaces that are ideal for zone-heating or as a supplemental heat source used to provide additional heat to a chilly room.  These fireplaces are very effective in helping to reduce heating bills. “Zone heating” uses two, three or even four appliances to heat only those areas that most people spend the majority of their time in.  This heating technique can reduce seasonal heating costs by 20-25%.  If energy-efficiency is an important factor in choosing your new fireplace, make sure that the model you choose has a high efficiency rating before you purchase the unit.

Most steady state efficiencies of LP or natural gas fireplaces will range from 72% – 82%.  Many of the larger BTU models today feature an optional heat duct option, designed to deliver heat to an adjacent room of the house.

There are many reasons to install a new fireplace in your home.  The additional resale value, the enjoyment of watching the dancing flames, the warm and cozy feeling and the peaceful ambiance a crackling fire creates are all solid reasons to install a fireplace.  In fact, you’ll probably want one in every room! No matter what your budget may be, our UFS member stores will be able to suggest the best type of fireplace that will suit your needs and personality.  From discounted pre-fab fireplaces to a majestic design as unique as you and your life style, the hearth experts at your local UFS member store are anxious to help you find that perfect fireplace for your home.

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