Tips for a Great Fireplace Remodel
Fireplaces are extremely popular among homeowners across North America. In addition to serving as a supplemental – or sole – source of heat, fireplaces provide a focal point for entertaining, relaxing and just living life. When a fireplace doesn’t provide these benefits, it’s time to do something about it.
There are several reasons to look into a fireplace remodel. These include a fireplace/hearth area in need of repair or a major overhaul, and a unit that simply isn’t keeping up with the changing interior décor of your home.
Fireplaces built 10, 20 or more years ago were “state-of-the-art” then but probably don’t operate on the efficiency level of more modern appliances. Also, fireplaces age like everything else and eventually need some repair.
Chimney liners, gas fittings and lines, dampers, log sets, glass doors and other components can be replaced to increase both safety and efficiency. For some homeowners, a fireplace remodel centers around converting a wood-burning fireplace to gas, which is generally more simple to operate and requires less maintenance and cleaning.
In cases where the overall look of the fireplace area is fine but its operation is a problem, replacing the entire unit can be a smart move. Modern gas fireplaces, for example, provide much greater heating and more efficiency than their predecessors. Contemporary wood fireplace technology has made considerable advancements, as well.
The hearth area
A lot of fireplace remodel projects focus not on the operation of the appliance but on the aesthetics of the hearth area, overall. As people grow in their homes, they make decorative changes throughout, often overlooking the fireplace. Pretty soon, the hearth area begins looking out of sync and out of place.
Performing major overhauls can involve hiring contractors for masonry and electrical work and other tasks. Before undertaking a large fireplace remodel project, get clear on what you want to accomplish and determine if the cost and any temporary disruption to your living patterns are feasible for your lifestyle.
Can you do it yourself?
With the aid of the Internet and some advice from your local hearth store, there are many fireplace remodel projects you can complete on your own, if you’re handy with tools and have some elbow grease to spare. Many surrounds and mantels can be installed by the homeowner by following the manufacturer’s directions. Some projects, however, are better left to the professionals and include:
- Converting a wood fireplace to gas or vice versa
- Repairing or changing out gas lines
- Building a new masonry surround
- Adding a new chimney liner
- Restructuring the vent system
The good thing about any type of fireplace remodel project is that it’s possible, as long as you have a well-developed plan, an appropriate budget and the right individuals or advice to perform the work. With all this in place, you’ll be able to make a serious upgrade to your fireplace and hearth area both in terms of operation and aesthetics.
United Fireplace & Stove member stores throughout North America are ready to assist with the expertise you need for a small or large fireplace remodel. Find out the best way to undertake your project by locating a member store in your area.